Article

Ukraine turns into a NATO bridgehead on the border with Russia

Written by The Frontier Post

Yuri Knutov

December turned out to be not the cal-mest month of the outgoing 2021. The Kiev authorities are not to blame for this, which ac-tively frightened Western inhabitants with the occupation of Ukraine. At first it was the 100-thousandth, and then the 175-thousandth Russian army. In addition, in Nezalezhnaya they started talking about a pro-Russian coup d’état. After a series of statements by President V. Zelensky, it would seem that the main concern of the Ukrainian government should be to save the country from the invasion of “hordes of Muscovites.” But not so long ago it became known that Kiev thinks not so much about defense as about attack.
Increasingly, the Ukrain-ian media are voicing the voices of various politicia-ns who are calling for the violent seizure of Donbass and the subsequent occupation of Russian territories – primarily Crimea, and then Kuban, Stavropol, the ent-ire Belgorod region, partly Rostov, Kursk, Voronezh and Bryansk regions. Bank-ova Street (the location of the office of the President of Ukraine) is well aware that the Armed Forces of Ukra-ine cannot cope with this ta-sk alone. Therefore, the Ki-ev regime is doing everyth-ing possible to involve the armies of the NATO bloc in the long-term civil war in the east of the country.
Preparation for war
Shortly before the New Year, the Verkhovna Rada, under Russophobic accompaniment, adopted a law on the admission of foreign m-ilitary personnel to Indep-endent in 2022. It is necessary to clarify that in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, military personnel of other states cannot be located, let alone have their bases on Ukrainian soil. True, at one time in the fundamental legal documents the Verkhovna Rada provided for a legal “hole” that makes it easy to bypass the constitutional prohibition. This requires only an appeal by the president to the country’s parliament and its subsequent approval. I must say that the Kiev regime did not think for a long time about how to reconcile national legislation and the presence of foreign troops on the territory of Ukraine, and quickly adopted a corresponding law, giving the green light to the transformation of the state into an anti-Russian bridgehead of the NATO bloc.
If in 2021 Kiev allocated 39 million UAH for joint exercises with the North Atlantic Alliance, then in 2022 this amount increased almost three times – up to 106.5 million UAH. This indicates an increase in the scale of the planned military games, which are turning into poorly disguised preparations for the war in Donbass, as well as against Russia. Confirmation of this is the manifold increase in the supply of offensive weapons from the United States and other countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, which are carried out both by American transport aircraft and by sea vessels. To disguise the far-reaching plans of Kiev and Brussels, it is proposed to use joint maneuvers, during which part of NATO’s weapons secretly remains in military depots on the territory of Ukraine.
Up to a dozen different kinds of joint maneuvers are planned for 2022. Moreover, the schedule for their implementation is drawn up in such a way that the NATO contingent will be almost permanently in Independence. The five largest multinational exercises of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and NATO countries – Sea Breeze, United Efforts, Silver Saber, Rapid Trident and Cossack Mace – pose the greatest danger from the point of view of intentional or accidental military conflict with Russia.
NATO and Unloaded
If we talk about military cooperation between Kiev and Brussels, the Sea Breeze exercises have the longest history. They have been held since 1997. The organizers are Ukraine and the USA. The maneuvers are carried out in the Black Sea. This makes it possible to use both the warships of the NATO countries of the Black Sea basin and a number of Western European states. In 2022, 7.5 thousand military personnel, 85 ships, about 70 aircraft and helicopters will take part in the joint exercises “Sea Breeze”. It should be noted that in 2021, 4,500 military personnel took part in similar maneuvers. This is 40% less than the number of participants in the “Sea Breeze – 2022”. From the US side, 1,500 military personnel, about 20 ships and almost 20 aircraft and helicopters will be involved in the maneuvers. In addition, Washington will provide financial and technical assistance for the joint exercises. For its part, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will allocate 4,500 servicemen, up to 30 small ships and up to 70 aircraft and h-elicopters. It must be said that in recent years, Neza-lezhnaya was able to restore the fleet of MiG-29 fighters and even partially improve their electronic filling. As one of the initiators of the exercises, Ukraine will provide NATO troops with its ports, military airfields and training grounds on the Black Sea coast. The time of the exercise is the summer of 2022. military airfields and training grounds on the Black Sea coast. The time of the exercise is the summer of 2022. military airfields and training grounds on the Black Sea coast. The time of the exercise is the summer of 2022.
Quite recently, a decision was made in Kiev to hold an annual maneuver called “United Efforts”. Last year, the very first exercises in this series generated a lot of media hype. Then, after landing in the Nikolaev region, the British paratroopers announced that they had landed “in the backyard of Russia,” indirectly admitting that Eastern Ukraine is a Russian land by ethnicity. During the United Efforts 2020 exercise, at the request of the Kiev authorities, two B-52 strategic bombers escorted by the Ukrainian MiG-29 and Su-27, as well as several Bell V-22 Osprey tiltrotors flew over the capital Nezalezhnaya over the capital Nezalezhnaya. Initially, the legend of the exercises provided for active military operations not only against Russia, but also against Belarus.
In addition to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the armies of the North Atlantic Alliance, units of the countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program will be involved in the Joint Efforts 2022 joint exercises next year. As a rule, these are military personnel from Georgia, as well as Azerbaijan and, possibly, Armenia. The State Border Guard Service, the National Guard, the National Police of Ukraine and the SBU will participate in the exercise. In total, it is planned to use 12,500 military personnel, about 90 aircraft and helicopters and almost 70 ships. The bulk will be made up of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This is almost 9000 military personnel, about 30 aircraft and helicopters, almost 20 ships. The United States will provide about 1000 soldiers and officers, about 20 aircraft and about 10 ships. It is planned to involve other NATO countries and countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program in the maneuvers. Together, they will send another 2,500,000 troops, up to 40 aircraft and helicopters, and up to 40 warships. The ground part of the exercise will be held at nine training grounds: Goncharovsky (Chernigov region), Zhytomyr (Zhyto-myr region), Novo-moskovsky (Dnepropetr-ovsk region), Oleshkovsky sands (Kherson region), Rovensky (Rivne region .), “Yagorlyksky” (Kherson region), “Urzuf” (Zaporoz-hye region), “Shiroky Lan” (Nikolaev region) and “Ya-vorovsky” (Lvov region).
Specialty player
In 2022, joint exercises of the Ukrainian and Polish military are planned under the name “Silver Saber”. The peculiarity of these exercises is that they check the training of special operations forces (MTR) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Moreover, every year new divisions should participate in the Silver Saber. In the case of good and excellent ratings, this unit of the Ukrainian special forces is involved in combat duty as part of the NATO Rapid Reaction Force. The maneuvers take place at the training ground in the Zhytomyr region in three stages. The first is held in February – April, the second – in May – July, the third – in August – December. On the part of the MTR of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, up to 3,000 servicemen, up to 6 aircraft and helicopters and up to 5 ships are involved in spetsnaz maneuvers. On the Polish side, about 1,000 troops and up to 4 aircraft and helicopters will be involved. Up to 1000 military personnel with equipment are allocated by other NATO countries, as well as participants in the Partnership for Peace program. In total, up to 5,000 servicemen, up to 16 aircraft and helicopters and up to a dozen ships are planned to be involved in the joint exercises of the special operations forces “Silver Saber”.
Currently, one of the units of the special operations forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is taking part in the exercises “Combined Resolve 16” on the territory of Germany. During the maneuvers with the participation of German special forces, as well as special forces from the United States and Lithuania, the Ukrainian military has already completed a number of operations. Among them are the rescue of the pilot in the rear of the enemy and his evacuation, the adjustment of artillery fire and the actions of his own aviation. In addition, measures were worked out to organize the insurrectionary movement behind enemy lines. Ukrainian special forces also conducted a successful live fire to destroy three T-72 tanks using the FGM-148 Javelin ATGM.
Another major joint military exercise of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and NATO, Rapid Trident, will take place between March and December. The specific timing of the exercise varies based on the military-political plans of Brussels and Kiev. The exercises, as a rule, are held at the Yavoriv training ground near Lev, where a large staff of NATO instructors operate on a permanent basis. The first joint Rapid Trident maneuvers took place in 2006 as part of the Partnership for Peace program. From the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 5 thousand soldiers and officers are involved in the maneuvers in 2022. The United States allocates 1.5 thousand servicemen for these purposes. Other NATO countries will send 2,000 more troops. In addition, 20 aircraft and helicopters and 10 ships will be deployed on each side. In total, it is planned to use about 60 aircraft and helicopters and about 30 military ships. If in 2021 6 thousand servicemen took part in the Ukraine-NATO exercises “Rapid Trident”, then in 2022 their number will increase to 8.5 thousand. In time, the maneuvers last 45 days.
Cossack Bulava
In 2021, for the first time, joint exercises of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the British Army were held. The maneuvers were named “Cossack Mace” (“Cossack mace”). The plans of Kiev and London envisage that in 2022 similar exercises will receive a wider scale. Instead of 2,000 servicemen, about 5,500 servicemen, up to 30 aircraft and helicopters and up to 11 ships will take part in them. Despite the declared bilateral nature, servicemen from other NATO countries, as well as countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program, will be involved in the maneuvers. On the British side, the Cossack Mace -2022 exercise will involve nearly 1,500 soldiers and officers, up to 10 aircraft and helicopters and 3 ships. The Ukrainian Armed Forces will send 3,000 servicemen, up to 10 aircraft and up to 5 ships. Other NATO and Partnership for Peace countries will maneuver up to 1,000 troops and provide the same number of aircraft, helicopters and ships as the UK. It is planned that Ukrainian and British soldiers, as well as military personnel from other countries of the alliance, will learn to work out interaction at coastal training grounds in the Nikolaev and Odessa regions.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine assigns an important place to joint command and staff exercises (KShU). One of them is Maple Arch. The organizer of the exercise is Canada, which explains its unusual name. In 2022, in addition to the host country, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, as well as a number of members of the Alliance will take part in the maneuvers. As a rule, a small number of military personnel are attracted for KShU, since one small unit marks the actions of an entire regiment or brigade on the ground. Next year, 3,700 military personnel and up to 22 aircraft and helicopters will be involved in the Maple Arch. The Armed Forces of Ukraine will allocate up to 1,700 soldiers and officers and 4 aircraft and helicopters. In turn, Canada will send up to 300 troops, 4 planes and helicopters. Lithuania and Poland will be limited to 500 soldiers and officers on each side and 4 aircraft each. Other NATO countries will send up to 700 troops and up to 6 planes and helicopters to Ukraine. The main goal of the exercise is to train the headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in command and control according to NATO standards and to work out the interaction of the armies of the participating countries.
Role of Stockholm and others
Although Sweden is not a NATO member, it often takes an anti-Russian policy. On the basis of Russophobia, the Swedish and NATO military have many common interests. Moreover, from time to time loud voices are heard in Stockholm to abandon neutrality and join the NATO bloc. The most indicative in this respect is the allegedly peacekeeping computer command-staff exercise “Viking”, which the Swedish Ministry of Defense conducts every two years with the participation of the Scandinavian states and a number of NATO countries, in which Ukraine has been participating since 2005. Exercises are carried out according to the KShU type, but without the involvement of military equipment. Their task is to work out the interaction of the headquarters, military contingents of NATO member countries with the bloc’s partners, which include Sweden and Ukraine. In essence, the Viking exercise is a full-fledged command-staff exercise with offensive and defensive missions practicing. In 2022, it is planned to attract up to 500 military personnel, including 100 people from Sweden, 200 people from Ukraine and another 200 people from the countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program. The officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine participate remotely. For this, the National University of Defense of Ukraine in Kiev is involved, or rather its educational and scientific Center for the training of officers for multinational headquarters. Typically, the Viking exercise lasts 45 days. For this, the National University of Defense of Ukraine in Kiev is involved, or rather its educational and scientific Center for the training of officers for multinational headquarters. Typically, the Viking exercise lasts 45 days. For this, the National University of Defense of Ukraine in Kiev is involved, or rather its educational and scientific Center for the training of officers for multinational headquarters. Typically, the Viking exercise lasts 45 days.
For training in the conduct of operations in the highlands, the Ukrainian Armed Forces will take part in an exercise called “Blonde Avalanche” (“White Avalanche”). Apart from the Ukrainian military, they will involve servicemen of the armies of Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The maneuvers take place in the Lviv region and in Transcarpathia. The fight with the consequences of natural disasters or floods is most often used as a legend. It is assumed that up to 1,300 military personnel with equipment and up to 13 aircraft and helicopters will take part in the “Blonde Avalanche-2022” maneuvers. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are ready to send up to 500 military personnel and up to 5 aircraft and helicopters to the exercises. All other participating countries, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, as well as the countries of the Partnership for Peace program, will send 200 soldiers and officers and 2 planes and helicopters each.
To practice the tasks of protecting water lines and forcing water barriers, Ukraine will hold joint Ukrainian-Romanian exercises “Riverine”. The naval forces, maritime guards and border guards of the two countries are involved in the exercises. The maneuvers take place at the mouth of the Danube, which makes it possible to practice various operations, both in the channel of the river and on the Black Sea. According to the organizers’ plans, up to 400 servicemen, up to 10 aircraft and helicopters and up to 20 ships will take part in the exercises. The number of forces involved from Ukraine is exactly half of the total number of participants. The exercise takes place from March to December and lasts 45 days.
Ukrainian boardwear
In addition to joint exercises of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the armies of NATO countries, in 2022 the training of Ukrainian units will continue at numerous training grounds and training centers under the patronage of military instructors from the North Atlantic Alliance. In total, it is planned to train 15 thousand soldiers and officers from Nezalezhnaya. Classes and trainings will be held under the patronage of 2,000 American military instructors and 2,000 more troops from other countries of the North Atlantic Alliance. To allegedly comply with the norms of Ukrainian legislation, all NATO instructors will be in the country on a rotational basis.
In total, in 2022, 44,900 servicemen will be involved in the above-mentioned joint exercises of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and NATO, of which 26,600 are servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and 18,300 are military personnel from NATO countries and countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program. In addition, it is planned to use 311 aircraft and helicopters, of which 110 will be provided by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and 201 aircraft and helicopters by NATO countries. Also, a total of 206 warships will take part in the joint maneuvers. Of these, 70 warships of various classes fly under the flag of Independence, and 136 warships are part of the navies of NATO countries. The scale of the joint maneuvers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the armies of the North Atlantic Alliance, planned in 2022, directly points to the pulling of Kiev into the orbit of Brussels and the transformation of Ukraine into an anti-Russian military foothold.

About the author

The Frontier Post