Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Is Russia Planning An August Surprise?

Ukrainian troops at the scene of a separatist mortar attack near Sloviansk, Ukraine on May 11, 2014. Ukraine Ministry of Defense photo

Noah Rothman, Commentary: An August Surprise from Russia?

For weeks, Russian and Ukrainian forces have been staring each other down from across a tense border. The fighting in the not-so-frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and forces loyal to Kiev has been intensifying. This familiar tempo of increased hostilities has led many to speculate that it is all a prelude to a provocation requiring broader Russian intervention in the former Soviet Republic. That provocation may have arrived on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Russian security service FSB said that it had disrupted two coordinated terrorist plots that were intended to sow chaos in occupied Crimea and to disrupt the upcoming elections of federal and regional authorities. They said they discovered explosives and ammunition in the possession of these terror suspects and that an FSB officer was shot and killed in the effort to arrest them. The Russian security services alleged that those suspects were acting on the orders of the Ukrainian Minister of Defense’s Main Intelligence Directorate. Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the attempted attack by declaring that Kiev was seeking to provoke Moscow into a conflict. “Ukraine is choosing terror,” he averred.

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WNU Editor: I will be surprised if there is an August surprise .... everyone that I know in Russia is on summer vacation right now. But if there is an August surprise .... it will happen very quickly, and it will not go unnoticed.

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