Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev believes that Ukraine “at any moment” may face a large-scale crisis, which will result in the appearance of millions of refugees. The statements came against the backdrop of a new aggravation in Russian-Ukrainian relations – Western countries and Kiev argue that Moscow may start an armed intervention in winter.
“At any moment in Ukraine, it could flare up so that millions of Ukrainians will run to seek shelter in other places,” Patrushev said in an interview with the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper. According to him, the actions of the West led to such a situation, which, as he claims, “established its protectorate in Ukraine” and “brought society to powerlessness, and certain layers of the population to poverty.”
The interview of the head of the Security Council is mainly devoted to the migration crisis on the border of Belarus and the EU countries. Patrushev also blamed the West for him. “It did not work to destroy the country’s leadership, plunge the country into chaos, into protest marches, now they are trying to flood the state with migrants,” said the head of the Russian Security Council. According to him, the West is to blame for the fact that it “sowed chaos and destruction in the Middle East and North Africa,” which has led to the fact that migrants now go to Belarus and from it are trying to get to the EU countries. Patrushev called Belarus “the closest ally and strategic partner” of Russia.
The EU countries blame the authorities of Belarus and Alexander Lukashenko personally for the migration crisis, and representatives of a number of countries also point to Russia as a possible participant and beneficiary of the crisis.
A number of American media outlets have reported in recent days that US intelligence believes a Russian invasion of Ukraine is likely. Moscow may launch an offensive from Belarusian territory and from the annexed Crimea, Bloomberg sources say. It is assumed that the invasion will involve 100 groups of one hundred thousand people. Official Kiev also declares the threat of invasion. Kirill Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, believes that the invasion could begin in January or February 2022.
In addition to the threat of direct invasion, Western media also write that Russia may try to sow chaos in the country, which could lead to a change in the Ukrainian leadership to a pro-Russian one.
The Kremlin calls the reports of the impending invasion “stuffing” and does not exclude that this is “camouflage to cover up aggressive intentions.” At the same time, the Russian authorities accuse Ukraine of actually withdrawing from the Minsk agreements on the settlement in Donbass and call the “red line” that cannot be crossed, the strengthening of NATO’s military presence in this country.