The Russian Ukrainian situation is tense and may lead to war at any moment. We asked attorney and writer Yuri Vanetik, a native Ukrainian, several questions on the topic. His answers are illuminating.
We will not go to war to save the Ukraine from Russia. EMPTY saber rattling is even worse than saber rattling.
— Dan Gallagher (@DanGallwojtasik) December 1, 2021
1. Will Russia Attack Ukraine?
Vanetik: Russia has deployed tens of thousands of combat troops on Ukraine’s border as a response to what it officially described as provocative actions by Ukraine and its NATO allies. Russia will attack only if it does not secure tangible concessions from Ukraine and if the U.S., United Kingdom, Turkey, and NATO do not support Ukraine by augmenting Ukraine’s defense apparatus. If the U.S., U.K., and Turkey step in, Russia will back down. Assistance of this sort would entail military support by way of equipment and arms, training, data, and communication. Additionally, a united naval presence from NATO and the U.S. in the Black Sea on a rotational basis would be necessary to deter an attack from Russia. The response needed to dissuade Russia’s escalated aggression in Ukraine would also require an increasing military presence in Poland and the Baltic states.
2. Can NATO stop Russia’s attack on Ukraine?
Vanetik: No. NATO without a vigorous American, United Kingdom, and particularly Turkish lead will not dissuade the Russian Federation. President Putin will likely not take NATO seriously if its actions are not strongly backed by the U.S. in a coalition with the U.K. and Turkey.
3. Can Ukraine repel a Russian attack?
Vanetik: If Ukraine is supported by U.S., Turkey, and the U.K. it can repel Russian military aggression. Without strategic military support, Ukraine will immediately lose a segment of its Eastern territory. This will include: Kharkiv Region, Donetsk Region, Lugansk Region (the latter two having already declared “independence”, and Kharkiv having been informally seized by Russia-backed operatives, such as regional influencer Pavel Fuks and his gang.) All of Ukraine’s South along the Black Sea including Zaporozhskaya, part of Dnepropetrovskaya Region, Khersonskaya Region, Nikolayevskaya Region, and Odeskaya Region will be at risk. Similarly, North Ukraine including segments of Chumskoy Region, Chernigivskoy Region bordering Republic of Belarus will be highly vulnerable to Russia military initiatives in Ukraine.
4. What would EU do in case Russia attacks Ukraine?
Vanetik: The EU will not get into any tangible military squabbles with the Russian Federation. The Munich 1938 scenario will repeat itself. Europe then tried to appease Hitler by neutrality and by relying on weak persuasion methods. They were unsuccessful. War broke out the next year.
5. Would the Russians win if they invade Ukraine?
Vanetik: Without the aforementioned coalition and unequivocal military support of Ukraine, Russia will occupy numerous strategic regions of Ukraine, as I have described. These are the regions where 50-70% of the residents are native Russian speakers and are ethnically Russian. Russia will seize de facto control of these regions and will establish independent temporary administrative zones there. Subsequently, these regions (backed or curated by Russian military and intelligence operatives) will conduct a referendum and will annex those regions predicated on established protocol and Russian law.
6. What would be the international repercussions of Russia’s attack on Ukraine?
Vanetik: Switching off the SWIFT system and blocking of all Russian accounts higher than $1M USD, the arrest of Russian nationals, sanctions against affiliated companies, and elimination of military bases in Syria and in that region. Also, the seizing of 4 islands in the Far East Controlled By Russia (taken from Japan) and a possible blockade of the Baltic Sea and Black Sea. In the event that Ukraine’s air, sea, land borders are violated (crossed), a swift and precise allied military response targeting storage of military equipment and technical support, fuel storage, and training bases) would be impactful. Blinken confirmed publicly that he and other State Dept. officials made clear to Kremlin that the U.S. will respond with high impact economic sanctions transcending measures imposed in the recent past.