Military analyst: Ukraine threat tied to NATO numbers

Military analyst: Ukraine threat tied to NATO numbers

A Ukrainian soldier watches the frontlines for pro-Russian rebel forces from a fighting position in eastern Ukraine. Russia has built up 100,000 troops on the border which has alarmed NATO. 

Military analyst: Ukraine threat tied to NATO numbers

A national security analyst, reacting to Russian troops massed near Ukraine’s border, says the tactic appears to be a political threat about NATO alliances rather than a pending invasion of tanks and soldiers.

American Family News has reported NATO is finally speaking out about the presence of 100,000 Russian troops near Ukraine, which comes after a buildup that began in the spring, and Ukraine’s president has said publicly he fears an invasion is coming.

Bob Maginnis, a retired U.S. army lieutenant colonel now with the Family Research Council, says the troops are positioned for an invasion because Vladamir Putin has vowed Russia will never allow Ukraine to join NATO. That military alignment would put a member of that defensive pact on Russia’s border, and Putin has likened it to Russian missiles stationed in Mexico or Canada.  

“Neither will the Republic of Georgia,” Maginnis says of NATO membership, “because they are on the immediate periphery in parts of the former Soviet Union.”

Ukraine has endured years of skirmishes and bloodshed in the Crimea region after Russia-backed separatists fought Ukrainian troops in 2014. That off-and-on fight has killed an estimated 10,000 people. 

Maginnis, Robert (FRC) Maginnis

The Russia-Ukraine standoff is unfolding after Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, visited Ukraine’s president and defense minister in mid-October. He assured them the U.S. stands behind a military assistance partnership known as the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Defense Framework. That document was signed in August.

Asked by American Family News if an invasion is coming, Maginnis says that is unlikely unless NATO officially welcomes Ukraine as a member.

“Because I think that would create an international crisis,” Maginnis predicts, “and would cause the Russians to stop playing games and probably would invade."