Military analyst: Russia closer to a long-planned attack on Ukraine

Military analyst: Russia closer to a long-planned attack on Ukraine

Military analyst: Russia closer to a long-planned attack on Ukraine

A national security expert says Russia is capable of mounting an attack against Ukraine, and threaten NATO by doing so, and the lack of a bold response from the United States and other allies may have a devastating effect on how this scenario could play out at the turn of the year.

At the same time Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to warn the West over its involvement in the growing tension between Russia and Ukraine, Col. Dan Steiner (USAF-Ret.) tells American Family News he suspects the Biden administration and others are “still trying to figure out exactly what to do.”

Steiner, a former senior intelligence officer, says he disagrees with some analysts who see a short-term, knee-jerk reaction by Putin to the weak American president and his administration.

“This thing has been cooking for a long time," Steiner says of Russia’s real-time threat to Ukraine.

To that end, a number of eastern bloc states began joining North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1999. With regard to Ukraine’s interest as a NATO member, Putin was describing the potential move as a “direct threat” to Russian security as far back as 2008.

“This isn’t an event that has boiled up over the last 12 months,” Steiner reemphasizes. “The issue of the encroachment of NATO to Eastern Europe towards the Russian border has been taking place for quite a few decades.”

Marked advancements of Russian military units and weaponry have given the country the ability to perform effectively on the battlefield in the 21st century, Steiner warns. As a result, Putin feels like he is in a position to call upon NATO to curtail military deployments in Eastern Europe and to prevent Ukraine from joining the alliance.

Russia is at the point where they could physically challenge NATO and hand the intergovernmental military alliance an ultimatum, Steiner indicates. “While the State Department softens Putin’s demands, calling them negotiation points,” he explains, “what the Russian president is saying should be interpreted very clearly as an ultimatum.”

Allowing Ukraine into NATO, or deploying troops or weapons in the region, is a “red line” for Russia.  Without guarantees to what he demands, Putin is stating he will be forced to consider several options, which includes a military response, according to the air force colonel.

Steiner contends that a “kinetic response,” or active warfare, could occur as early as January.

“When the winter ground starts to thaw,” he points out, “mechanized operations would be severely inhibited.”

Thus the window of opportunity, he explains, for the Russians to mount an invasion of Ukraine is right around the corner.

In addition, he suspects the Russians have anticipated there is “no resolve” from the United States to enter a “kinetic fight” with them over Ukraine.

Instead, Biden wants to impose “severe economic repercussions” on the country.

“But Russia has had this plan in the works for years,” Steiner notes. “If they were thinking they were going to face an unprecedented economic retaliation against them, then part of their war planning would have definitely included how to mitigate that.”