By Sergey Sayenko
In a situation where the United States lacks political and diplomatic arguments for a discussion with Russia, one can expect anything.
Washington has been recently raising the stakes on Ukraine, throwing in loaded dice, with the game being multiple-axis.
First, on the night of January 13, some "unknown" hackers "suddenly" attacked websites of the Ukrainian government, Foreign and Energy Ministries, State Emergency Service.
This immediately caused a backlash with the United States and the European Union. An information cover operation began right away in parallel.
Particularly, the American media have started a jury of opinion with an explicit task of laying the blame on Russia.
American lobbyists in Europe were also fed into battle, followed by several statements by European officials, including the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrel, that the cyber attack could have been orchestrated by "Russian special services".
Second, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan tried to work an angle and told reporters on January 13 about Russia's highly probable invasion of Ukraine and promised to share "details" about the pretexts Moscow allegedly creates. The very next day, his theses were elaborated upon by US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby.
He said ‘Russian groups’ in the east of Ukraine were preparing ‘a false-flag operation’ and may allegedly arrange an ‘attack on Russia or the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine’.
And ‘Russian influence actors’ are ready to ‘fabricate provocations’ in the Ukrainian state and social media.
Finally, the US administration has already managed to engage several international energy companies in discussing the possibility of arranging gas supplies to Europe "in emergency circumstances", if "the conflict between Russia and Ukraine disrupts Russian supplies," Reuters reports, citing its sources.
However, the world's resources turned out to be limited, with not so much gas to replace the volumes coming from Russia to Europe.
Spreading false stories about Russia's mythical saboteurs in eastern Ukraine, the Americans apparently want to deflect attention of the world community from the presence of several hundred US military personnel in that country.
Moreover, some American special forces train and advise Ukrainian units. According to Yahoo News with reference to five former intelligence and national security officials, the US secret training program for Ukraine's elite special forces and other intelligence officers is directly supervised by the CIA. One may assume that not only special forces and intelligence officers are trained by the United States' key intelligence agency, but also paramilitary groups of Ukrainian nationalists.
Some of the portal's sources say this program dates back to 2015 and is hosted by a secret facility in the US south. A former senior intelligence official who maintains contacts with colleagues in the government said the Biden administration not only failed to curtail the program, but expanded it.
Yahoo News notes that forces trained by the CIA may play a decisive part in case of an escalation at Ukraine's eastern border. According to several former members of the US intelligence community, as part of this program, CIA ground branch paramilitary personnel also started travelling to eastern Ukraine with advisory missions.
A quite reasonable question arises here as to what prevents these units from arranging provocations themselves when the time is due, namely undermining certain sections of Ukraine's Gas Transportation System? Amid the severe energy crisis that has engulfed Europe, such a scenario may well bring it to the edge of subsistence, whereupon Washington will try to get the European Union to introduce unprecedentedly harsh measures against Russia.
As things stand, Moscow has (at the highest level) repeatedly rejected all the accusations by the West and Ukraine of "aggressive actions", saying that it does not threaten anyone and is not going to attack anyone, while statements about "Russian aggression" are an excuse for deploying more NATO military equipment next to the country's borders.
In particular, the Russian Foreign Ministry previously noted that Western statements and the concentration of attack forces at the border with Ukraine are both ridiculous and dangerous. President Putin's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov stated in this regard that Russia moves troops within its territory and at its sole discretion.
According to him, this does not threaten anyone and is none of anybody's business.
Peskov did not rule out provocations from the West and Kiev and warned that attempts to solve the crisis by force in the south-east of Ukraine would have far-reaching effect.
Just a reminder: relations between Moscow and Kiev deteriorated after the Crimea reunified with Russia in 2014 and amid an armed conflict in the Donbass region. The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly accused Russia of interfering in their internal affairs, and officially declared it an "aggressor nation" in January 2015.
Moscow, in turn, has repeatedly stressed that it does not engage in Ukraine's internal conflict and is not a subject of Minsk agreements designed to settle the crisis. Besides, Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of maintaining military personnel in the eastern regions of Ukraine.
However, the West turns a deaf ear to or rebuffs Moscow's words and keeps escalating the situation around Ukraine.
There is much talk about "Russia's aggression" against Ukraine in the West, although it is the United States that supplies Kiev with lethal weapons, and it is NATO that arranges military exercises on Russia's doorstep.
As The New York Times reported the other day, citing some unnamed US administration representatives, in case of escalated tensions the United States deems it possible to train Ukrainian fighters on the eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance, namely in Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
At that, the US Department of Defense intends to take overt measures along this track, while the CIA will act covertly.
Why are the US and its NATO allies so zealous about Ukraine? The answer is out in the open, by the way. The West uses that country primarily to exert pressure on Russia, to contain our country. Ukraine is too valuable an asset for the United States to accept the inevitability of its loss.
For this very reason Washington is trying to postpone this to the hilt and convince Moscow that the West won't be nowhere near giving up on Ukraine. But how to convince it? They think the best thing since sliced bread is to raise the stakes as much as possible, hyping up the "threat of Russian invasion" and the "terrible price for it" by means of "punishing" sanctions.