By Ian Bond, 13 April 2021
Vladimir Putin is threatening Ukraine again. The West so far lacks a unified and effective way of dealing with this and other challenges from Russia.
In recent weeks fighting has surged in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian casualties have increased along the line of contact between Ukrainian government-controlled territory and the parts of region under the control of Russian puppet regimes. As before they invaded in 2014, Russian regular forces are poised near the Ukrainian border.
Open source intelligence shows that some units have redeployed to Ukraine’s north-eastern border from bases much further east. At least part of the 76th Air Assault Division, which took part in the 2014 invasion of eastern Ukraine, has moved from near Russia’s border with the Baltic States to Crimea. The Russian defence ministry has also announced that it is moving amphibious vessels from the Caspian to the Black Sea, supposedly for exercises. What is Russian president Vladimir Putin up to, and what should the EU and NATO do about it?