"Russia, West and Ukraine are waging a war of attrition"
    Caliber.Az from Minsk

    INTERVIEWS  15 August 2022 - 17:54

    Matanat Nasibova

    Caliber.Az had an interview with Valery Karbalevich, Belarusian political analyst and publicist, Candidate of Historical Sciences.

    - Quite recently, the Moldovan government has declared that in case of a military threat from Russia, the country will ask for help from Romania. Does such a threat exists today and to what extent the military support of Romania is possible in this case?

    - I do not think that the possibility of a threat to Moldova from Russia has increased because the Russian military units stationed in Transnistria are small and can hardly pose a real threat. Rather, the whole point is that various countries are trying to take advantage of the situation that has arisen since the beginning of Russia's war against Ukraine. It should be noted that amid the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, some old, frozen conflicts have surfaced. So, the Moldovan leadership, taking advantage of the opportunity, is trying to somehow solve the Transnistrian problem, counting on the fact that Russia has no time for it now. Personally, I can hardly imagine such a possibility. I think that the Moldovan leadership is not very clear on this issue either, although they are well aware that as long as there is a consolidated position of the West against Russia, as well as Russia's involvement in the war with Ukraine, they should try to solve the Transnistria issue in some way.

    - As you know, Moldova recently expressed concern about the damage to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as a result of shelling and called for IAEA experts to be given access. What do you think can be the consequences of what happened?

    - I don't think it may have any actual consequences in terms of spreading of any radiation, i.e. threatening ecological disaster. But if we're talking about tactical consequences, yes, they are obvious. Russia constantly scares the West in different ways: first, it threatens to leave Europe without oil and gas, then to create a world famine, and now it's predicting an ecological disaster.

    - Does the spread of the ground war in Ukraine towards Odesa pose a real threat to Moldova?

    - So far I do not see any possibility for Russia to expand its military actions toward Odesa. Rather, Russia is now busy defending and protecting the Kherson region, since there is a real threat of a Ukrainian counterattack and its capture of the Kherson region. Already now, according to military analysts, Russia is transferring armed forces from Donbas to the Kherson region for defence, i.e. it is a defence, not an offensive towards Odesa. On the other hand, the activity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Black Sea and Crimea indicates that Russia has no resources to threaten Odesa in any way

    - Is there any suggestion that Russia will try to annex some more Ukrainian territories militarily?

    - Yes, apparently, Russia is really going to annex the Ukrainian territories that it has seized. Moscow wants to hold a referendum in the Kherson region and legally record the seizures and then the annexation of these territories to Russia. In principle, the Kremlin is planning this and is not even hiding its plans.

    - Do you think the active phase of the war in Ukraine will last much longer?

    - I am not ready to give an exact answer to this question, because the outcome of the war largely depends on a number of factors that cannot be calculated in advance. Roughly speaking, right now there is a struggle between Russia, the West, and Ukraine to see who will be the first to pull out, and who will not have the stamina, patience, and nerves to do so. It's a kind of competition to see who will be the first to blink, a kind of staring game.

    - A war of attrition?

    - Exactly. A war of economic, financial, military, psychological, and electoral exhaustion.



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