Russian Legislator Calls Ukraine ‘Total War’

War events may soon escalate to another level of brutality. According to a post on www.msn.com, Duma deputy Oleg Morozov ominously said on Friday during a talk show appearance on Russia’s First Channel, that “A total war has begun, and we have to make the collective West understand that they have no chance of winning this war.” Morozov alluded to the possibility that Russia will begin attacking NATO convoys delivering weapons and other material to Ukraine. Several Russian officials this week escalated their rhetoric about Western support for Ukraine in the current conflict. But it is still not clear how Russia intends to respond.

Morozov’s statement came in the wake of comments from Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger, who confirmed on Friday that the NATO member had donated an S-300 air defense system to Ukraine. Discussions within the European Union mentioned bringing Ukraine into the organization. Morozov added, portentously, “I am certain that in the very near future we will see special operations, both from our air forces and from our special units, in order to destroy weapons shipments from NATO countries.”

Morozov opined on the West’s intentions: “The West wants this war to continue for as long as possible. They presume that this war will exhaust our military and economic resources.” However, in the opinion of the article’s writer, Morozov “acknowledged, without saying so directly, that the Russia has failed to achieve its military goals.” To the extent this assessment is accurate, the situation likely evoked this comment by Morozov: “The war has changed, and we can only win this war by using means other than those we have been employing up to this point.”

Recent history provides some indication of Moscow’s possible next steps. Before the start of the current conflict, Russia had been credibly accused of employing covert operations on the territory of NATO countries in order to disrupt weapons shipments to Ukraine. Three examples are provided.

On October 16, 2014, a Czech arms depot in the town of Vrbìtice exploded, killing two workers. According to an investigation by the Czech magazine Respekt, the weapons belonged to Bulgarian arms dealer Emilyan Gebrev, who was planning to send the shipments to Ukraine. At the time, Ukraine was fighting a defensive war against Russian-backed separatists in the country’s eastern Donbas region.

In April 2021, the Czech Republic expelled 18 Russian diplomats after evidence emerged that the explosion had been caused by agents of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence division. The agents in question, Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga, had arrived in Prague on October 13, 2014, and departed on the day of the explosion. Records show that, during their trip, they used false documents in order to request access to the arms depot where the explosion subsequently occurred.

In February 2020, Bulgarian prosecutors accused three Russian GRU agents of attempting to assassinate the arms dealer Gebrev. The attack was carried out in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia in the spring of 2015.

The situation is changing hourly. Reports are being updated.

D&B Staff

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