Korotchenko : Tens of thousands of Russian mercenaries have been deployed to transit points closer to Ukraine, citing their sources, Reuters reported. “Novosti” actively picked up a number of foreign media outlets. The Russian Ministry of Defense and the Union of Volunteers of Donbass were accused of recruiting mercenaries. A private military company was not spared either. In the West, hysteria is again: Russia is allegedly preparing for a full-scale war with Ukraine. Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, shared his opinion on this matter with MK.
– We all understand very well that an information war is being waged with us within the framework of hybrid counteraction and confrontation. Therefore, both Ukrainian relevant structures and NATO information operations centers are actively accelerating the “agenda” they need in the media space. This is a real hybrid attack, and not some boys post on social networks.
In Ukraine, the appropriate divisions have been created to conduct information operations. There are two NATO centers near us – one in Tallinn, the other in Riga. There is also a corresponding center in Poland. All that we see is a reflection of the hybrid war that is now being waged in the information space with the prospect of its possible transfer to the battlefield in eastern Ukraine.
– This information stuffing can be connected with the requirements of Russia to the United States on security guarantees?
– We cannot rule it out. Any information operation does not appear by itself. There are certain stages and tasks, there are certain theses that are being promoted. Therefore, while we see this, and then other stuffing may appear, in which both Russia and Donbass will be accused.
– How will Russia react if Kiev nevertheless switches to active actions in Donbass?
– If this happens, Russia has only one way to go – to carry out an operation to force Ukraine to peace. In what format, on what scale, what tasks will be in the course of this operation – will be determined by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, the Ministry of Defense and the President of Russia. But there is no doubt that Russia will not stand aside and just watch. More than half a million citizens with Russian passports live on the territory of Donbass, and we are talking about their life and safety. Any threat of cleansing, murder, genocide of Russian citizens in Donbass automatically means that Russia will begin operations to force Ukraine to peace.
In turn, the press secretary of the Union of Volunteers of Donbass Maria Koleda said that the organization has never recruited mercenaries.
“We have completely different goals and objectives,” Maria explained. – The Union of Donbass Volunteers appeared in 2015. From the moment of creation to this day, we have been providing assistance to those who returned from Donbass. Equally to the participants in the hostilities and the civilian population. We provide humanitarian assistance, medical and social support, legal advice. We are not recruiting anywhere.