Press TV has conducted an interview with Alexander Nekrassov, a former Kremlin adviser in London, about US paratroopers training Ukraine government forces to battle pro-Russia forces in the east.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: You have Ukraine’s information minister saying that we want to thank the US because their know-how and knowledge about how to deal with a war is going to get translated to the Ukrainian troops. Is Ukraine preparing for a war that we are unaware of?
Nekrassov: Well first of all I think we should remember that NATO and the US have been helping the Ukrainian army all along and that they have been training not only the National Guard as you mentioned in your introduction, but they are also helping those cutthroat nationalists and neo-Nazis that are also going to be trained by these American advisers. So we have been seeing it for a while.
Now the whole point of the American involvement in Ukraine, which started with the funding of the coup last year, which overthrew the legitimate government, was to create tension in Ukraine for a long time.
Now Americans failed to grab Crimea, which was the jewel in the crown for them because they wanted that naval base there and failing to do that, they are now basically waging a long-term campaign and when you say they are not providing arms yet, well through third parties they do provide arms.
They are not providing them officially but unofficially the Ukrainian army would not have had enough equipment and enough ammunition to fight the rebels in the east without some sort of support and that is why we are witnessing now the training.
It is not just part of this whole strategy. It is also a symbolic move to basically blackmail and threaten Russia into some sort of submission which I doubt will work and it will not work obviously.
But I think that these are attempts by the Washington administration to create more tensions in Ukraine. We will continue seeing this for quite some time. I do not really see any sort of agreement like Minsk II. At the moment we have this agreement and then probably Minsk III and so on. I do not think anything will help to stop crisis in Eastern Ukraine.
Press TV: Of course time is one of the factors here because from what we understand based on this training exercise it is going to go on through till November, so that is many months down the road.
I am guessing that the sentiment is going to be kept high amongst these troops that are being trained and of course if you get trained for that long, then you have the tendency to want to attack.
But you do not think there is going to be any breakthrough? Is that something that the US and Ukraine are putting aside since the training mission is going to go on through until November that there will not be any sign of relationship between US, Ukraine and Russia?
Nekrassov: First of all, let me remind your viewers what happened in Minsk II. The Minsk II agreement was worked out when there was 10,000 Ukrainian troops and 1,000 foreign mercenaries, that is citizens from the western countries surrounded at the town of Debaltseve. They were basically in danger of being wiped out. Now that is 10,000 troops.
The reason why [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel and [the French President Francois] Hollande rushed to talk to the Russian side and to the Ukrainian rebels, was because they realized that they have to save those people especially the 1,000 foreign mercenaries from all over the place, from all over Europe and so on.
And that is why that agreement basically came about very quickly to save the situation and to give breathing space to the Ukrainian army and those cutthroats, those killers who present themselves as some nationalist heroes who are saving Ukraine.
So once you know this, you will realize that this was just a temporary ceasefire and now we see a lot of equipment, a lot of hardware, a lot of military personnel being trained and prepared for an offensive and if you consider that these American advisers have come to train forces till November, which means that they are going to prepare the ground for another offensive.
You do not even need to be a military strategist to realize what these people are doing there. It is a dangerous game, yes, but they are doing what they have been planning to do and that is why we will see more supplies coming in, we will see more foreign mercenaries coming in, and at the moment I do not really see any will on the part of the Americans or the EU to strike any deal that would work.