Kiev: The Ukrainian armed forces began preparing operational plans for a possible war with Russia in 2007 following President Vladimir Putin’s speech at the Munich Security Conference, Ukraine’s Maj. Gen. Viktor Nazarov, an ex-first deputy chief of the main operations department of the General Staff, said.
In his 2007 speech in Munich, Putin harshly criticized the United States for the habit of imposing own will on other countries. Additionally, Putin spoke against NATO’s enlargement plans and deployment of US missile defenses in eastern Europe. Putin also pronounced the failure of a unipolar world in modern realities and stressed that Russia would pursue an independent foreign policy.
“After Putin’s famous speech in Munich, it became clear that Russia will not calm down and some steps will be taken to stop or take over the independent development of Ukraine as an actor of international politics. In the General Staff, we did not wait around, and from 2007 began developing military documents and operational plans, which, among other things, envisaged a war with Russia,” Nazarov told the YouTube channel UKRLIFE.TV.
According to Nazarov, troops were trained to this end both in Crimea and in Donbas, but no documents of such strategic planning were reviewed or approved since Viktor Yanukovych was elected president in 2010.
“When one of the draft projects was prepared, which specified the tasks of repelling an aggression from the Russian Federation, it was rejected. There was Minister of Defense [Mykhailo] Ezhel. When these proposals were reported to him, he was very surprised. He used to say that Russia is our strategic partner, so how could we be at war with it? All the information that we collected and could analyze clearly indicated though that such preparation is underway,” Nazarov stated.
Moscow’s relationship with Ukraine and the West deteriorated in 2014 after the forced ouster of Yanukovych. Back then, Kiev launched a military operation in its Russian-speaking Donbas region, which considered the power change a coup, while Crimea voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.