Ukrainian forces to conclude counterterror exercises in Lviv region

Counterterror and counter-sabotage exercises held by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) are set to end today. The drills will

Gleb Garanich Reuters

Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Counterterror and counter-sabotage exercises held by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) are set to end today.

The drills will take place in Ukraine’s western Lviv region in coordination with the SBU’s Anti-Terrorist Center.

With the deployment of Russian forces at the country’s borders and on the Crimean Peninsula, tensions between Moscow and Kyiv have precipitated increased military drills like today’s. Fighting pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country since 2014, Kyiv fears an outright Russian invasion and accuses the Kremlin of utilizing covert militias and empowering separatists to provoke a casus belli.

At a time when Kyiv is hoping for increased Western support and integration into NATO, the Ukrainian army is preparing for all eventualities in its conflict with Russia. Neither Minsk II nor the Normandy format has made it possible to ensure a return to peace in the area and will not be enough to ease the current tensions. For Moscow, the reintegration of separatist provinces with special status into Ukraine would give it oversight over Ukrainian affairs and allow it to prevent Kiev from joining the Euro-Atlantic community. As such, Moscow will likely continue its involvement in Ukraine, fueling the frozen conflict while Kyiv hones its military preparedness.

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