Moscow began its efforts to undermine Ukraine, not in 2013 in reaction to the Maidan, as many encouraged by Russia believe, but already in 1991, Kyiv military expert Nikolay Sungurovsky says. And those efforts began because Moscow feared that “a successful Ukraine would threaten the territorial integrity of Russia.”
“Russia reacted aggressively not to the Maidan,” the director of military programs at the Razumkov Center in Kyiv says, “but to the possibility that Ukraine would go along a European path of development.” Moscow has used various methods to try to prevent that (glavred.info/mir/deystviya-rossii-protiv-ukrainy-nachalis-s-1991-go-goda-voennyy-ekspert-439107.html).
Indeed, Mr. Sungurovsky says, “attempts at destabilizing and weakening Ukraine from the inside have not ceased over the course of its entire period of independence” – a conclusion for which there is “official confirmation.” As Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of Ukraine, said, “Russian policy always was and always will be anti-Ukrainian.”
Moreover, the Kyiv military analyst continues, Moscow has used a variety of tactics across the former Soviet space, ranging from propaganda directed at the post-Soviet countries and to that directed at the West up to and including the so-called “frozen conflicts” in Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine (glavred.info/chat/nikolay-sungurovskiy-435683.html).