Anyway, now Russia is threatening Ukraine with nuclear strikes if Ukraine continues to resist the Russian invasion that can no longer be hidden.
From The Interpreter:
Interfax-Ukraine reports that Valeriy Heletey, the Ukrainian defence minister, has written on his Facebook page that Russia has lost its "hybrid war" against Ukraine. Instead a conventional war has now begun.
Heletey also said that Russia had, off record, threatened Ukraine with the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
Interfax-Ukraine reports (translated by The Interpreter):
"Russia has lost its hybrid war in Ukraine. Our armed forces have confidently pushed back the gangs of Russian mercenaries and killed the saboteurs and special forces operatives. That is why the Kremlin has been forced to jump to a full-scale invasion of the Donbass with regular troops. Today we already dealing with divisions and regiments. Tomorrow it might be the corps itself," wrote the head of the Ministry of Defence on his Facebook page on Monday.
According to him, the operation to liberate eastern Ukraine "from the terrorists" is over. "We urgently need to build up our defence against Russia, which is attempting to not only gain a foothold in areas previously occupied by the terrorists, but also to advance into other areas of Ukraine," affirms V. Heletey.
He stressed that "a great war has come to Ukraine, the likes of which Europe has not seen since the time of the Second World War," and also expressed an opinion that the losses "will run not into the hundreds, but the thousands, even tens of thousands." In addition, the minister said that, according to unofficial channels, the Russian side has threatened several times that "in the event of continued resistance, they are prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons against us."
V. Heletey also said that, in order to survive, Ukraine needs the "full consolidation of all available forces." He also described calls for the dismissal of the chief of the General Staff, Viktor Muzhenko, "a Russian provocation," noting that this head of the Ukrainian General Staff has been "the architect of Ukrainian victories in the east."
"Were it not for the Russian invasion, we would have completed the active phase of the ATO by early October, liberating the entire area," said the minister.
This "hybrid war" that Russia has lost is mentioned here: Russia's Slow Motion Invasion Of Ukraine. The writer believes that rather than a new form of warfare, Russia has merged new tactics with the old Soviet strategy of Maskirovka:
...Putin's particular style of deception recalls the Soviet strategy of Maskirovka (masking), which was developed in the 1920s and defined by the Soviet Military Encyclopedia as "complex measures to mislead the enemy regarding the presence and disposition of forces, military objectives, combat readiness and plans."
"[T]he idea is to create political uncertainty and ambiguity in order to make it hard for an enemy to know how to respond militarily," Stephen Badsey, a professor of conflict studies at the University of Wolverhampton in the U.K., told me by email.
During the Cold War, the Soviets hatched scenarios for making incursions into Western Europe that in many ways resemble Russia's behavior in Ukraine—"for example, a fire-engine crew crossing into West Berlin to help with a fire, followed by police, followed by soldiers, who then refuse to go," Badsey said. "Putin learned all this as basic early in his career, as did all his generals."
In drawing on these decades-old techniques, he added, Russia has now pulled off the "first ever opposed but successful seizure of territory of one UN member by another since the UN's foundation in 1945," leaving the U.S. and its Western allies "confused and uncertain as to how to respond."
Ultimately, Russia's invasion/incursion/aggression/staycation in Ukraine isn't quite Maskirovka, and it's not an entirely new breed of warfare. It is, perhaps, new tactics in the service of an old strategy. It's a "total system of measures designed to deceive and confuse the enemy," as one U.S. military study described Maskirovka in 1981. But it's also the sleek, social media-savvy propaganda campaigns of Russian news outlets like RT.
With that last point, on the "sleek, social media-savvy propaganda campaigns of Russian news outlets like RT", note that the Russian media is also expanding in Europe (Russia Ramps Up Information War in Europe).
Meanwhile, protesting against the war against the Ukranians will get you arrested in Russia.
The video above shows a whole lot of young Russian men being interviewed about the war. At the end, several women holding up signs against the war were taken away.