WHAT TO DO IF THE KREMLIN CHOOSES ESCALATION IN UKRAINE?
The West may want to start thinking what to do when the Donetsk and Luhansk so-called People’s Republics start shooting Ukrainian POWs, as they have threatened. Kyiv will have to react. Nationalist volunteer battalions may leave MoD/MoI control and go for rescue or/and retaliation missions. Ukrainian intrusions into the occupied territories could give Moscow a pretext to officially send troops into the Donbas. Worse, the Kremlin may start using its far superior air force against Ukrainian troops. In the worst case, it could do so outside the Donbas and against civilian targets – as in August 2008 when Russian fighter bombers attacked Georgian residential areas in Gori, outside of South Ossetia (and, oddly, Stalin’s birthplace), before occupying the city briefly.