Due to the possibility of Russian troops capturing Kiev the US has reportedly planned for a government-in-exile and guerrilla war in Ukraine if Zelensky gets captured or killed.
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According to a Washington Post report on Saturday, the US and its allies are covertly working on “contingency plans” in case Russian forces succeed in their operation in Ukraine and push the existing leadership into exile.
The possibility of Russian troops capturing Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, has prompted “a flurry of planning” in the US State Department, according to the media site. The weapons that the US and its allies are currently feeding into Ukraine are expected to be employed during the lengthy insurgency that is expected to follow.
According to sources, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will serve as “the pivotal force” uniting Ukrainians to continue battling Russia.
“We’re doing contingency planning now for every possibility,” a US administration official told the Washington Post, noting that one possibility is for Zelensky to set up a government-in-exile in Poland.
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According to NBC News, a group of House conservatives met with Robert O’Brien, the former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, on Friday, who pushed them to back Zelensky’s government regardless of where it relocates.
“We should recognize them as a government in exile, in Warsaw or in London,” O’Brien said after the meeting, “and we ought to refer to Ukraine as occupied Ukraine,”
According to NBC, lawmakers in Washington feel Zelensky’s continued presence in Ukraine has “substantial value,” including a “political advantage,” “optics advantage,” and “morale advantage,” but not if his life is in danger.
Another aspect of the strategy is to arm and fund a future insurgency, which the US refers to as a “pro-independence” insurgency. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio), both members of the House Intelligence Committee, are presently advocating for bipartisan legislation forcing the Biden administration to draft an insurgent support strategy, according to NBC.
“We have to make sure that they are equipped with lethal and non-lethal assistance, as well as intelligence, to fight off the Russians,” Krishnamoorthi said on Friday to NBC News.
Representative Seth Moulton (D-Massachusetts), a former Marine Corps combat commander who served in Iraq and just visited Ukraine, recommends arming Ukrainian guerrilla fighters with small guns, ammo, and explosives. He told the Washington Post, “Think about the kinds of things that would be used by saboteurs as opposed to an army repelling a frontal invasion.”
The Biden administration has made no official statements about suspected preparations to back a Ukrainian insurrection. According to the Washington Post, US and NATO officials are hesitant to officially back such proposals for fear of provoking a direct confrontation with Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin equated Western nations’ hefty sanctions against Russia for its operation on Ukraine to a “declaration of war” on Saturday.
So far, Russia’s military action, which began on February 24, has evoked widespread condemnation in the West, with the US and its allies slamming Moscow with unprecedented sanctions aimed at its finances, banking sector, aviation, and space industry.
Moscow claims its intrusion of Ukraine is aimed at “demilitarizing” and “denazifying” Ukraine, as well as protecting the people of the Donbass republics, which it recently recognized. Kiev claims the invasion was unprovoked and that it has no intention of retaking the rebel areas of Donetsk and Lugansk by force.