As time goes by, it continues to appear probable that Russia is preparing for some level of military activity in the eastern Ukraine. What is not yet certain is the extent. Will Russia decide on a limited operation centered on a small number of objectives? Or perhaps a largescale infusion of men and material into the eastern Ukraine to prepare the separatists fighters for the next phase of the conflict. Of course, there’s the ever-present possibility of Russia deciding the time is right to launch a major offensive aimed at defeating Ukraine militarily and repositioning nation-state permanently back under Kremlin control, and in the Russian sphere of influence.

Before hostilities can commence, Russia has some matters to attend to first. Foremost is making certain it has a justifiable provocation in hand at the moment the first troops cross the border. History has demonstrated countless instances of false flag operations undertaken on the part of the aggressor to create a casus belli blanket for their upcoming military operations. The Gleiwitz incident and the Shelling of Mainila are two well known such operations from World War II. At present, Russia is working to create an escalation of the fighting in eastern Ukraine to bring about grounds for an intervention. Whether or not the escalation is the result of a design matters  little. The sharp rise in tension will culminate in a false flag type of event that creates the illusion of the situation in eastern Ukraine teetering on the brink. It is at that moment when Russian military forces will make their appearance. No sooner.

The timeline for the escalation and provocation will be determined by the Russian military buildup. It will not occur until the troops are in place and prepared to move. By most indications, Russian forces are not quite there yet. More time is needed. However, when the troops are ready, events will occur rapidly. From the point in time when the provocation becomes a reality to the moment the balloon goes up, a period of 24-36 hours will have passed, at most.

The false flag provocation will undoubtedly be centered somewhere in eastern Ukraine or, to rise the emotions of Russian citizens, at a point in Russia, not very far from the Ukrainian border.

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