"I am convinced that if Kiev, semi-trained as it may be by American and other Western soldiers, launches an all-out offensive on Donbass, that the Kiev army as presently constituted… will either be dramatically defeated or destroyed. There won't be any army anymore.
It is no match for thirty thousand rebel soldiers who are defending their territory… who have at their rear their moms, their pops, their kids, their grannies. They are defending their homeland," Professor Cohen underscored.
Sputnik with the key excerpts from Stephen Cohen's last interview on the John Batchelor Show
(Sputnik) - There are growing signs that Kiev may soon launch an offensive against the two breakaway republics in Donbass, professor of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University Stephen F. Cohen emphasizes.
Stephen F. Cohen emphasized that despite Western media labelling the Donbass independence supporters as Russia's "proxies," trying to deprive them of humanity, the people of eastern Ukraine are not attacking, but defending their homes.
But why is Kiev considering escalating its military operation in the East? There are three possible reasons, according to the scholar.
The first possibility is that the Kiev regime understands that it is in a dire political situation, and a renewed military campaign is seen as the only way reignite support from the country.
The second possibility is that Kiev does not want to follow the Minsk II agreement's provisions under any circumstances. And if it does not want to negotiate, it has to fight. "So it's a way of avoiding Minsk," the professor noted.
"And the third possibility… is that Kiev is being pressed by forces in the West to launch this offensive.
And one piece of evidence that might support this is that more and more it appears the US, Canada, Australia and England are sending trainers to Ukraine no longer to train the battalions, the so-called National Guard, but to train the regular army," Professor Cohen highlighted.
The scholar underscored that if Kiev attacks "almost certainly" the Ukrainian army will be crushed by the independence supporters.
"If that is the prospect the danger is that the United States and NATO will step in," the professor warned, adding that the NATO intervention could trigger a domino effect engaging the Kremlin against its own will in the military conflict.
"Then the United States and NATO would need to react and then we would be basically at war with Russia. And 'at war' means two nations who have nuclear weapons… So that is catastrophic possibility," he added.
Professor Cohen noted that he believes that Kiev will not make such an insane move, but there is still a possibility that it will.
And it is really alarming, the professor stressed, since "the consequences of an attempt by Kiev to take Donbass by force could lead to a direct American-Russian war."