Monday, September 1, 2014
Putin’s War Won’t Stop in Ukraine and Eastern Europe
More evidence is surfacing about Putin’s intentions to expand his war beyond Ukraine and even Eastern Europe.
Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said recently on The World Tonight program on BBC Radio 4, that after launching war against Ukraine, Putin will not stop in Poland or the Baltics, He could even continue to Western Europe.
“Putin believes that he is the president in wartime. And he will make every effort to keep Ukraine out of NATO, so that in its territory there aren’t American or other western soldiers. He supports militants in eastern Ukraine because of that – it’s the only card he can play,” said Trenin.
Recently, other pundits have made similar observations.
According to the UK’s Independent, Andrej Illarionov, Putin’s chief economic adviser from 2000 to 2005, Putin seeks to create “historical justice” with a return to the days of the last Tsar, Nicholas II, and the Soviet Union under Stalin. What The Torn Curtain 1991 has referred to as Russia’s manifest destiny.
Speaking to the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Illarionov warned that Russia will argue that the granting of independence to Finland in 1917 was an act of “treason against national interests.”
“Putin’s view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors,” Illarionov said. “Parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland are states where Putin claims to have ownership.
And then there’s Zhirinovsky, the outspoken Russian chauvinist and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), who a few weeks ago spewed a series of threats against the x-captive nations.
Zhirinovsky, a deputy speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, not only threatened those countries, he also suggested launching pre-emptive strikes against Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as Poland. He justified the remarks by suggesting that Russia “cannot allow” peripheral nations’ missile defenses and air forces to be within striking distance of Russia, and that Russia should seek to destroy them “a half hour before they launch,” according to the Euromaidan website.
As for the latest threat to world peace and stability, Trenin cautioned the free world about Putin’s objectives, saying that everyone should be concerned by his saber rattling.
“If the situation really comes to war, I do not think that all will end only in Ukraine. Others in Europe, I mean outside the Baltics and Eastern Europe, will suffer from this war,” he said.
Trenin added that Western sanctions will not halt Putin because his designs are “not about the investment climate, but rather they’re more existential issues.”
US and NATO intelligence officers must not belittle these experts’ opinions. It would be folly if they didn’t advise their political leaders about the danger of these threats and to undertake appropriate military preparations.