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Russian President Vladimir Putin has been ringing propaganda-laced alarm bells concerning the U.S.-led NATO alliance. Putin portrays it because the “enemy” at Russia’s gates, threatening the besieged motherland — which solely Putin can defend.
But the alliance is as an alternative comprised of Russia’s sovereign, free, democratic neighbors dedicated to the ideas of freedom and liberty, every decided to counter Russia’s financial predation and nefarious political affect — which most threaten Putin’s regime safety.
What scares Vladimir Putin probably the most? It’s all the time been democracy, particularly within the former Soviet Union, whose collapse Putin as soon as known as “the best geopolitical disaster of the century.”
RUSSIA-UKRAINE CRISIS – IT’S TIME FOR BIDEN TO SURPRISE PUTIN
That is why Ukraine has been underneath siege with growing depth from the Kremlin’s cyber, financial and navy assaults since 2014 when Russia started backing separatists in Ukraine’s Donbas area with navy and materials help and illegally annexed Crimea. Nothing threatens Putin’s regime safety greater than Ukraine, a democratic neighbor with a vivid financial future and sizable Russian-speaking inhabitants.
In a throwback to an eerily related justification Hitler used to annex the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, Putin justified the Crimea referendum and his choice this week to ship troops thinly disguised as “peacekeepers” ostensibly to defend Ukraine’s ethnically Russian inhabitants.
Russia’s aggression has solely elevated NATO’s dedication to mutual protection, with commensurate troop and navy gear deployments to probably the most weak NATO members on Russia’s border. In Putin’s world, a robust NATO in battle with Russia lends credibility to his propaganda fantasy that solely he, the KGB operative within the Kremlin, can defend Russia from Russia’s pernicious enemies.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine shall be expensive to Russia’s financial system when it comes to misplaced commerce, sanctions, and vital finances sources dedicated to the Donbas area simply as there was for Crimea together with constructing the Kerch straight bridge in addition to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
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But for Russia, which reportedly misplaced 1% of its GDP because of sanctions the West levied in 2014, guaranteeing Putin’s regime safety is price the associated fee — even when it makes Russia extra subservient to China for imports of its hydrocarbons. And all the higher if the Ukraine disaster leads to larger oil and gasoline costs, which might offset a few of these losses.
Make no mistake, Putin is concentrating on at the beginning Ukraine’s territorial integrity but additionally by extension the EU, NATO, and most particularly Russia’s “Main Enemy” the United States. Putin desires to reveal that the West is an unreliable ally, who failed to stop Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea; large cyber-attacks on Ukraine’s media, electrical energy grid, and authorities ministries; and repeated violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
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Putin can’t permit Ukraine to succeed as a democracy, which might function a beacon of hope and inspiration for his personal home opponents who’re denied primary civil liberties together with freedom of expression and meeting. Putin’s long-term goal is the destruction of Ukraine as a state.
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