Vladimir Putin’s Broader ‘European Security’ Plans Exposed: ‘He Wants Former Soviet States’ | World | News
Boris Johnson outlines NATO support for Ukraine against Russia
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the next few days will likely be the “most dangerous moment” in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. His words came as Foreign Minister Liz Truss traveled to Moscow to meet her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. There she accused Russia of “cold war” rhetoric as the country continues to muster troops along its shared border with Ukraine, with the number now totaling more than 100,000.
Many have claimed for years that Russia wants to reclaim and restore its power over the territories it held under the Soviet Union.
There were 15 states that made up the Soviet republics, representing a considerable part of Europe and Asia: Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
In 1991, however, the Soviet Union dissolved following the collapse of its communist government, and these Soviet states gained independence – although many continued to install rulers closely aligned with the old regime.
Today Professor Julian Lindley-French, an internationally renowned strategic analyst and defense adviser who has worked with NATO, argued that reclaiming these former Soviet states is exactly what Putin wants to do, but by all means other than war.
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He told Express.co.uk that the current events in Ukraine were “part of Putin’s wider European security strategy” – first seizing Ukraine and then turning Belarus into a puppet state.
Professor Lindley-French said: “It would then influence the states in the Black Sea region and even compel NATO and EU countries like the Baltic states, like Finland, like Bulgaria and Romania .
“Regardless of their EU and NATO affiliations, Russia would have demonstrated that it can achieve its goals to compel other countries to do what it wants, to comply with its goals.”
When asked if he thought Russia wanted its former territories back, he said: “The key word here is recovery: as far as President Putin is concerned, a lot of it is about his legacy.
“He’s a man who was a lieutenant colonel in the KGB when the Berlin Wall came down; he feels that Russia has been humiliated.
“So yes, he would like to re-establish what he describes as a buffer, which is actually a sphere of influence over much of the area around his border, from Norway to the North Cape to the Chinese border.
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Vladimir Putin: The Russian president pictured at the Beijing Winter Olympics earlier this month
“It doesn’t do this directly through the use of military power, however, it does through what I call 5D warfare, which is a complex and strategic means of coercing your enemies; it combines disinformation, deception, destabilization and disturbance.
“What he wants is compliant governments in those capitals of the countries around Russia, whether it’s Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Ukraine or anywhere, that will do this. that he wants.
“He will use any means necessary, except war with NATO, to achieve this.”
Over the past decade, Putin’s moves have hinted that he wants to restore the old power base.
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In 2008, Russia invaded two self-declared republics – South Ossetia and Abkhazia – in Georgia, which it continues to occupy today, and in 2014 annexed Crimea to Ukraine.
Last month, Moscow quickly deployed troops to help the government of Kazakhstan quell what initially looked like the start of a civil war.
Despite widespread condemnations of the buildup of troops on the border with Ukraine, Russia denies plans to invade.
He says he is defending himself against NATO’s eastward expansion.
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Ukraine has not yet been officially admitted to NATO, which was established in 1949 to promote democratic values and cooperate on defense and security issues.
Currently, it is one of NATO’s “Enhanced Opportunity Partners”, which is granted to non-member nations that have “made significant contributions to NATO-led operations and missions”.
Putin says he views Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO as a threat to Russia’s borders and sphere of influence.
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Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have already joined NATO and are all part of the EU.
In December last year, Mr Putin said that Russia would ask the United States and its allies for “reliable and long-term security guarantees” “that would rule out any further movement by NATO to the east. and the deployment of weapon systems that threaten us near Russian territory”. .”