Putin is shocked by western sanctions.
The statement was made in Warsaw by Mikhail Kasyanov, a former Russian prime minister and leader of Russian opposition, RFE/RL reports.
According to him, Vladimir Putin received a “mandate for aggression against Ukraine in 2008 after the war with Georgia”. He thinks that the West's “toothless policy, factually, gave Putin a free hand”. “What is Putin's aim towards Ukraine? Of course, the main aim is to preserve his power inside the country. To do it, he needs the external enemy and victorious wars,” Kasyanov added.
Kasyanov thinks the unified position of the EU, the EU and Canada could be the greatest help to Ukraine in its current confrontation with Russia. “These countries should repeatedly remind everyone about the illegal annexation of Crimea and seek the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine,” he is confident.
Kasyanov states that “Putin is shocked by the sanctions imposed by western countries”. “The Kremlin hoped the West would swallow the aggression against Ukraine as it was with Georgia. The Russian president, a foster son of the KGB, thinks everything in the world can be bought. He doesn't believe such values as human rights, freedom and democracy are really important for western politicians. Putin worries. He is shocked that even Germany's Angela Merkel approved the sanctions, though he was paying so much attention to her by granting profitable contracts to German companies,” the former Russian PM noted.
“We de facto see all signs of the regime that is being transformed from the authoritarian regime to the one with elements of fascism. It resembles so much the regimes of Mussolini and Franco,” Kasyanov said.
Speaking about the most probable developments in Russia, Kasyanov called two scenarios. “One of them, which I consider to be the most terrible and unacceptable, is extending the signs of the fascist regime in Russia. I hope this terrible scenario will never come true. The second one is that Putin is not mad and should understand his bluff and risky undertakings lead to his defeat, so he needs to look for a strategy to solve the situation,” he said.
Kasyanov forecasts that the signs of the economic collapse of Russia will appear at the end of the year. “The western sanctions speed up the deep crisis in the Russian Federation. The future of the Russian state will be defined in the nearest 1.5-2 years. A tendency leading to the breakup of the federation may appear,” he added.