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‘Three Things Make Putin's Plans Impossible’

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‘Three Things Make Putin's Plans Impossible’

The Kremlin suddenly shifted its attention away from the Ukrainian border.

Putin was "re-elected" in Russia. Will the Kremlin then escalate the conflict with the West?

Charter97.org spoke about this with Oleksandr Musiyenko, a well-known political expert and head of the Ukrainian Center for Military and Legal Studies:

— The Kremlin may well decide on this. I have said before that Russia's activity around the Baltic states and certain movements in Belarus indicate that Putin is considering such a scenario.

First of all, Lithuania is under threat now. This is evidenced by the combat readiness check conducted by Lukashenka 15 km from the border with Lithuania. He suddenly shifted his attention from the Ukrainian border there. I will add here statements about nuclear weapons in Belarus.

All this suggests that Russia is seriously considering the scenario of a direct conflict. As one of the scenarios, the Russians may try to break into Lithuania and bring Iskanders with nuclear warheads there.

This is a serious challenge to NATO. Occupation of the Baltic states is not the main goal here. The goal is different: to force the Western countries to sit down at the "negotiating table" and accept the Russian conditions. This is a very dangerous scenario.

Many analysts logically believe that Russia may not be ready for this now. It needs to increase its military power. But the fact is that Putin quite often acts irrationally, going against logic. This has happened more than once.

Therefore, it is necessary to consider all scenarios, even the most threatening ones. This makes it possible to prepare more effectively and make these scenarios impossible.

There are three elements to prevent Putin from implementing his plans: improved support for Ukraine; transfer of additional troops and weapons to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland; and intensive and frequent exercises of the eastern flank of NATO.

— French President Macron not only allowed the introduction of NATO troops into the territory of Ukraine but also voiced the specific conditions for this step. Now the topic of the deployment of French troops in Ukraine is actively discussed on French TV channels. How painful is this position of the authorities of a nuclear state for the Kremlin?

— Very painful. Putin did not expect such a reaction. He believes that only he can play for escalation and raise the stakes. It turned out that they could play this "game" together.

Macron confused Putin by doing two things. First, by mobilizing the West's attention to Ukraine. Secondly, stating that it is necessary to send troops to Ukraine in case. This discouraged Putin. In addition, the Russian army did not achieve the expected result and suffered heavy losses on the battlefield.

Against this background, Russia decided to launch a check of the combat readiness of the Belarusian army near the border with Lithuania.

— Yesterday, the U.S. presidential candidate from the Republicans, Donald Trump, said that the United States would stay in NATO in the event of his victory and promised to help Europe in the event of an attack. What does this change of rhetoric mean?

— Nothing unexpected. I have already said that we should take Trump’s election statements easier.

Yes, they have weight, but Trump is a person with media experience and a powerful team around him. He deserves tribute, he is a master of making such statements that the world media will discuss for two months. This is a talent.

I will say that Trump has told the absolute truth: the United States will not leave NATO with him. The U.S. cannot go into isolation. After all, businesses are operating around the world, political, economic interests, and so on.

Trump has now made a responsible statement. This is evidence, I repeat, that it is not necessary to perceive his statements during the election campaign alarmingly.

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