Russian aggression: Will Putin start a full-scale war in Ukraine?
Oleh Belokolos Oleh Belokolos Ukrainian foreign affairs expert

14:10 Sep. 8, 2016

Will Putin start a full-scale war in Ukraine?

Russia-backed rebel tanks with a flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, move to storage during the withdrawal of weapons near Novoazovsk, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo)

Ukrainian political expert Oleh Belokolos on the possibility of full-scale Russian invasion and its consequences

Today the Internet and the global media actively discuss the issue of a possible Russian full-scale military aggression against Ukraine.
Certainly, it is highly probable that along with the others, such plan is being considered in the Kremlin. The proof, in fact, can be found in the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation approved by President Putin on December 31, 2015.
In particular, the document states that the actions of "the US and its allies," including NATO, are a threat to Russia; "the anti- constitutional coup" took place in Ukraine with the "support of the US and the European Union", and that Ukraine "becomes a hotbed of instability in Europe directly at the Russian borders." That document also allows, albeit with some limitations, "the use of the military force to protect the national interests."

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A number of experts correctly point out that a full-scale war with Ukraine and the subsequent confrontation with the West can eventually destroy the Russian economy and the existing power structure there. However, in my opinion, the situation and its internal logic are somewhat more complex than that.

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To be fair, the assumption that Putin can be using the war solely as an instrument of blackmail can be completely valid. However, I would like to caution everyone against simplifying the situation because the head of the Russian state likes to act boldly and unconventionally and because the overwhelming danger for him is the weakening or the loss of his personal power. And in order to preserve it, the Master of the Kremlin is clearly ready to resort to any scenario.


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