Putin’s Long-Term Plan to Take Ukraine: The Horrifying Full Story | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Putin’s Long-Term Plan to Take Ukraine: The Horrifying Full Story

Military journalist and Putin watcher Buntaro Kuroi's analysis of the situation and warnings

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is just the beginning. Unveiling Putin’s “grand ambitions” Photo: REX/Afro

The crisis in Ukraine began in April 2021, when Putin’s regime suddenly launched a 100,000-strong military contingent into the Ukrainian border region. This was followed by a meeting between President Putin and President Biden in June of the same year, but no reconciliation was reached, and the two sides continued to engage in naval standoffs in the Mediterranean Sea.

From October 2021 onward, the Russian military again deployed 100,000 troops to the Ukrainian border. In addition, in December of the same year, the Russians suddenly came out with demands such as “a commitment not to expand NATO,” and tensions rose dramatically.

Self-justification” with self-serving arguments

While making these demands, President Putin threatened to take “military countermeasures” if the hostile policies of the West continued unabated, on the grounds that “the blame lies with the United States and NATO, which have not kept their promise of non-expansion of NATO, but have expanded eastward and posed a threat to Russia’s security. It should be noted that Russia’s promise of non-expansion of NATO does not exist, and Russia is just saying so on its own.

In any case, the “crisis created by Russia” from the beginning has been kept in a high state of tension by Russia, and has continued to the present.

Since then, there have been ongoing negotiations between Russia and the U.S., Germany, France, and other countries, but the Russian military has maintained a state of readiness on a scale that would allow it to invade at any time. In the meantime, President Putin has consistently refused to withdraw his demands and has shown no inclination to compromise in any way.

In the first place, President Putin has not hidden his ambitions, and he has proudly stated that he wants to remove NATO’s influence from Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Originally, Putin believed that the retreat of the Soviet sphere of influence since the end of the Cold War was itself a big mistake, and he has proposed the restoration of the sphere of influence.

Why Ukraine is so “important

Of all the regions that President Putin hasn’t gotten to, Ukraine is the most important.

Putin’s regime controls the media and the Internet, spreading propaganda of nationalism and hostility to the West, “brainwashing” the people, so to speak, to ensure high approval ratings, while democrats opposed to the regime Democrats who oppose the regime are suppressed by state violence, including the troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The most unfavorable situation for Putin’s regime is the penetration of Western humanitarianism, such as democracy and human rights protection, into Russia. It would be nice if there was a bulwark to stop the penetration of democracy from Europe.

From a geopolitical point of view, one of them is Belarus, which is even more autocratic than Russia. The country has been completely under Russian influence, especially since the suppression of the pro-democracy movement the year before last. Belarus, especially since the suppression of the pro-democracy movement the year before last, has come completely under Russia’s influence. That leaves Ukraine.

Russia gained control of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 through a heavy-handed military intervention. Since then, public opinion in Ukraine has rapidly turned anti-Russian, and has turned completely toward the West, which is extremely inconvenient for the Putin regime. Putin’s interests still lie in bringing the whole of Ukraine into Russia’s sphere of control.

Putin must have been looking for an opportunity to do so for a long time, and after the Biden administration, which came into power in 2021, showed signs of hesitation, such as its withdrawal from Afghanistan, he probably anticipated that the U.S. would not take effective countermeasures and decided to play this time. The results are yet to be seen, but in any case, the Biden administration has not been able to counterattack at all, and has been concentrating on how to appease Russia. The whole situation is under the control of President Putin.

The Source of Putin’s “National Ambition

In July 2021, President Putin published a paper emphasizing the unity of Ukraine and Russia and rejecting any interference by countries outside the region. In a manner of speaking, he declared that “Ukraine is Russia’s turf,” which will be used as a self-justification for President Putin’s actions in the future.

In this way, Putin’s aim is not merely to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, or even to gain autonomy for the pro-Russian-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine. Of course, while calculating the risks and costs to Russia, Putin will cunningly use a variety of means to advance the situation, but his goal is to “take” the whole of Ukraine.

Moreover, its ambition is not limited to simply controlling Ukraine. Putin’s regime is rapidly deepening its ties with China’s Xi Jinping regime, which in turn has brought together the pro-Russian “Collective Security Treaty Organization” member states of Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, as well as the anti-American and anti-German regimes of various regions, including Iran’s Khamenei regime, Syria’s Assad regime, Venezuela’s Maduro regime, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un regime. In other words, in the larger sense of the word, the “West” is the anti-democracy camp.

In other words, in the larger sense of the word, President Putin’s main goal is to “fight the West,” and at the forefront of this is the elimination of NATO’s influence in Eastern Europe. This may seem like an overly grandiose ambition, but at a time when the U.S. has abandoned its role as the “world’s police” and China, another anti-U.S. ally, is rapidly strengthening its influence, it represents a realistic opportunity for President Putin. Putin’s fight is to “rebuild” Russia as a great power by “recreating the Cold War. We must not underestimate the danger.

The here and now is not the only battlefield.

On February 18, it became clear that Russia had conveyed new demands to the United States and NATO. In addition to the existing commitments to non-expansion of NATO, the demands have escalated further to include suspension of NATO-Ukraine exercises, suspension of arms transfers, and withdrawal of U.S. troops from all of Central and Eastern Europe, including the Baltic states.

Even if the negotiations continue to drag on, or if the armed conflict is initially limited to the region, that will not be the end of the story. Putin’s ambitions are grandiose, and we must be prepared for the fact that his plans will be long-term.

  • Reporting and writing by Fumitaro Kuroi photo REX/Afro

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