Staunton, August 16 – Russia under Vladimir Putin is “a deeply ill country which does not have the chance to realize its imperial ambitions,” according to Andrey Zubov. But because Putin is trying to do just that, he is at risk of losing everything: his own popularity, control over Ukraine, and the Russian military-industrial complex which is deeply dependent on Ukraine.
In a wide-ranging interview with Artem Dekhtyarenko of Kyiv’s Apostrophe portal, the Russina historian says that the fundamental weakness of Russia is what sets Putin’s country today apart from Nazi Germany 75 years ago (apostrophe.com.ua/article/politics/2015-08-16/peregovoryi-ob-uhode-rossii-s-donbassa-uje-idut-istorik-iz-rf/2091
LNR and DNR will cease their existence very quickly.”
And Russia will leave because it does not want to suffer further sanctions and become a large North Korea. According to Zubov, “unofficial talks are going on about this now.” Their task is simple: how can Russia leave without losing face. “But apparently, it won’t be able to do so without losing face.” Thus, Ukraine will have to show great tact in dealing with the situation.
Putin wasn’t prepared for all this because he had not prepared for war. Indeed, Zubov says, “no one seriously thought about war even in Soviet times, and when Khrushchev attempted to do something in Cuba in 1962, he was immediately removed. Everyone understands that nuclear war is impossible. Therefore Russia only uses this as a threat.”
Zubov says that in his view, Putin launched his aggression in Ukraine for three reasons: to boost his popularity, to keep Ukraine from leaving the Russian sphere of influence, and to ensure that Russia’s military-industrial complex would not suffer given the importance of Ukrainian plants for its operation.
But because he miscalculated, the Kremlin leader “has lost everything.”