by Soeren Kern
- Those who believe Putin is trying to reestablish Russia as a great power say that once he gains control over Ukraine, he will turn his focus to other former Soviet republics, including the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and eventually Bulgaria, Romania and even Poland.
- “The Eurasian Empire will be constructed on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, the strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us.” — Aleksandr Dugin, Russian strategist, “Foundation of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia.”
- “Make no mistake: For #Putin it’s not about EU or NATO, it is about his mission to restore Russian empire. No more, no less. #Ukraine is just a stage, NATO is just one irritant. But the ultimate goal is Russian hegemony in Europe.” — Jan Behrends, German historian.
- “Normally wars that take place between states are about conflicts they have between them. Yet this is a war about the existence of one state, which is denied by the aggressor. That’s why the usual concepts of peacemaking — finding a compromise — do not a apply. If Ukraine continues to exist as a sovereign state, Putin will have lost. He is not interested in territorial gain as such — it’s rather a burden for him. He is only interested in controlling the entire country. Everything else for him is defeat.” — Ulrich Speck, German geopolitical analyst.
- “Because the primary threat to Putin and his autocratic regime is democracy, not NATO, that perceived threat would not magically disappear with a moratorium on NATO expansion. Putin would not stop seeking to undermine democracy and sovereignty in Ukraine, Georgia, or the region as a whole if NATO stopped expanding.” — Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, and Robert Person, a professor at the United States Military Academy.
- “I don’t think that this war is about NATO; I don’t think this war is about Ukrainian people or the EU or even about Ukraine; this war is about starting a war in order to stay in power. Putin is a dictator, and he’s a dictator whose intention is to stay in power until the end of his natural life. He said to himself that the writing’s on the wall for him unless he does something dramatic. Putin is just thinking short-term … ‘how do I stay in power from this week to the next? And then next week to the next?'” — Bill Browder, American businessman and head, Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign.