Security expert: Putin fears losing Ukraine war
The dogged resistance of the Ukrainians in the fact of the unprovoked assault on their country by Vladimir Putin's forces and which started last Thursday has been a shock to the Russian leader, who has reason to fear an overall defeat, security expert and Reform Party MP Eerik-Niiles Kross said, in an interview given to ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) Sunday, which follows.
What is your assessment of the current situation?
If any word such as "positive" could be applied at all in this situation, it could be said that today and yesterday, the situation in Ukraine has been much better than at the beginning of the war.
Russia is clearly bogged down in its attack. Apparently, they had hoped that Ukraine would succumb to the pressure where if you have 200,000 men, terrible weapons and an invincible Russian army coming, resistance would fizzle out.
It seems they cannot comprehend that the Ukrainian people wanted their freedom, and would resist and be able to make their own choices.
What will happen next, given Putin's order on Sunday to bring nuclear forces to a heightened level of readiness, and the potential negotiations on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border?
I wouldn't overstate either. The West tends to forget that Putin uses the nuclear weapons threat quite lightly. Although veiled, this has happened before. He had to do something, the sanctions were tougher than he probably expected. And he needs to give an impression of strength.
I have also been asked whether there will be a nuclear strike now - I do not recommend that it be too much to fear. Putin fears a war he knows he will lose. In the case of Ukraine, he thought he would win, and that situation has not changed. He knows very well that he will not be able to defeat NATO, and he will not take any risks.
What will happen in the coming days?
The proposed negotiations , I am almost certain, are a ruse, just for impressions and to buy the Russians time to regroup. There will be no such development in the first instance, and the fighting will continue.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte