With the annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts, Russian leader Vladimir Putin wants everything to appear legally correct, in order to justify use all available means against Ukraine, says communication expert, film director and reserve officer Ilmar Raag. Raag, who is also an advisory board member of the NGO "Slava Ukraini!" was speaking on ETV current affairs show "Ringvaade."
"It should be taken into account here that Putin is a lawyer by education (He studied law at Leningrad State University - ed.), and he likes everything to appear legally correct. It is important for him, that these oblasts, which (he is now claiming to be) part of Russia, provide him with the legal basis to use all possible means to repel Ukrainian attacks, including (the potential use of) tactical nuclear weapons," Raag told "Ringvaade."
On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Friday that Ukraine had applied for NATO membership. According to Raag, this was a direct response to Putin's announcement that Russia had annexed swaths of Ukrainian territory.
"As the stakes have been raised, Zelenskyy, who said as recently as March that, Ukraine was ready to give up on NATO membership, is now saying 'this is our chance, we will apply for it.' One of the reasons is, that now if Putin should want to use a nuclear weapon (in Ukraine), it would be considered as an attack on the entire NATO bloc, and this can no longer remain a small, localized war. If that happens, it would mean a huge war, in which very many people would suffer," Raag said.
Raag also said, there is plenty of evidence on the ground in Ukraine, in the form of photographs and videos, to show that the so-called accession referendums in the four oblasts were by no means legitimate.
On Monday, 'Slava Ukraini!' a non-governmental charity organization, which supplies medical equipment and aid to Ukraine, and of which Ilmar Raag is a member, will launch a fundraising campaign in Estonia to buy winter uniforms for 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers serving on the front line.
Editor: Michael Cole