Edward Lucas: Putin's choice is between the dacha and the graveyard

Photo: Julius Kalinskas / SCANPIX

U.K. analyst Edward Lucas said on the "Ukraina stuudio" talk show that while President Zelenskyy's London visit is landmark, Ukraine should first be given fighter jets they already know how to fly.

Lucas said that it would take years to train Ukrainian pilots on Tornadoes, and that it would make more sense to give them MiG fighters they already know how to operate or U.S. F-16 jets, which have a much shorter learning curve.

"Poland offered to give MiGs ten months ago, while the United States vetoed it," Lucas said, adding that the West is terribly late in terms of sufficient military aid for Ukraine.

Asked what he thinks of the Kremlin's suggestion that the lines between Western aid for Ukraine and its direct participation are becoming blurred, Lucas compared it to Moscow's nuclear saber-rattling and suggested that we should ignore Kremlin propaganda. "If they don't like the idea of their territory being under threat, they should not have gone to war in the first place," the analyst said, adding that Russia can address other aspects of this war it doesn't like by retreating and ending the conflict.

The analyst also suggested that the war will see the Putin regime destabilized and Russia's leader left with few options. "I think Putin's real choice is between the dacha and the graveyard. That's where he is going to go. This war is a disaster," Lucas said. He suggested that while Putin is looking at Khrushchev's exile if he's lucky and something more bloodthirsty otherwise, the West seems to lack a strategy for a destabilizing Russia, with Russia's civil war already underway, which is reflected in military companies increasing in both size and number.

"I think that after Putin things will be worse. We will probably have some kind of a junta of different characters, and one element of that will be someone who looks good to the West," Lucas said, adding that he is worried that the West, as always, will misinterpret changes in Russia and try for a reset. "I worry. We have very little analytical capacity to understand what's really happening in Russia," he said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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