Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking “regime change” and will likely go all the way and invade the rest of Ukraine, according to a former director for Russia at the National Security Council.
“I think given the size of the force, the rhetoric we’ve heard about Ukraine in general and the state of its state, I think you’ll meet him. [Putin] Jeffrey Edmonds told CNBC on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday.
Putin ordered the army in two pro-Moscow regions in eastern Ukraine on Monday, after the proclamation, he will officially recognize the independence of the breakaway regions.
In a swift response to the incursion, the US and UK on Tuesday announced new sanctions targeting Russian financial institutions, individuals and sovereign debt. President Joe Biden calls for action by Russia constitutes the beginning of “an invasion” of Ukraine, threatening further US sanctions are possible.
Mr. Edmonds said Mr Putin would probably go “as far as the capital”, referring to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
“What you’re seeing right now is a lot of false flag activity. These claims… [that] People in the East are having to fend off this onslaught of Ukrainian attacks, which is completely untrue,” Edmonds added.
Russian state-controlled media stated before that Ukrainian government forces have launched shelling against Moscow-backed rebels in the east.
Earlier, the US warned that Moscow could use false claims about the conflict as a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine.
Edmonds, who is now a senior analyst at CNA Corporation, a security analysis and research firm, said: “This is the excuse he is trying to create when he is really invading the rest of the world. back of Ukraine, that was his reason to join.
When asked if he was referring to a regime change, he added: “We are.”
The Kremlin will now recognize rebel-held areas in Donetsk and Luhansk, which have been controlled by Russian proxies since 2014.
Despite the previous statement that they would withdraw some troops, Russia has accumulated more troops at its border with Ukraine in recent days. The United States estimates Moscow has stationed between 169,000 and 190,000 military personnel near Ukraine – up from 100,000 on January 30.
Given the substantial military build-up, it doesn’t make much sense for Putin to just hold on to breakaway territories, Edmonds said.
“He’s had these territories since 2014, so just moving more troops into it, I don’t think he’s going to get what he wants,” he said.
On Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said there was “every indication” that Russia was planning a full-scale attack on Ukraine.
“We’re seeing that more and more forces are moving out of the camps and are in battle formations and ready to attack. And we’re seeing provocations going on in the Donbass and other fake flag activities. each other, where they try to create an excuse for an attack,” Stoltenberg said at a press conferenceafter the extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Committee.
Donbass refers to the industrialized region of eastern Ukraine, where the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are located.
According to Edmonds, the main reason for Putin’s aggression towards Ukraine is to reinforce Russia’s security importance in Europe.
He wanted to make sure that Moscow was deeply involved in “any kind of decision or overall structure in Europe,” he said. It is about “restoring Russia’s position, it believes it leads in Europe.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday postponed a planned meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovon the grounds that Moscow continues to move troops into Ukraine.
The sanctions would be “harsh” and have a direct impact on the Russian economy, said Jonathan Katz, director of the Democratic Initiatives and senior fellow at the Marshall Fund of the United States. this has been a “hot conflict for eight years”. Statuses. He mentioned Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.
“We crossed the threshold with Putin’s speech two days ago and his readiness to enter the Donbass with the Russian military,” Katz told CNBC. “I think we are further away from peace than we were three days ago, a week ago, two weeks ago,” he added.
“Hot conflict, Cold War – I think both blend together into something that the US, NATO, EU and partners will have to deal with for a long time,” he said.
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/23/putin-seeks-regime-change-and-is-likely-to-invade-ukraine-analyst-.html Putin seeks ‘regime change’ and potentially invades Ukraine: Analyst