The US and its allies fail to grasp that from President Vladimir Putin’s perspective, they’re already at battle with Russia, mentioned Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the exiled former head of Yukos Oil who was as soon as the nation’s richest particular person.
With the US and main powers ramping up sanctions on Moscow, supplying weapons to Kyiv, and coaching Ukraine’s army, Putin views his nation as primarily being at battle with America and Europe on Ukrainian soil, Mr Khodorkovsky advised Bloomberg.
Western arguments drawing a tough line between battle on Ukrainian land and the unfold of battle into Nato members’ territory are a nuance which means little to Putin, mentioned Mr Khodorkovsky, whose falling out with the Russian chief within the early 2000s led to him spending practically a decade in jail earlier than going into exile.
“Putin has mentioned from the very starting that this battle contains them,” mentioned Khodorkovsky, 58.
Putin “thinks Nato is weak and that they won’t defend the Baltics” if Russia attacked these nations, all former members of the Soviet Union. If that performs out, he mentioned Putin believes “Nato will collapse and that implies that American” international affect will plummet.