Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped that the invasion of Ukraine in February of last year would bring NATO to heel and result in a no-fly zone declared over Poland and the Baltic states, leaked documents from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) show.
The leaked documents come from a source known as Wind of Change and were reportedly sent to Russian human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin, The Sun reported.
Putin imagined that after the invasion of Ukraine, an ultimatum would be issued to the West to accept Russia’s occupation of the country and that a no-fly zone would be declared over Poland and the Baltic states.
After that, Russia’s “nuclear triad” of land, air and submarine “would be activated”, leading to the “withdrawal of several countries from NATO” and possibly the European Union, the source said. It added that many Western countries would be so terrified that they would even accept rocket attacks on Poland or the Baltic countries.
All of this would cause a “fundamental collapse of the West within the time allotted (by Putin) after the ultimatum was issued”. Putin expected Western countries to issue “separate appeals to Russia that they are not conducting aggressive actions against Russia and are not part of the possible war”.
At the end of the day, Russia would regain power comparable to the former Soviet Union, which would allow Russia to take political control of a number of countries that were part of the USSR, whereas NATO as an integral structure would cease to exist.
“It’s pretty plausible” Putin had such plans before he started the war in Ukraine, Keir Giles, a Russia expert at the foreign policy think-tank Chatham House, quoted by The Sun, has said.
“One of the reasons why Putin’s invasion of Ukraine took so many in the West by surprise was because it made no sense – unless you were within Putin’s mind,” he added.
(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl)