If the West does not stop Vladimir Putin’s campaign to subordinate Ukraine to Moscow, then the Kremlin leader will move against the Baltic countries even though that carries with it the direct threat of a military conflict with NATO, according to Russian analyst Andrey Piontkovsky.
But if Putin and his concept of a “Russian world” is stopped in Ukraine, something that still can be achieved by economic and political means, the Russian analyst continues, then he will be overthrown by elites in Moscow, Paul Goble’s Window on Eurasia reports.
Some in the West understand the second danger and want to avoid driving Putin into a corner from which he might behave in unpredictably radical ways, few understand what Putin is doing in Ukraine is part of a much broader and more threatening scenario and that he will have to be stopped at some point, said Piontkovsky, a former Reagan-Fascell fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy.
Many want to view what is happening in Ukraine as a special case, Piontkovsky says, but they are wrong. What is happening there is “part of a global project and Putin is not concealing this.” His notion of a “Russian world” is a threat to the world because it is “a remake of Hitler’s Sudentenland speech.”
This is not to say that Putin is the Hitler of today in all respects. But in his foreign policy actions, “the parallels are so obvious that one of the Kremlin propagandists [Andrannik Migranyan in "Izvestiya"] acknowledged that yes, this is very similar to the actions of Hitler but the Hitler before 1939.”
That statement, Piontkovsky says, “indicates the level of the analogy. For Hitler, revenge for [Germany's] defeat in World War I was the central issue; for Putin, it is revenge for defeat [of the Soviet Union] in the Cold War.”