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Could Putin Launch Another Invasion?

Author: Leon Aron 

Affiliation: Russian studies at the American Enterprise Institute (Resident scholar and director)

Organization/Publisher: Politico 

Date/Place: March 15, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Opinion

Word Count: 1481


Keywords: Russia, NATO, Vladimir Putin, Baltics, Crimea




Vladimir Putin is seeking to expand Russia’s influence outside of Russia to defend its interests abroad. It may be perceived as a defense outside of Russia’s borders. The author shows that Vladimir Putin’s approval rating with Russians increased after military operations in Chechnya                in the 2000s (rating approval increased to 80%) and after attacks on Georgia in 2008 (approval increased to 88%). The global pandemic has affected most countries’ economies, as well as Russia’s. Deterioration in the economy and detention of political opponent Alexei Navalny have hurt Vladimir Putin’s approval rate, and several demonstrations have taken place in the country. In this context, there is a problem for Putin and to get support from the public the author questions whether he may launch more military campaigns in nearby countries. As the author asks this question, he identifies a short war and quick victory over five potential countries: Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Putin may aim for a bigger victory—and that would be against NATO. Russia has already had a victory against NATO over its annexation of Crimea. Thereby, Russia has increased its naval activity in the Black Sea and that changes the balance against NATO countries in the region.  The author identifies that other targets could be the Baltic countries where Russian ethnicities have the majority in some cities. Any attack on Baltic countries by Russia might take too much time for retaliation and mobilization. Meanwhile, as some NATO leaders speak about the organization’s brain death, Putin would like to take advantage to get a new victory for Russia. 


By: Berat Karadeniz, CIGA Research Intern



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