According to a former advisor of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president has been planning to spark a major conflict in the Baltic region for the past decade.
Andrey Illarionov, a former advisor to Putin, said the Russian leader has been planning for a major war since at least 2003. His accusation came during a conference in Lithuania.
“As we see, not only were they preparing, they were publishing it,” Illarionov said.
Illarionov said Putin does not believe Ukraine is a real nation, but rather a state that belongs to Russia, and believes the same for Hungary, Poland, and Romania. He remarked that the latest conflict in the region began when Putin began referring to a “Russian world” during a ceremony honoring Slavic groups.
— Vladimir Putin (@PutinRF_Eng) September 26, 2014
"According to the former presidential adviser, Russian laws essentially define four categories of ‘Russians': ethnic Russians, irrespective of whether they reside in or outside Russia; Russian-speakers, irrespective of their nationality; all former citizens of the Soviet Union and their offspring living in the territories formerly covered by the USSR; and former citizens of the Russian Empire (pre-1917) and their offspring living in the territories once covered by the Russian Empire," reported the newspaper.
— Vladimir Putin (@PutinRF_Eng) September 23, 2014
“‘Such a legal base allows the Russian army to protect all the Russians listed in the law. Therefore, for the Russian side, such actions of the Russian army beyond Russian borders might seem completely legitimate,’ Illarionov says.”
There have been other reports that Putin plans to instigate a wide conflict, including threats to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine if the fight continues. Sources allegedly say Putin claimed that Russia could reach Kiev in two weeks if they so desired.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) September 19, 2014