Mikhail Kassianov, former Russian Prime Minister and now an opponent of the regime, says he no longer recognizes Putin and warns that “the next on the list” would be the Baltic States in the event of Moscow’s victory.
Not encouraging predictions on the war front in Ukraine. This is what Mikhaïl Kassianov, former Prime Minister of Russia and today opponent of the Putin regime, evokes this week on BFMTV. The former head of government from 2000 to 2004 indicates no longer recognize the head of the Kremlin, with whom he worked during his first term, since the latter invaded Ukraine.
“The Poutine I knew was different“, he explains to AFP who was able to speak with him. According to Kassianov, Putin can maintain his positions on the ground and wage war “up to two years” after the start of the invasion. For the 64-year-old political opponent, who worked for a rapprochement between Russia and Western countries 20 years ago, explains that no one in Russia saw this war coming.
“Putin was not himself”
Everything changed on the day of a meeting of the Russian Security Council, a few days before the official announcement of war. When I watched this meeting of the Russian Security Council, I finally understood that yes, there would be a war. I know these people and looking at them I saw that Putin was not himself. Not medically, but politically,” he explains.
A way of governing that rests impunity and fear “even more cynical and cruel than in the later stages of the Soviet Union”, recalling the KGB where Russia’s current leaders “don’t expect” to be punished , he judges. Worse in the event of victory it is another target which could be profiled for Russia.
“They will be next”
Kassianov, who left Russia and is in hiding for security reasons, says: “If Ukraine falls, then the Baltic countries will be next“.
This is why Putin absolutely must be humiliated to curb its expansionist ambitions. According to the opponent, nothing should be negotiated with Putin. “What would Putin have done to deserve this? It’s far too pragmatic a position. I think it’s a mistake and I hope the West doesn’t follow this path,” he hopes.
As for the future of the conflict, whatever the outcome, Kassianov believes that it will be necessary to “rebuild from scratch” democracy in Russia and wait at least ten years before “depoutinizing” and ” decommunize” the country but that “will be very difficult, especially after this criminal war”, he analyzes. The priority will be to repair trust with European countries, Moscow’s “natural partners”.