Norwegian expert: Putin has four goals for his attack on Ukraine

Photo: Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Tormod Heier at the Norwegian Defense College believes that Russia must either establish a Moscow-friendly regime in Kyiv quickly – otherwise, a long war could ensue.

Lieutenant Colonel Heier has previously been among those who believed that the cost of a Russian invasion was so great that it was unlikely. Now it has become so costly not to attack that Vladimir Putin feels pressured to do so, Heier believes.

“Russia wants four things here: They want to keep the United States at arm’s length. They want to establish a buffer – from Belarus, Ukraine, and down to Georgia. They want to stop all future NATO enlargement in Europe. Through this, they also get to restore Russia’s status as a great power,” Heier told NTB.

If they do not quickly establish a pro-Russia regime in Kyiv, however, they could end up in a quagmire as the US did in Iraq – and Russia itself in did Afghanistan, Heier believes.

“From a Western perspective, this will lead to a new divided Europe, a weakened international legal order, and a much stronger and more united NATO. It will, of course, scare Finland, Sweden, and Georgia into the NATO fold, which could lead to American soldiers in far more countries than before,” Heier said.

Russia launches attack on Ukraine

In the middle of the night, around 4 AM Norwegian time, in an extraordinary television address, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was launching a military operation in Ukraine.

Putin announced the attack on Ukraine during an extraordinary session of the UN Security Council.

Ukraine has closed its airspace to civilian flights. CNN journalists report explosions in Kyiv and at least six other Ukrainian cities.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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