Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s sabre-rattling over Ukraine should be taken seriously, declaring that, “He’s not going to back down. He’s not like President Obama.”
Peters spoke with Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson about surprise Russian military maneuvers taking place near the Ukrainian border. Coming so soon after the collapse of Kiev’s pro-Russian government, the move raised fears that Putin may be planning a violent intervention to keep the country within its orbit.
The retired military officer said that’s a real possibility. “Putin is not scared of Kerry or Obama,” he said. “There’s no question . . . that this is a mobilization to get troops ready to go if Putin decides that he wants to invade. It’s absolutely, one hundred percent to do with Ukraine.”
“Now, Putin does not want to use military force,” Peters explained. “It’s not his first or second option. But make no mistake: He is proud, he is vindictive, he is angry and he believes deeply that Ukraine belongs to Russia.”
“What Putin is doing now is he is arranging — in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine — he’s setting it up so that, on order, he can have a provocation that would give him an excuse to go in,” he continued. “For instance, ‘I’m going in to protect ethnic Russians against Ukrainian violence.’”
“We don’t know what’s in Putin’s head,” the Lt. Col. later said, “except that he is not going to back down. He’s not like President Obama. When Putin threatens something, he carries through with the threat.”
“We’ve seen Act One. It’s intermission,” Peters concluded. “Act Two is coming, and it could be very ugly and bloody, Gretchen.”
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