NewsImperial Russia on the rise: Putin's next target may be NATO, warns top Romanian historian

Imperial Russia on the rise: Putin's next target may be NATO, warns top Romanian historian

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/ALEXEI DANICHEV/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL
9:16 AM EST, December 26, 2023

Romanian historian and analyst, Armand Gosu, indicates that Vladimir Putin is making a final effort to rescue former imperial Russia, engaging in a conflict he perceives as a critical confrontation with the West. Gosu is the author of the new book "Putin Against the West. War in Ukraine and the New World Disorder".

He underscores that the West holds more strength than Putin, but to prevent Putin's victory, Western countries and institutions need to rally.

"Russia's war against the West is already happening - from Putin's perspective, it's a conflict with the West. The other side, however, lacks the realization that this war isn't local, and Putin doesn't intend to halt at Ukraine," pronounced Gosu.

Analogy to Hitler

The Romanian historian draws attention to the fact that this novel conflict, arguably a "world war," is already in progress. "We are echoing an era similar to 1939-40. During those years, Hitler and Stalin had already occupied Poland, while the Western nations harbored hopes that they would be satisfied with their conquest, anticipating the war's end. Such an expectation was a mistake then, and it's a mistake now," argues Gosu, a highly esteemed Romanian expert on Russia.

Gosu asserts that this modern war also manifests on different battlefields. "The situation in Ukraine is 'hot', but in a hybrid form, it's spreading over various fronts. Putin invests substantial resources to induce division in the West, internally destabilizing and supporting forces that don't necessarily need to be pro-Russian but disturb any potential Western compromise," contends Gosu. As he stated, the Russian leader capitalizes on the disenchantment with Western elites, directing efforts towards anti-system forces.

Gosu is convinced that neglecting Ukraine and leaving it without adequate aid will have tragic consequences. "Conflicts cannot be escaped as Putin craves and has already resolved towards them. He is at war with the West, not only Ukraine," emphasized the Romanian expert.

"Ukraine is currently battling. Fighting on behalf of everyone. While this may come across as overly sentimental, it's indeed a battle in defense of our shared values and the world we recognize. It doesn't remain unchanging forever. Giving it up now will result in a remodeling of the world order, potentially leading to outcomes that are undesirable to Western elites and societies. However, it’s crucial to understand this threat now," Gosu proposes.

"Putin Will Pursue Other Targets If Successful in Ukraine"

"The Western democratic system stands a chance of winning, but only if it mobilizes now and engages in the struggle. If the West defers action, it will eventually get forced into it - this can be paralleled with World War II, when a portion of the world assumed they could pacify Hitler by making some concessions. Postponing the problem won't resolve it. Currently, Putin's Russia is focusing mainly on hindering consolidation in the West. The prime concern now should be backing Ukraine," Gosu advises.

Gosu believes that if Putin accomplishes his objectives in Ukraine, his next action is likely. "I’m nearly certain that following such a 'victory', his subsequent step would involve attacking a NATO country," cautions the historian.

"Putin's actions aren't merely short-term maneuvers, an act of wounding pride over the Cold War, or personal sentiments. Putin is making a final attempt at preserving the old, Imperial Russia. This structure is out of place in our modern world, yet under certain circumstances, its demise can be delayed. Last year’s conflict revealed Putin's weaknesses, but a section of the West unfortunately misconstrued this. He possesses the resources to play the ‘long game’, even from a compromised position, believing he can outlast the West," Gosu argues.

As he reasons, the Western system, grounded in democracy, is stronger than authoritarian Russia as it possesses the inherent capacity to adapt and respond to crises. "However, its condition hinges on the correct identification of the issue and subsequent mobilization," alerts the Romanian historian.

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