Putin warns NATO against ‘global catastrophe’
Paul Craig Roberts
Western leaders hopefully have “enough intelligence” to avoid a direct military confrontation with Russia, Vladimir Putin said.
This report shows that the length of time taken by the limited operation in Donbass has not limited the conflict but greatly expanded it by giving the West plenty of time to get thoroughly involved. Yet from his most recent statements Putin intends to insist on a limited conflict. This insistence explains what Putin means when he says it is necessary to understand what one means by the word “defeat” in the context of the Ukraine crisis. Putin is saying that he has no intention of defeating Ukraine. His aim is limited to driving Ukraine’s forces out of Donbass. In other words, this is not a Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is a police action in Donbass. That it is a limited police action and not an invasion of Ukraine is why the Kremlin had no ready reserves and had to call a limited mobilization to have enough soldiers to finish the job.
A limited intervention is Putin’s intent. As I have made clear for some time, I think Putin is delusional. The evidence is conclusive that Washington has widened the conflict and that the conflict is no longer limited except in Putin’s mind. So the West is fighting a real war while Putin confines Russia’s participation in the war to a limited police action. Putin’s recent statement that there is no need for any further Russian attacks on Western Ukraine’s infrastructure proves that he does not see Russia fighting a real war. This sounds like a denial of the reality on Putin’s part. As I see it, Putin’s position invites more provocations and more war-widening. The inability of the Kremlin to put a strong foot down is leading to wider conflict.