Russian President Vladimir Putin has been preparing for a major world war, dubbed World War III, for over a decade. This according to Russian economist and former policy adviser to President Putin, Andrey Illarionov. Putin’s recent forays into the Ukraine are just the first step in Russia’s planned military takeover of the Baltic region and beyond, said Illarionov, who currently works at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute, headquartered in Washington, D.C.
The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank with a stated goal to “promote an American public policy based on individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peaceful international relations.”
Speaking at a recent conference in Lithuania, Putin’s senior economic adviser from 2000 to 2005 said the 61-year-old Russian president has been planning and bracing for a global military conflict since 2003.
Illarionov resigned in protest from the Russian cabinet in 2005, offering his resignation and laying plain his dissent against the government’s course, saying that Russia was “no longer politically free, but run by an authoritarian elite,” reported BBC in 2005.
“It is one thing to work in a country that is partly free” Illarionov said at the time. “It is another thing when the political system has changed, and the country has stopped being free and democratic.”
According to the Lithuania Tribune, Illarionov told those gathered in Palanga, Lithuania, “We are talking about a crisis in Ukraine. But such a definition is already a victory of Putin’s propaganda. An achievement of the Kremlin’s information war. It’s not a crisis, it’s a war. And, at the very least, a Russian-Ukrainian war.”
Writes the Tribune:
According to Illarionov, Russia has been preparing for a major war at least since 2003 and for a confrontation with Ukraine and capture of Crimea, since 2004, when the ‘Orange Revolution’ started in Kiev. Illarionov refers to an article that the Ruskyi Zhurnal (Russian Journal) published in 2008, which detailed a plan for how to attack and occupy Crimea, then eastern Ukraine, central Ukraine and finally reach Kiev.
“As we see, not only were they preparing, they were publishing it,” he says.
Illarionov added that “Putin thinks of the current confrontation not as world war three, since that was the Cold War. but as world war four,” said the Tribune.
“Some scholars say this is Russia’s war against the West; allegedly, the West have made many mistakes, are moving in a wrong direction and Russia is trying to defend its values,” according to Illarionov.
Adds the Inquisitr: “An influential German newspaper called Sueddeutsche Zeitung is reporting that Vladimir Putin allegedly had a private meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. During the course of their discussion, Putin essentially threatened World War 3.”
If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest. – Vladimir Putin
Putin’s rhetoric, related to events in Ukraine, coincide with Russia’s recent nuclear weapons test – a strong-armed show of the federation’s military might. Putin has vowed to rebuild Russian’s armament of nukes; in response Ukrainian leaders have openly discussed doing the same.
President Obama weighed in, speaking to the people of Estonia on Sept. 3, stating: “An attack on one is an attack on all. So if, in such a moment, you ever ask again, ‘who will come to help,’ you’ll know the answer – the NATO alliance, including the armed forces of the United States of America,” Obama said. “We’ll be here for Estonia. We will be here for Latvia. We will be here for Lithuania.”