• By The Financial District

Analyst Says West Must Stop Russia Or Accept Defeat

Following the extraordinary crackdown on opposition politicians and the predictable victory of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party, United Russia, in the 2021 State Duma elections, the Kremlin is testing the patience of Western leaders once again, Natia Seskuria, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) wrote for Foreign Policy.

Photo Insert: International automobile border checkpoint Hoptivka in Kharkiv region, Ukraine

From extraordinary mobilization of forces along Ukraine’s border, to weaponization of migrant flows through Belarus, to increasing Russian influence in the Caucasus, Russia has demonstrated that it is wedded to a hostile posture.

This time, Putin’s regime is determined to exploit existing weaknesses by simultaneously fueling and creating crises on several fronts, Seskuria argued.

While many observers tend to view Russia as a declining power, the Kremlin is proving that it can create prolonged problems not only in places such as Georgia and Ukraine but also on the European Union’s borders.

Despite the Kremlin’s increasing reliance on hybrid tools that aim to undermine the rules-based order, European countries are divided into two camps—those still advocating for the policy of appeasement, such as Germany, and others, such as the Baltic states, demanding a tougher response to Russian threats. In this case, time is Putin’s best ally, Seskuria concluded.

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