Putin's Real Game Plan With Ilan Berman

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Me ask you this. Did you expect this to be here so quickly 14 months into this administration with knowing what you know about Putin? Well, it's interesting because Putin the grievance that Putin is acting on now is a long-standing one. Yes. I mean, what I think most people don't quite understand is Putin as viewed from Moscow sees the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the post Cold War position of Russia as inherently unfair. Putin sees Russia as a great power. So he's a social justice warrior because it's unfair. SJW. SJW out there. Not quite that good. But he thinks that what you're looking at is a situation where the zone of freedom, zone of European freedom is expanding. The zone of Russian influence is contracting. The way I like to explain it is he feels like he's in a box and he's constantly pushing against the corners of the box to see whether there's give, whether there's an ability to change Russian foreign policy to advantage Moscow and disadvantage Brussels and London and everybody else. I love the way you phrase that. The box of European freedom is expanding, which for him is a bad thing because let's be clear he may sell this vision to the American to the Russian people that NATO's coming and they're going to invade and they've already encircled us, but the real threat to him is the expansion of the concept of freedom and democracy into Russia. Is it not England? No, no, that's precisely right. And that's why I think it's actually it's necessary to sort of drill down a little bit and explain what he believes, because our Friends, when they talk about Russia, they look at Vladimir Putin, he's an unreconstructed KGB agent. He rose up through the ranks to positions of leadership in the Soviet Union. And so they immediately default to the idea that, oh, he just wants to recreate the Soviet Union. But if you look at what he's been saying lately, that's actually not the case. It's bigger. It's bigger and it's older. Because what he's talking about, what he talked about in his February 21st speech before the invasion, what he talked about in his February 24th speech right after the invasion, he's talking about the fact that the Soviet Union made a lot of mistakes. And they made

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