Russia will invade Ukraine’ Expert says Putin has nothing to lose in new Cold War

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International politics expert Ian Shields said the West must be prepared for a new Cold War – the first of which ended three decades ago – as Russia will take soldiers into neighbouring Ukraine. Mr Shields, who lectures at Cambridge University, said Russian strongman Vladimir Putin would be “confident” as the repercussions would not outweigh his plans to invade.

He told “Putin will send troops in – I think he’s confident that the downsides would be worth the risks.

“He would see it as much as anything as a tool to continue to fracture the Western alliance.”

Mr Shields said Mr Putin was determined to establish Russia as a “significant power in the world”.

He said: “You only have to look at Putin’s character, the pictures of him riding around on horses with no shirt on -he has a strongman vision, which is hugely positive in Russian domestic politics.

“He is a cold war warrior, he still has negative feelings towards the demise of the Soviet Union.. Russia coming second in the Cold War.. he is looking to establish Russia has a significant power in the world.

“All of this plays into the western society of Russia, it’s a very macho culture, they drink vodka, smoke cigarettes, they are very, very macho characters. Putin epitomises this.”

Mr Shields said he believed US President Joe Biden’s prediction Moscow would invade next month to be correct and predicted NATO would send troops into Poland in response and slap Russia with significant sanctions.

But the international politics expert said Russia was “no stranger to being isolated”.

He added: “Russia is no stranger to being isolated, no stranger to being invaded, no stranger to hardship.

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“Putin will just use this as a way of getting together the Russian people.. we are being wronged here.”

Russia has reiterated that it does not want war over Ukraine as it sent its strongest signal so far that it is willing to engage with US security proposals earlier today.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian radio stations in an interview: “If it depends on Russia, then there will be no war.

“We don’t want wars. But we also won’t allow our interests to be rudely trampled, to be ignored.”

Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border as it presses demands for a redrawing of post-Cold War security arrangements in Europe.

The US and its allies have warned the Russian President that Russia will face swift and tough economic sanctions if he attacks Ukraine.

But Mr Lavrov said the West was ignoring Russia’s interests but there was at least “something” in written responses submitted by the US and NATO on Wednesday to their proposals.

The comments were among the most conciliatory that Moscow has made on the Ukraine crisis, which has escalated into one of the tensest East-West standoffs since the Cold War ended three decades ago.

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