Putin’s ‘Make Russia Great Again’ plot slammed by former CIA chief ‘Made Ukraine Great!’

Russia: Putin 'facing pressure to secure victory' says Heappey

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Former CIA Director David Petraeus has slammed Vladimir Putin’s grand hopes for Russia amid the flawed invasion of Ukraine. Mr Petraeus argued on a podcast hosted by former BBC interviewer Andrew Neil that Putin had failed to make Russia more powerful and has instead only “made NATO great again, in a big way.”

Mr Petraeus told The Backstory with Andrew Neil: “The irony here is, of course, that [Putin] has done more to be a catalyst to stoke Ukrainian nationalism than any other developments since the end of the Soviet Union.

“In trying to make Russia great again, he’s actually made the Ukrainians great.

“He’s also made NATO great again, in a big way.

“I mean, now he is faced by the prospect of two countries that have never joined NATO, Finland and Sweden potentially joining NATO.”

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The former CIA director added: “Beyond that, of course, he’s done enormous – perhaps irrevocable – damage to various sectors of the economy, to his financial system, to the best and brightest in his population and to those most indebted to him in his inner circle.

“How does he get out of this? Presumably, he’s going to declare victory at some point and go home and he’s trying to achieve something in the southeast that might enable him to do that.

“But it ends badly is the bottom line.

“There’s no happy ending here whatsoever. It’s just how bad will the ending be for his neighbour and a former Republican the USSR and for his own country, which is now a pariah in the rest of the world.”

Ukraine's war with Russia could be 'extremely long' says expert

Having been beaten back in an initial attempt to storm the capital Kyiv, Russian forces have regrouped for what Moscow says is a campaign to “liberate” the eastern Donbas region, part of which has been held by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.

Last week, a Russian general went further, saying Russia would look to take the whole of the east and south of Ukraine.

Putin says the “special military operation” is necessary because the United States was using Ukraine to threaten Russia and Moscow had to defend Russian-speakers against persecution.

Putin, who says Ukraine and Russia are essentially one country, casts the war as an inevitable confrontation with the United States, which he accuses of threatening Russia by meddling in its backyard and enlarging the NATO military alliance.

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Ukraine says it is fighting an imperialist land grab by Russia and that Putin’s claims of genocide are nonsense.

The United States says it is helping Ukraine stand up to Russia but that Moscow is angry because Kyiv is increasingly turning westwards beyond Russia’s historical sphere of influence, seeking European Union membership and ties with NATO.

America and its allies pledged new packages of ever heavier weapons for Ukraine during a meeting on Tuesday at a German airbase, brushing off a threat from Moscow that their support for Kyiv could lead to nuclear war.

US officials have switched emphasis this week from speaking mainly about helping Ukraine defend itself to bolder talk of a Ukrainian victory that would weaken Russia’s ability to threaten its neighbours.

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