The stalemate in Ukraine and downturn in the Russian economy have experts debating the impact on President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power.
Fox News National Security Analyst KT McFarland spoke to George Friedman, founder of the geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor, about Russia’s strategy toward the West.
Friedman, who just returned from a trip to Moscow, where he met with senior foreign policy and intelligence officials, says morale there is low. “They feel that they have been defeated in Ukraine, they feel the United States staged a coup d’état and imposed a government against the clearly elected president and that Russian intelligence clearly failed
Russian officials believe the U.S. went too far in getting involved in Ukraine’s internal affairs. Thus, this has put Moscow on the defense against Washington and its allies.
“What he [Putin] wants more than anything else in eastern Ukraine, which is primarily Russian be given the kind of autonomy, as they put it: ‘like Quebec has, we are not asking them to leave Ukraine, but let it be an autonomous region’ … if he doesn’t get that much, he’s going to be faced with the situation … where it is hard for him not to do something,” said Friedman.