Global condemnation against Russia has spiked since the start of the war in Ukraine, which Putin’s forces are raiding for over two months now, sparking a huge humanitarian crisis. Multiple countries worldwide have imposed strong financial sanctions, while the member states of NATO increasingly supply Ukraine with weapons to assist in the fight against the Russian army. But the global outcry and financial pressure are not harming Putin, instead, they are strengthening his position, according to a renowned Russian politics expert.
Professor Richard Sakwa has conducted extensive research and published multiple books on Putin’s authoritarian regime, the Cold War, and the 2014 crisis in Ukraine.
He has taught Russian and European politics at the University of Kent and was also the head of the University’s Politics and International Relations department until 2007.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, the expert claimed that the war in Ukraine was incited by provocation from NATO and warned the West to be prepared for a “long war” with Russia.
Mr Sakwa believes that neither the atrocities of the war nor the impact of the sanctions on Russia’s economy will lead to a fall of Putin from his position as president.
That is because the Russian people are in fact certain that the war was “necessary” to prevent NATO enlargement and fight back the western threats since 2014, according to the expert.
When asked about a potential overthrow of Putin, Mr Sakwa said: “It is extremely unlikely and in fact, the global pressure has strengthened his position.”
And he went on to explain: “Russians do not like to be bullied in this way, amid a strong sentiment that the war was necessary to prevent NATO enlargement to Russia’s borders, followed by the probable deployment of offensive weapons.
“(That is), given that the US and UK had been pouring in offensive weapons, and endorsing all the ferocious anti-Russian legislation after 2014.”
Mr Sakwa added that the Russian regime’s positioning “will get tougher in anticipation of a long war with the Atlantic powers.”
When asked if there are any potential replacements of Putin’s ready to take the lead he replied straight: “This is not an issue at present.”
However, he repeated that “almost certainly”, the next Russian leader will take a tougher position against the West.
The expert went on to explain Russia’s perspective on the war and the general conflict between the country and the West, which now involves threats of nuclear attack.
He noted: “From Moscow’s perspective, it’s the West that has been pursuing catastrophic policies, now including nuclear brinkmanship.
“From their perspective (and much of the Global South), it’s the West that has taken leave of its senses.”
He said that the West incited the invasion of Ukraine by “pushing a hostile military alliance to Russian borders and expecting no reaction”.