Fiona Hill says Putin ‘doesn’t think anything is wrong’ in Ukraine and lives ‘in a bubble’

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  • Fiona Hill says the conflict in Ukraine is devastating for Russia, but she doesn’t think Putin has gone bad.
  • According to the Russian expert, the Russian leader received weak intelligence and lives “in a bubble”.
  • Hill stressed that Putin will not give up on his goal of “smashing” Ukraine despite major setbacks in the war.

The war in Ukraine has so far been disastrous for the Russian military on many levels, but Russian President Vladimir Putin “doesn’t think anything has gone wrong,” according to a senior Russia expert.

“The sad truth of the matter from our point of view is that Putin doesn’t think anything is going wrong. I know it might sound absolutely weird because if he declares victory now, we can say it’s a Pyrrhic victory,” Fiona Hill said. Serving as Russia’s top adviser to the National Security Council under the Trump administration, said Tuesday At an event organized by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Hill said that although the war was “destructive for Russia”, Putin’s mentality was still shaped by his time as a KGB agent, and he always tried to adapt to the situation on the ground to achieve his goals. The Russian leader knows that “there must be possibilities” when operations don’t go as planned.

As far as Putin is concerned, he will find a way to achieve his goals in the war, including the “fragmentation” of Ukraine,” Hill said. he drew.

Hill said Putin effectively perceived himself as perpetuating the legacy of Russian tsars or emperors, and subjugating Ukraine was a crucial part of that in his eyes.

“This is a war about history. Basically, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine because Ukraine didn’t fit into the Russian view of history,” Hill said. “He sees himself as a tsar, he sees himself as retrieving and retaking Russia,” he continued.

Russia has lost thousands of its soldiers and a staggering number of generals in Ukraine since Putin started the war without provocation at the end of February. The Russian army failed to take Kiev and struggled to make progress in other strategically important areas throughout the conflict. The war led to unprecedented sanctions and united the West in significant ways, pushing the historically neutral countries Sweden and Finland into NATO’s arms – a military alliance that Putin has opposed for years and blamed in part for the invasion of Ukraine.

When asked why Putin miscalculated so much, Hill cited a number of factors. Hill stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has put Putin in “more isolation than usual” over the past few years, emphasizing that the whole world has been affected by it.

Hill also said he had not received solid intelligence on Ukraine “for various structural reasons”, including “the very high penalty for getting things wrong”. People who did not please the Russian leader often went to jail or died in violent and suspicious ways.

Additionally, Hill said he thinks the West is going through “a period of incredible weakness,” which was not entirely wrong in the sense that the United States and Europe have struggled with major political divisions in recent years. But the war backfired in this respect and saw the West come together to support Ukraine and oppose Russia.

Hill said Putin also “didn’t understand Ukraine” and believed it “belongs to Russia” and downplayed the sense of citizenship that has emerged in the former Soviet republic over the past 30 years. Hill said the Russian leader thought this war would be a “repeat” of the successful Soviet attacks on Eastern European countries during the Cold War and the annexation of Crimea in 2014 because “he is in a bubble.”