Last Thursday, President Vladimir Putin warned the West about its apparent disregard for Russia's "red lines" on national security. These include concerns over Ukraine joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Currently considered a NATO partner country, Ukraine is seeking to become a member state to the intergovernmental military alliance between 28 European countries and two North American countries.
Putin said Russia is constantly "talking about red lines" – and he contends the West has "a very superficial attitude" toward the warnings. As the Russian president has previously asserted, Col. Dan Steiner (USAF-Ret.) tells American Family News, "[the West] needs to face the reality that the Russians will never accept a NATO flag flying in the Ukraine." According to the global strategist, Putin's recent comments have "more or less" confirmed the thought.
Over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed "real concerns" about Russia's "rhetoric" and the build-up of 100,000 Russian troops near Ukraine. The United States, Ukraine, and NATO have been making statements about a pending Russian invasion for a few weeks – and on Sunday, the Kremlin accused the West of stoking tension between Russia and Ukraine.
Steiner: Putin isn't kidding
Despite Moscow's complaint, the movement of troops and Putin's statements are of concern to Steiner because he's convinced Russia will go to war over the Ukraine issue if it has to. And while Blinken describes the Kremlin's comments as "rhetoric," Steiner says it should be clear that Putin isn't kidding.
"[The president of Russia] doesn't make statements or move troops around for political reasons," Steiner argues. "Putin's reasons for making global statements is much different than [Washington] DC's" – and according to the retired Air Force colonel, "if he is saying his red lines are being underestimated, the West better pay attention."
Steiner predicts Russia "will move on Ukraine this winter" – possibly in January. He suggests Ukraine will be divided in half, stating that "the people east of a [potential] vertical line are relatively pro-Russian, while the people to the west are not."
And according to the retired military officer, the Pentagon is "rightfully concerned" about a pending invasion.
"The fact of the matter is that Russia is willing to fight over Ukraine, and the West must come to that realization before it's too late," Steiner urges. "Putin is becoming increasingly more willing to run the chances of the West not being willing to actually fight over it.
"When [Putin] says they have red lines, he is not kidding – and this kind of statement must be confronted by the West."