The total collapse and break-up of Putin’s Russia has already begun and the West needs to be ready to deal with the aftermath, top Zelensky official predicts
- Danilov said he believed Russia was about to fall apart in ‘spectacular’ fashion
- He warned China holds the upper hand over the Kremlin’s imminent capitulation
The total collapse and break-up of Vladimir Putin’s Russia has begun and the West must be prepared to deal with the potentially catastrophic aftermath, a top official in Volodymyr Zelensky’s Government has warned.
Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said the West must be on high alert, having in the past failed to be ready for the collapse of the Soviet Union.
He said Kyiv that believed Russia was about to fall apart in ‘spectacular’ fashion within the next few years.
But he warned that China currently holds the upper hand over the Kremlin’s imminent capitulation. He said if the West allowed China to take territory in Russia, a new grave problem would be created.
The top Ukrainian official spoke as Finland is set to officially join NATO today, securing its place in the Western military alliance.
Danilov said he and Ukraine believed Russia was about to fall apart in ‘spectacular’ fashion within the next few years.. Pictured: Putin arrives to attend a Security Council meeting in Moscow, on Friday
Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said the West must be on high alert, having failed to be ready for the collapse of the Soviet Union
Speaking in an interview with The Times, Danilov announced: ‘The West doesn’t know Russia and the West is afraid of fragmentation in Russia. But this process is already under way.’
For the past months, the ongoing conflict has centered around the eastern city of Bakhmut near the Donetsk region with neither side making significant gains.
As progress on either side is currently at something of a standstill, focus has been placed on the diplomacy for each country. Last month, Chinses President Xi Jinping visited Moscow for his three day summit with Putin.
The visit was an attempt by Moscow to show close relations with Beijing against Western allies, particularly the US. But Danilov believes the visit simply showed the Kremlin’s weakness.
He said Russia has lost its power over once-loyal allies in Asia, and now China is waiting for the collapse of Russia to take the Siberian far east where there are significant Chinese populations.
‘Letting China take Russian territory will be dangerous for the West because by unlocking one problem they will create another,’ he told The Times. ‘There needs to be initial steps by the West now.’
Danilov points towards the outcome of the summit, noting that China did not agree to provide weapons to Russia. And despite having declared friendship between the two countries was ‘without limits’, there was no such mention in the final declarations.
Davilov told The Times: ‘China is a big country and will be a mighty rival to the Anglo-Saxon world. Now it’s the owner of Russia. Russia will no longer undertake any important action without them. Russia fully lost its sovereignty. That’s a fact.’
He said China was only acting in its own interest when refusing Western sanctions on purchasing Russian oil and gas, and China’s hand has only been strengthened because of this.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in front of a memorial plaque outside the school in the village of Yahidne, Chernihiv region on Monday
Ukrainian servicemen fire a BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket system towards Russian troops, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, February 11, 2023
Ukrainian soldiers from various brigades take part in a military drill on psychological combat training at an undisclosed location close to the border with Belarus, in Ukraine March 11, 2023
This came after Danilov’s announcement on Sunday outlining a series of steps the government in Kyiv would take after the country reclaims control of Crimea, including dismantling the strategic bridge that links the seized Black Sea peninsula to Russia.
Danilov published the plan as Ukraine’s military prepares for a spring counteroffensive in hopes of making new, decisive gains after more than 13 months of war to end Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, but most of the world does not recognize it as Russian territory. The peninsula’s future status will be a key feature in any negotiations on ending the current fighting.
The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine recognize Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea and acknowledge other land gains made by Moscow as a condition for peace. Kyiv has ruled out any peace talks with Moscow until Russian troops leave all occupied territories, including Crimea.
Danilov suggested prosecuting Ukrainians who worked for the Moscow-appointed administration in Crimea, adding that some would face criminal charges and others would lose government pensions and be banned from public jobs.
All Russian citizens who moved to Crimea after 2014 should be expelled, and all real estate deals made under Russian rule nullified, Danilov wrote on Facebook.
As part of the plan, he also called for dismantling a 19-kilometer (12-mile) bridge that Russia built to Crimea. In October, a truck bomb severely damaged the bridge, which is Europe’s longest and a symbol of Moscow’s conquest of the peninsula.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a signing ceremony following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 21, 2023
Last month, Chinses President Xi Jinping visited Moscow for his three day summit with Putin, pictured at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 21, 2023
Russia has repaired the damaged section of the bridge and restored the flow of supplies to Crimea, which has been a key hub for the Russian military during the war. Moscow blamed Ukrainian military intelligence for the attack. Kyiv did not claim responsibility, but Ukrainian officials had repeatedly threatened to strike the bridge in the past.
Danilov also argued for renaming the city of Sevastopol, which has been the main base for the Russian Black Sea Fleet since the 19th century. He said it could be called Object No. 6 before the Ukrainian parliaments chooses another name, suggesting Akhtiar after a village that once stood where the city is now.
The Moscow-appointed head of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, shrugged off Danilov’s plan as ‘sick.’
‘It would be wrong to seriously treat comments by sick people. They must be cured, and that’s what our military is doing now,’ Razvozhayev told the Russian state news agency Tass.
Danilov published his plan as Ukrainian troops prepared to use newly supplied Western weapons, including dozens of battle tanks, to break through Russian defenses and reclaim occupied areas in a counteroffensive expected as early as this month.
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