- Mikhail Kasyanov predicted that the war in Ukraine would last up to two years.
- Kasyanov warned that “if Ukraine falls, the Baltic states will be next,” per AFP.
- Kasyanov also said he thought Putin seemed “out of it” at a meeting days before the invasion.
Russia’s former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has pointed out the countries that Russia could target next if it wins its war against Ukraine.
Kasyanov, Russia’s prime minister from 2000 to 2004, told Agence France-Presse that “if Ukraine falls, the Baltic states will be next.”
The term “Baltic states” is an unofficial term used to refer to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. They became independent nations in 1991 upon the breakup of the Soviet Union and are governed as democracies today.
Kasyanov also told AFP that Russian President Vladimir Putin looked “out of it” and behaved like a changed man in the days leading up to the Ukraine war.
Per the outlet, he described seeing Putin at a security council meeting three days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.
“When I saw the meeting of Russia’s Security Council, I realized, yes, there will be a war,” Kasyanov told AFP, adding that he did not think Putin was capable of thinking clearly at the time.
“I just know these people and by looking at them, I saw that Putin is already out of it. Not in a medical sense but in political terms,” he said, per the outlet. “I knew a different Putin.”
Kasyanov also told AFP that he disagreed with French President Emmanuel Macron’s warning that Putin must not be humiliated in Ukraine. He also rejected the idea of Ukraine giving up some of its territory, a suggestion by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Kasyanov was fired by Putin in February 2004, after which he became a Putin critic and opposition leader. Meanwhile, Putin recently compared himself to Peter the Great, Russia’s first emperor, while trying to justify his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, the invasion has fared poorly, especially after Russian forces suffered “devastating losses” of their junior officers.
Last week, the Ukraine military said that one of its brigades had destroyed an “elite” Russian unit after a 14-hour firefight in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s defense ministry also said that the Russian army had lost so many soldiers that it had filled up an entire meatpacking plant in Melitopol with corpses.