Mr Putin is the master planner. He thinks like a chess grand master. He thinks many moves ahead planning the long game often play multiple games at once or perhaps one game on many fronts. Initially I suspected he was playing a long game when he engineered the election of Dmitry Medvedev, his unknown prime minster as president of the Russian Federation. Then, Mr Putin became prime Minister of Russia, and changed rules on Russian presidential terms by increasing it from four to six years. It is safe to say he intends to be in power for at least twelve years.
So why do I come to this conclusion and to what is Mr Putin’s end game. I suggest, Mr Putin’s plan is regain Russia’s super power status. So what can we expect? First we can expect to see Russia annexing more and more of the old territories. He has annexed Abkhazia and South Ossetia orginally of Georgia, which conveniently had Russian ethnic populations.
Mr Putin has been offering bribes to encourage Ukraine not sign an associate agreement with the European Union. You can bet he has also been funding the Russian protests in Ukraine’s eastern regions. Using the population there like pawns in his broad strategy. It is clear once the Ukraine protests escalated to a point where the government of Ukraine could no longer control the situation, he switched to Plan B – the annexation of Crimea.
The referendum provide legitimacy to Russian claims, but it is clear the questions provide no choice but to accept Russian hospitality. It is pretty safe to say that this will not be the end of his activities in in Ukraine. There will be further protests by the Russian populations in the eastern regions. This will force a response from Ukrainian Nationalist. The Russian groups will the demand protection from Mother Russia. Just like the chess board, we start with the pawns before using the capital pieces.
So what will be next? I would expect his next areas of agitation will be the Baltic states. Further east, parts of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan will also be targeted, encouraging ethnic Russian’s to demonstrate the elegance to the Russian Federation.
The Arctic annexation has already started. In 2007, the Russian’s used a submarine to place a titanium rust proof Russian flag 4,200m below the ice at the North Pole. This is more of Knight’s move, and we can expect more of them as Mr Putin, probes and pushes, Western Governments.