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The West can’t stop Russia from rolling into Ukraine – and it may just be the first step in a much bigger invasion plan, an Australian expert has warned. 

Dr Leonid Petrov fears the attack on Ukraine could be the start of a rolling Russian expansion into neighbouring states like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and even Poland.

He believes renegade President Vladimir Putin is hellbent on restoring Russia’s Soviet-era territories, and may target its Central Asian neighbours too.

Dr Petrov spoke out after Prime Minister Scott Morrison branded Putin a thug and a bully and imposed initial sanctions on Russia over its Ukraine incursion.

But Dr Petrov said Australia and the West were powerless to stop the Russian leader as sanctions were meaningless and a military response was out of the question.

The West can't stop Russia from rolling into Ukraine - and it may just be the first step in a much bigger invasion plan for President Vladimir Putin (pictured), an Australian expert has warned

The West can't stop Russia from rolling into Ukraine - and it may just be the first step in a much bigger invasion plan for President Vladimir Putin (pictured), an Australian expert has warned

The West can’t stop Russia from rolling into Ukraine – and it may just be the first step in a much bigger invasion plan for President Vladimir Putin (pictured), an Australian expert has warned

Dr Leonid Petrov fears the attack on Ukraine could be the start of a rolling Russian expansion into neighbouring states like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and even Poland

Dr Leonid Petrov fears the attack on Ukraine could be the start of a rolling Russian expansion into neighbouring states like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and even Poland

Dr Leonid Petrov fears the attack on Ukraine could be the start of a rolling Russian expansion into neighbouring states like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and even Poland

‘Putin has nuclear weapons and nobody would really dare to confront a nuclear-armed Russia,’ he warned. ‘Putin is not in a stable state of mind.

‘Putin cannot be stopped by the West. I believe the world is now on the brink of a new major conflict.’

But there is one country that could yet halt Russia in its tracks, he said.

Russia still fears China – and even the once-mighty Soviet Union was terrified about a Chinese invasion during the 1970s and 80s, he said. 

If the West was to make peace with China – and especially if the US ends its Sino trade war  – he believes it could be enough to make Putin and Russia hesitate.

Russia still fears China - and even the once-mighty Soviet Union was terrified about a Chinese invasion during the 1970s and 80s (pictured, President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping)

Russia still fears China - and even the once-mighty Soviet Union was terrified about a Chinese invasion during the 1970s and 80s (pictured, President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping)

Russia still fears China – and even the once-mighty Soviet Union was terrified about a Chinese invasion during the 1970s and 80s (pictured, President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping)

Dr Petrov said the West led by US President Joe Biden (pictured ) were powerless to stop Putin as sanctions were meaningless and a military response was out of the question

Dr Petrov said the West led by US President Joe Biden (pictured ) were powerless to stop Putin as sanctions were meaningless and a military response was out of the question

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) branded Putin a thug and a bully and imposed initial sanctions on Russia over its Ukraine incursion

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) branded Putin a thug and a bully and imposed initial sanctions on Russia over its Ukraine incursion

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured right) branded Putin a thug and a bully and imposed initial sanctions on Russia over its Ukraine incursion but Dr Petrov said the West led by US President Joe Biden (pictured left) were powerless to stop Putin as sanctions were meaningless and a military option was out of the question

‘To be more friendly with China would perhaps be the clever move for the West,’ he said. ‘China is more prone to a rules-based world order than Russia.

‘China is a much likelier ally and friend to the West than Russia. It would be sensible to end this senseless trade war and China would be a great ally to the West.

‘They would probably play the part of the local sheriff.’ 

The Australian National University academic says Putin wants to turn back the clock on Russia’s borders to what they were before the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

In the wake of the Cold War ending following the fall of the Berlin Wall and break up of the Eastern Bloc, former Soviet states like Ukraine regained their independence.

Dr Petrov believes renegade President Vladimir Putin is hellbent on restoring Russia's Soviet-era territories, and may target its Central Asian neighbours too (pictured, Russian troops mass on the Ukraine border)

Dr Petrov believes renegade President Vladimir Putin is hellbent on restoring Russia's Soviet-era territories, and may target its Central Asian neighbours too (pictured, Russian troops mass on the Ukraine border)

Dr Petrov believes renegade President Vladimir Putin is hellbent on restoring Russia’s Soviet-era territories, and may target its Central Asian neighbours too (pictured, Russian troops mass the Ukraine border)

Dr Petrov said Putin was using the tried and tested war plan he previously used against Georgia in 2008 (pictured) to identify rebel enclaves and use them as cover for an invasion

Dr Petrov said Putin was using the tried and tested war plan he previously used against Georgia in 2008 (pictured) to identify rebel enclaves and use them as cover for an invasion

Dr Petrov said Putin was using the tried and tested war plan he previously used against Georgia in 2008 (pictured) to identify rebel enclaves and use them as cover for an invasion

But Russian nationalists like Putin have continued to lay claim to the territories – and his powerbase relies on it. 

‘Putin’s masterplan is to stay in power as long as possible,’ Dr Petrov, who is also with the International College of Management in Sydney, said.

‘He needs to create crises which are going to be popular – and popular sentiment in Russia these days is the restoration of the borders of the former Soviet Union. 

‘Nobody can guarantee the integrity of European Union states like the Baltic republics which were formerly part of the Soviet Union.

‘Russia will have the power to annex them as well. He wants to expand Russia’s territory and exploit the populations of the newly acquired territory.

‘We might see in the near future expansion into former Soviet republics.’

Putin wants to turn back the clock on Russia's borders to what they were before the collapse of the USSR in 1991 by ret-taking territories like Ukraine (pictured in 2014)

Putin wants to turn back the clock on Russia's borders to what they were before the collapse of the USSR in 1991 by ret-taking territories like Ukraine (pictured in 2014)

Putin wants to turn back the clock on Russia’s borders to what they were before the collapse of the USSR in 1991 by ret-taking territories like Ukraine (pictured in 2014)

Russian nationalists like Putin have continued to lay claim to territories like Ukraine (seen here when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014) and his powerbase relies on it

Russian nationalists like Putin have continued to lay claim to territories like Ukraine (seen here when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014) and his powerbase relies on it

Russian nationalists like Putin have continued to lay claim to territories like Ukraine (seen here when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014) and his powerbase relies on it

He said attempts by the West to isolate Putin through threats and sanctions were doomed to failure. 

Dr Leonid Petrov(pictured) warns attempts by the West to isolate Putin through threats and sanctions were doomed to failure

Dr Leonid Petrov(pictured) warns attempts by the West to isolate Putin through threats and sanctions were doomed to failure

Dr Leonid Petrov(pictured) warns attempts by the West to isolate Putin through threats and sanctions were doomed to failure

‘Russia will be subject to more aggressive sanctions and I believe Moscow is going to be diplomatically ostracised by the international community.’ Dr Petrov said.

‘But I think that’s what President Putin wants. He wants isolation, he wants to rule Russia indefinitely.

‘He does not need to be integrated with the world economy or community.’

Dr Petrov said Putin was using the tried and tested war plan he previously used against Georgia to identify rebel enclaves and use them as cover for an invasion.

He said the Ukraine invasion was literally a cut and paste of the Georgia plan, using identical documents with identical serial numbers to justify the invasion. 

Dr Petrov  said the Ukraine invasion was literally a cut and paste of the Georgia invasion plan (pictured), using identical documents with identical serial numbers to justify the incursion

Dr Petrov  said the Ukraine invasion was literally a cut and paste of the Georgia invasion plan (pictured), using identical documents with identical serial numbers to justify the incursion

Dr Petrov  said the Ukraine invasion was literally a cut and paste of the Georgia invasion plan (pictured), using identical documents with identical serial numbers to justify the incursion

Russia's plan relied on identifying areas close to the border with high percentages of Russian-speaking locals and supporting local uprisings, then moving in to support them as 'peacekeepers' (pictured, a Georgian peace rally against Russia in 2008)

Russia's plan relied on identifying areas close to the border with high percentages of Russian-speaking locals and supporting local uprisings, then moving in to support them as 'peacekeepers' (pictured, a Georgian peace rally against Russia in 2008)

Russia’s plan relied on identifying areas close to the border with high percentages of Russian-speaking locals and supporting local uprisings, then moving in to support them as ‘peacekeepers’ (pictured, a Georgian peace rally against Russia in 2008)

‘It’s a really sloppy job,’ Dr Petrov said. ‘The Kremlin does not really bother following procedures or looking into details.’

Dr Petrov said the plan simply relied on identifying areas close to the border with high percentages of Russian-speaking locals and supporting local uprisings, then moving in to support them as ‘peacekeepers’.

‘It will be easy for Putin to destabilise the situation in those neighbouring countries like the Baltics or Central Asian republics,’ he said.

‘It’s important to destabilise the neighbours to send the message to the domestic constituents that Russia is not doing too badly.’

Even with Russia hit by sanctions, the countries being invaded would provide enough cash, fuel, and mineral deposits to replace anything lost by trade barriers to the West.

Even with Russia hit by sanctions, the countries being invaded would provide enough cash, fuel, and mineral deposits to replace anything lost by trade barriers to the West (pictured, smoke behind a Ukraine power plant)

Even with Russia hit by sanctions, the countries being invaded would provide enough cash, fuel, and mineral deposits to replace anything lost by trade barriers to the West (pictured, smoke behind a Ukraine power plant)

Even with Russia hit by sanctions, the countries being invaded would provide enough cash, fuel, and mineral deposits to replace anything lost by trade barriers to the West (pictured, smoke behind a Ukraine power plant)

Subjugated countries would become part of the Russian Customs Union, use a common currency, and be brought into the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, which is a Russian version of NATO (pictured, infantry troops in Crimea in 2014)

Subjugated countries would become part of the Russian Customs Union, use a common currency, and be brought into the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, which is a Russian version of NATO (pictured, infantry troops in Crimea in 2014)

Subjugated countries would become part of the Russian Customs Union, use a common currency, and be brought into the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, which is a Russian version of NATO (pictured, infantry troops in Crimea in 2014)

The subjugated countries would then start to become part of the Russian Customs Union, use a common currency, and be brought into the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, which is a Russian version of NATO.

‘We will see how the Ukraine gambit unfolds,’ he added. ‘It could be they only go so far into the country as they did in Crimea in 2014 and then stop for a while.

‘It could take years for the invasion to be complete. 

‘But if he pushes on and takes the country then the Baltic states could be next – and then Asian neighbours like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Dr Petrov fears Russia will push on to take over other neighbouring states (pictured Georgia in 2008)

Dr Petrov fears Russia will push on to take over other neighbouring states (pictured Georgia in 2008)

Dr Petrov fears Russia will push on to take over other neighbouring states (pictured Georgia in 2008)

Putin's bid to restore Russia's Soviet borders could lead them to invade Poland (pictured, Georgian troops come under fire from Russian rockets in 2008)

Putin's bid to restore Russia's Soviet borders could lead them to invade Poland (pictured, Georgian troops come under fire from Russian rockets in 2008)

Putin’s bid to restore Russia’s Soviet borders could lead them to invade Poland (pictured, Georgian troops come under fire from Russian rockets in 2008)

‘I hope he does not need Poland. I know he has a real problem with Ukraine… but he has an even stronger negative sentiment towards Poland for some reason.

‘Even Poland – at the heart of Europe – is not safe.’

Source: dailymail

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