The hybrid war waged by Russia in Ukraine will continue as long as Putin is alive, former FSB officer Ilya Bogdanov who defected to Ukraine and fought in the Pravy Sector battalion in Donbas told in his interview with Ukrinform July 5.
The conflict in Donbas will remain smoldering, picking up in intensity and then letting up.
Meanwhile, the Russians are told that everything is all right. Putin is destroying Russia and the Russian nation. All potential revolutionaries will be exterminated, Bogdanov believes.
He does not believe Putin will have the nerve to start a full-sized invasion of Ukraine, except of some isolated regions.
Putin will never approve the unification of the Donbas republics with Russia as they will be millstones around Moscow’s neck.
The main purpose of keeping the Donbas conflict in a smoldering state is to let Putin remain in power. The Donbas war will distract the Russians and help Putin stay in power, the ex-FSB officer said.
West’s economic sanctions won’t lead to mass protests of the population brainwashed by Putin’s propaganda. “In Russia, the people are ready to eat tree bark for some crazy mythical ideals. Besides, the sanctions had only a gradual impact on Russia – and the Russians got used to their worsening conditions. Had the sanctions been rapidly effective, it would have led to protests,” the ex-FSB officer says.