CT: How do you interpret Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions on the border, and how likely is a full invasion?
Turchynov: It is rather difficult to interpret, and it is even more difficult to treat him as someone whose actions can be explained with ordinary civilized values.
One aspect involves political and economic interests, such as the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. At the same time, Putin is raising the stakes as a tactic, issuing ultimatums. His approach serves to further polarization and undermines both NATO and the European Union (EU) concerning the expansion of membership.
It is kind of a game, growing worse for everyone. But if the West and Ukraine were to consolidate their actions, Putin wouldn’t be able to prevail. Full-scale invasion is an extremely dangerous project—mainly for Putin himself. But he is capable of making inadequate decisions.
CT: How have discussions with US President Joe Biden changed the situation, if at all? How do you view the response from the West?
Turchynov: One of Putin’s purposes was a glorious moment of triumph by sitting with President Biden as equals at the table of negotiations. But sometimes it is necessary to talk to a terrorist, to distract him from his acts of terror.
Some Ukrainians wanted to hear a different response from the White House, for example by…
This article was originally published by Christianity Today, on January 4, 2022. Please click here to read the full text.