Putin tasking the assembly of Duma deputies, Federation Council members, and the heads of the Russian regions with integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation, March 18, 2014. (Image: Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIAN)
Oleg Soskin, a Ukrainian political analyst, says that Vladimir Putin’s dismissal of 18 senior officers and other officials shows that he is preparing for a major war and does not want to listen to anyone who points to the dangers of that strategy, perhaps concerned that he might not be able to rely on them in such a conflict.
The Ukrainian analyst says that “Putin removed officers who did not support an invasion of Ukraine. The head of the Kremlin was not interested in listening to warnings about the negative consequences” of that, consequences those who saw them might have felt compelled to offer.
Putin has continued to increase the deployment of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border, Soskin continues, and “he needs to remove all those professionals who are vacillating on this issue” and to “replace them with others who will fulfill his orders without deviation.” In short, the Kremlin leader “needs only robots.”
According to the Ukrainian analyst, Putin is preparing to launch a major “Eurasian war,” and “such a war presupposes” that all the forces under his command and especially those involved in technology and information must “act in accordance with a single algorithm and fulfill the various orders of the leader without questioning them.”
Soskin does not provide any direct evidence for this, but his argument is plausible both in terms of Putin’s personality and his decision to take this action now. For a listing of the officers and officials removed, see GordonUA.