Three ways that Putin's Ukraine strategy has backfired

Full video transcript

Three ways that Putin's

Ukraine strategy has backfired

In 2013

President Putin had a close ally

in Ukrainian President Yanukovych.

Ukraine was weakened

by rampant corruption

and its armed forces were

an untested and unknown quantity.

But by the end of 2014,

due to Ukraine's reaction

to Russia's interference in its country,

all of these areas look better

for Ukraine and worse for Russia.

1. Creating Ukrainian unity

Thanks to Vladimir Putin,

Ukrainians have discovered

an identity, a sense of solidarity,

and a sense of patriotism that they

have never had in the last 25 years,

arguably have never had at all

in the last number of decades.

People are finally willing

to make sacrifices for the country.

This was never the case in the past,

maybe during the Orange Revolution.

But now they are and we see them

most obviously in the large number

of volunteers who joined

our self-defence forces and various...

The National Guard and other units.

They are participating in the fighting.

Many of them have lost their lives.

And there's a specific target.

People understand

that the source of these problems

is no longer Yanukovych.

That was the target of their fears

and their angers in the past.

It's now Russia.

2. Improving Ukraine’s armed forces

Thanks to Putin and his aggression

in Eastern Ukraine,

not so much the Crimean adventure,

Ukraine's army must act as an army

and the military as the military.

That's obviously not sufficient,

but it's very important

in creating something

like an esprit de corps,

in creating a certain kind of a sense

of identity, in creating a mission.

These individuals were

not expected to fight.

I think the general consensus in

Ukraine as well as in the West was:

Who knows? These guys are

all incompetent, they won't fight

or re-establish law and order.

We were wrong on all three accounts.

3. Increasing

the fight against corruption

Corruption has penetrated

the entire society and the entire state.

It's not so much

a question of resistance,

it's become

part and parcel of everyday life.

So, it's a question

of getting 45 million people,

not just the bureaucrats,

but 45 million people,

to start thinking in non-corrupt terms.

Because people have

to stop being willing to pay bribes,

as much as the officials have

to stop being willing to accept bribes

and so there's a quid pro quo here.

They seem to be going

in the direction of slimming the state

and at the same time raising salaries,

so thereby improving

or at least reducing the incentives

to get engaged in corruption.

Three ways that Putin's

Ukraine strategy has backfired

In 2013

President Putin had a close ally

in Ukrainian President Yanukovych.

Ukraine was weakened

by rampant corruption

and its armed forces were

an untested and unknown quantity.

But by the end of 2014,

due to Ukraine's reaction

to Russia's interference in its country,

all of these areas look better

for Ukraine and worse for Russia.

1. Creating Ukrainian unity

Thanks to Vladimir Putin,

Ukrainians have discovered

an identity, a sense of solidarity,

and a sense of patriotism that they

have never had in the last 25 years,

arguably have never had at all

in the last number of decades.

People are finally willing

to make sacrifices for the country.

This was never the case in the past,

maybe during the Orange Revolution.

But now they are and we see them

most obviously in the large number

of volunteers who joined

our self-defence forces and various...

The National Guard and other units.

They are participating in the fighting.

Many of them have lost their lives.

And there's a specific target.

People understand

that the source of these problems

is no longer Yanukovych.

That was the target of their fears

and their angers in the past.

It's now Russia.

2. Improving Ukraine’s armed forces

Thanks to Putin and his aggression

in Eastern Ukraine,

not so much the Crimean adventure,

Ukraine's army must act as an army

and the military as the military.

That's obviously not sufficient,

but it's very important

in creating something

like an esprit de corps,

in creating a certain kind of a sense

of identity, in creating a mission.

These individuals were

not expected to fight.

I think the general consensus in

Ukraine as well as in the West was:

Who knows? These guys are

all incompetent, they won't fight

or re-establish law and order.

We were wrong on all three accounts.

3. Increasing

the fight against corruption

Corruption has penetrated

the entire society and the entire state.

It's not so much

a question of resistance,

it's become

part and parcel of everyday life.

So, it's a question

of getting 45 million people,

not just the bureaucrats,

but 45 million people,

to start thinking in non-corrupt terms.

Because people have

to stop being willing to pay bribes,

as much as the officials have

to stop being willing to accept bribes

and so there's a quid pro quo here.

They seem to be going

in the direction of slimming the state

and at the same time raising salaries,

so thereby improving

or at least reducing the incentives

to get engaged in corruption.

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