“It’s a country that has never launched an attack on any neighbouring country,” Van der Pijl underlined. “If we think about Iraq, Libya, dozens of other countries. That’s where Russia has a very good track record.”
He added: “One of the things Putin pointed out early on is that we have to make the transition to democracy, but we will make it on our own terms and not on your terms.”
According to Van der Pijl, the war in Ukraine could easily have been avoided. He said that as recently as last December, that Russia offered to have Ukraine make a formal declaration that they would not join NATO, because that is a red line that Russia was not willing to accept. “And that was rebuffed,” he said.
The political scientist pointed out that the Ukrainian army was completely disabled in the first hours of the Russian operation. “No communication, no anti-aircraft, no more planes in the air. Russia’s superiority is far too great. The Ukrainian army, led by corrupt political leaders, cannot stand up to that. That chance is zero,” Van der Pijl emphasised.