What You Need To Know:
✓ Russia's FSB strategies in Ukraine have largely failed
✓ Global analysts continue to overestimate the capabilities of Russian intelligence & special security agents
✓ "We tend to think of Russians as if they were much more powerful"
✓ Ukraine is the buffer for Russia. Neutral Ukraine is in Russia’s interest
George Friedman, CEO and Founder of STRATFOR, spoke with Hromadske regarding the state of Russia and its interests and abilities in Ukraine. Friedman was careful to illuminate that it is much more important to analyze what Russian President Vladimir Putin failed to do rather than what Putin has done.
Realistically speaking, Friedman thinks the current situation is an enormous loss for President Putin in Ukraine; as he failed to keep a pro-Russian government in power, he was unsuccessful in trying to establish a widespread Eastern Ukrainian uprising and is now trying to reverse Ukraine's present European-course as much as he can.
"The thing he hopes for the most is instability in Ukraine... if Kyiv cannot govern Ukraine, if it has internal crises, this the FSB can take advantage of," said Friedman.
Friedman spoke a lot on potential of Russian Armed Forces, which he states are quite inadequate to control such a vast region like Ukraine even without resistance.
"The FSB should have been in a position to understand where (Euromaidan) was leading. They invaded the East of Ukraine with the expectation of the pro-Russian population rising. They failed to understand that it wouldn't," said Friedman.
The FSB, according to Friedman is much weaker than it was during the USSR, and that the West is overestimating their capabilities.
"It does not mean that it is over. The Russians are very busy reevaluating their failures, trying to compensate for them," explains Friedman.
For their own evaluation of Ukraine, Americans have thus far been unwilling to extend their line of defense of Europe past the NATO allies border of Poland, Baltic States and Romania. They are looking for an ally in Ukraine that can provide its own national security after US aid has ended.
"The Americans never come in early (to any conflict), and when they do they come in big."
Hromadske International's Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke with George Friedman in Bratislava, Slovakia on June 19, 2015.