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The Daily Vertical: Putin Thinks He Is Winning (Transcript)


The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

Vladimir Putin thinks he is winning.

And as a result, Moscow is stepping up its attempts to destabilize Europe, with Germany, Sweden, France, and Italy all witnessing a sharp uptick in disinformation campaigns, fake news, and political meddling.

Vladimir Putin thinks he is winning.

And as a result, Moscow is stirring up trouble in the Balkans.

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In addition to allegedly backing an attempted coup in Montenegro, the Kremlin is provoking tensions in Kosovo, encouraging extremists in Serbia, and promoting separatism in Bosnia's Republika Srpska.

Vladimir Putin thinks he is winning.

And as a result, Moscow is attempting to push its advantage in the Middle East.

Having successfully shored up Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Russia is now trying to install a Moscow-friendly regime in Libya led by a strongman general and former ally of Muammar Qaddafi.

Vladimir Putin thinks he is winning.

And this means the Kremlin is confident that its cherished goal of a sphere of influence in the former Soviet space is within reach.

And as a result, the bullying of Georgia and Ukraine, as well as saber-rattling with the Baltics, will only intensify.

Vladimir Putin thinks he is winning.

And it's more than possible that this blind confidence will cause him to overreach.

And this means that this is a very, very dangerous moment.

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