Window on Eurasia looks at Russia's future strategy for Ukraine, and quotes the views of Georgia's deputy prime minister, Georgy Baramidze, who foresees not an invasion but a campaign to destabilize Ukraine from within:
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Moscow, he said, will try to “create controlled chaos and an atmosphere of hatred,” to play off one group of Ukrainians against another in order to “inflame” the situation. Indeed, Baramidze said, “Russia will support everyone who supports the escalation of the situation and all who pour grease into the fire.”
The Russian authorities can do this in many ways: distributing Russian passports as they did in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and are now doing in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, playing up ethnic and language differences, promoting now one and now another political leader, and putting money in various media projects, all steps designed to exacerbate the situation.