Volodymyr Omelyan is the former Minister of Infrastructure who has fought on the frontline of Ukraine from the first day of the war. He told Express.co.uk his thoughts on President Vladimir Putin’s plans to fight the West if he successfully conquers Ukraine – as part of his ambition to become the ruler of the world.
Mr Omelyan said Moscow wants to become the leader of the West along with China.
He said: “Russia’s real intent is clear, Moscow wants to rule the world together with China.”
This, he said, means Russia will not stop at Ukraine and could attack other Western countries, including the UK.
The former government official said: “The West must take this very seriously and stop seeing Russia as a normal state… today it is Russia, then it will be China and they will come for Poland and they will come for France.” and they will come for Britain.”
Likewise, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned early in the war that “Putin will not stop at Ukraine”.
In an interview with the Georgian Service of RFE/RL, Mr Rasmussen said the Russian leader is “obsessed” with the recovery of the former Soviet Union.
The ex-NATO official said Putin was much more positive about Russia-West cooperation when he first became president, but has gradually changed his mind.
Speaking of the Russian tyrant, he said: “I think the revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine in 2004 and 2005 contributed to his change of mind.
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“We must not forget that Vladimir Putin grew up in the KGB. So his thinking is very influenced by that past. So I think he suffers from paranoia.
“And he thought that after the color revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, that’s the goal” [of the West] was to initiate regime change in the Kremlin as well – in Moscow. And that’s why he turned against the West.”
Mr Omelyan said he hopes the “lesson we all learn together” is that there is no future for cooperation with Russia.
He said the West should talk to individual states in Russia about the country’s future relationship with the rest of the world, otherwise he warned that “we will always be in trouble”.
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Rasmussen supported the West by increasing aid and arms supplies to Ukraine.
He said this is because “we have to realize” that it is a choice between “confronting Putin now or fighting him later because “Putin will not stop in Ukraine”.
Mr Omelyan urged “Europeans and NATO” to “wake up their minds” and fight for democracy.
He said: “What’s going on now will decide the 21st century as a period, so if Russia and China don’t stop, we’ll all be in big trouble. It’s not just about Ukraine, it’s about all of us.” .”