Russian President Vladimir Putin has done “a very good job” of deterring the United States and its NATO allies from acting more strongly and directly on behalf of Ukraine in its current conflict with Russia, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and retired US Air Force General Philip Breedlove said on Tuesday.
“We are deterred and Mr. Putin has done a very good job of deterring us,” Breedlove told an Atlantic Council podcast discussion.
Breedlove also said that Putin and other Russian leaders were hoping that a severely cold winter would lead to an energy crisis in Western Europe because of the ban on buying Russian energy exports so that the resultant hardships would turn the peoples of Europe against their governments which were supporting the economic sanctions against Russia.
“They need to separate the European people from their governments,” Breedlove said.
Breedlove also said that during his tenure as Supreme Allied Commander Europe from 2013 to 2016, President Barack Obama and his administration had refused to be deterred by Russia in its support of Ukraine after the decision of the people of Crimea to rejoin Russia in 2014 following the US and EU-supported coup in Kiev.