Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Russian President Vladimir Putin believes it’s his “destiny” to recreate the Russian Empire.
What Happened: Gates, in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said that the Russian president had made it part of his vision to retake old territories to recreate the Kremlin's former geographic sphere of influence.
“Putin believes it’s his destiny to recreate the Russian Empire. And as my old mentor, Zbig Brzezinski, used to say, ‘Without Ukraine, there can be no Russian Empire,'” Gates said.
See Also: Putin Losing ‘Thousands’ Of Soldiers, Says Ukraine President: ‘They Just Throw Them Into The Meat Grinder’
"So he is obsessed with retaking Ukraine. He will hang in there," he added.
Gates, criticizing Putin, said, "He’s doing what Russian armies have always done, and that is sending large numbers of relatively poorly equipped, poorly trained conscripts to the frontlines, in the belief that mass will overcome.”
Meanwhile, the Russian president is reportedly preparing a new offensive in Ukraine amid a series of setbacks. Reports indicated that Putin’s renewed offensive might begin as soon as February or March — sometime before Kyiv gets the newly promised supplies of U.S. and German battle tanks.
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