Staunton, VA, June 6, 2016 — It is always risky to derive intentions from capacities, but Moscow’s moves to create new military units opposite the Baltic states suggests that the Kremlin now has the capacity to invade Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, something that seems absurd to the West but may not to those who live in Vladimir Putin’s “alternate reality.”
In a commentary in Postimees June 6, Vadim Shtepa, a Karelian regionalist now living in exile in Estonia, says that 20 years ago it would have appeared ridiculous to talk about any Russian invasion of the Baltic countries. Russia accepted their independence and sought to develop good relations.
But today, he says, it appears “history is repeating itself. Putin’s Russia ever more conceives of itself as the literal continuation of the USSR with that state’s attempts to dictate its will to other countries. And if these countries conduct an independent policy, they aren’t protected from suffering Russian military invasions,” whether in Prague in 1968 or Ukraine now.