Ukraine crisis: 'I think Vladimir Putin has backed himself into a corner'

23 February 2022, 23:07

Lord Peter Ricketts: I don't really accept the idea that President Putin is some great strategist

By Sam Sholli

Former National Security Adviser Lord Peter Rickets has, amid the Ukraine crisis, said he thinks Vladimir Putin has "backed himself into a corner".

The former National Security Adviser made the remark while appearing on LBC's Cross Question.

After a caller asked if the West has fallen into a bear trap laid by Vladimir Putin, Iain asked: "Peter Ricketts, have we fallen into a bear trap?"

In response, former National Security Adviser said: "No, I don't think we have.

"And I don't really accept the idea that President Putin is some great strategist.

"I think he's an opportunist and actually I don't think a war in Ukraine is popular in Russia."

Lord Ricketts also said: "I'm afraid President Putin has got himself into a sort of visceral nationalist mindset where NATO is the enemy and the answer is a ring of buffer states around Russia [which are all] weak or pro-Russian or at least neutral - and he is determined as part of his legacy to leave Ukraine in that state.

"He's seen an opportunity. He thinks the West is weak or distracted.

"I think perhaps he's been a bit surprised by the strength of the Western reaction so far.

"And the West is doing the right thing to stand up to him.

"So, no I don't think it's a bear trap. I think he's backed himself into a corner. And he's got some quite difficult choices to make now."