The head of Germany’s federal intelligence agency has said that amid Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, Putin wants a “declaration of war” against the entire Western world.
The remarks were made this week by Bruno Kahl, director of the BND – the German equivalent of the American CIA.
Kahl reportedly said that Putin sees the “aggressive” spread of the Western freedom and democracy as the “main threat” that “existentially” threatens his regime.
MORE – "Putin is not primarily concerned with the territory of Ukraine… he is concerned with a declaration of war against the entire Western, liberal, and democratic world," Kahl said earlier today.
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) October 17, 2022
“Putin is not primarily concerned with the territory of Ukraine, which he is currently waging a brutal war of annihilation over,” the BND chief said.
“It’s about a declaration of war against the entire western, free, democratic world.”
Kahl added that he believes Putin is willing to sacrifice losses in Ukraine, as the Russian leader believes that not acting would cost his country more in the long run.
“He is ready now to accept the military, economic and political costs of a war of aggression against Ukraine because, in the event of inaction, he sees the future costs for Russia as significantly higher, which would result from Ukraine’s further rapprochement with the West and that NATO would come into existence,” he said.
“…Putin will continue to use violence to achieve his political goals, as he has done before in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, Crimea and Donbass.”
The comments come as the rhetoric on both sides of the war continues to escalate, with the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell saying that the West would “annihilate” Russia if it chose to launch a nuclear attack on Ukraine.
"People who support 🇺🇦, 🇪🇺, member states, 🇺🇸, NATO are not bluffing either. Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer. Not a nuclear answer, but so powerful answer from the military side that the Russian army will be annihilated”. – @JosepBorrellF
— UkraineWorld (@ukraine_world) October 13, 2022
Russia has been sabre-rattling about the possibility of using nuclear weapons since the war began, with many analysts speculating about whether or not this is a bluff.
Last week top Russia official Alexander Venediktov warned that if Ukraine joins NATO – which it is seeking to do – it would result in a “guaranteed escalation to World War 3.”
🇺🇦 Ukraine joining Nato would mean "a guaranteed escalation" to a third world war, the deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council has said.
Follow the latest updates from Ukraine here ⤵️https://t.co/8XB5jdcYHx
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) October 13, 2022