“I wanted to become the new Peter I”: FT found out how Putin made the decision to start a war with Ukraine

When deciding to invade Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin did not take into account the opinion of even people from his inner circle, while wanting to go down in history as the new Peter I. The Financial Times writes about this in a major investigation on the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

A participant in Putin's meeting with big business, which took place on the day of the invasion, February 24, told the newspaper that before the event he asked Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov how information about the impending invasion of Ukraine remained unknown to the ruling and business elites.

«He (Putin — ed.) has three advisers. Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great», — answered Lavrov.

A source close to the Kremlin claims that before the invasion, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev reported to Putin about the poor state of the Russian army. In turn, the Russian dictator rejected the voices of dissent, as in 2014 during the annexation of Crimea. Then he did not even inform the Security Council. The discussion of the operation was conducted during the night meeting, which ended only at 7 am. His interlocutors were Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and three high-ranking security officials.

“He really believes in everything that says about sacredness and Peter the Great. He thinks he will be remembered as Peter,” the former senior official said.

The newspaper also draws attention to the fact that during the planning of the invasion, Putin relied on the information of the former MP from «OPZZH» and his godfather Viktor Medvedchuk, who assured the master of the Kremlin that Russian troops would be welcome in Ukraine. So, Medvedchuk's people worked as spotters for Russian troops, putting navigation markings on buildings and roads, and helped Russia seize part of the territories in southern Ukraine, including Kherson. However, most of the people bought by Medvedchuk simply fled with the money they received or warned the Ukrainian authorities about the instructions they had received, a high-ranking Ukrainian official and several ex-officials from Russia and the United States told the newspaper.

People familiar with Putin told the publication that today The day the dictator realizes that the price has turned out to be huge, but is still determined to win. So, he seeks new justifications for the war, insisting that he had no choice but to continue the invasion by any means.

“He says to his entourage: “It turns out that we were completely wrong ready. The army is a mess. Our industry is a mess. But it's good that we found out about it that way, and not when NATO invades us, ”said one of the ex-officials.

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