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You're reading: Anders Aslund: Putin needs victory

So runs the refrain in a popular old Soviet film, “The Belarusian Railway Station,” about World War II veterans. This line probably explains Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policy on Ukraine. 

The latest developments, including the seizure by Russian operatives of police stations in several towns in eastern Ukraine, make it increasingly clear that Putin’s game plan is to destabilize the region and use the chaos as an excuse to invade. A Russian military invasion of all of Ukraine, including the capital of Kyiv, cannot be ruled out. 

It is time for the West to stop the waiting game and escalate its sanctions against Russia to avoid a catastrophe.

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