Russian former Prime Minister turned Putin-critic Mikhail Kasyanov has warned that the Baltic countries are next on Putin’s invasion list if Ukraine loses its war against the Kremlin. This report comes during a time when the war, now focused in the area of Severodonetsk in Eastern Ukraine, continues to swing back and forth between Ukraine and Russian forces.

“If Ukraine falls, the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) will be next,” he stated to Agence France-Presse.

He stated that he would have never thought in his worst nightmares that Putin would invade Ukraine and unleash a full-scale war. He admitted to being one of the people who doubted that Putin would have pushed through with the invasion, thinking during the months leading up to the invasion that Putin was bluffing.

Later, Kasyanov would realize that his former boss was not bluffing when Putin called upon the Russian Security Council to discuss the invasion. However, he described Putin as not in a good psychological state politically, saying that the Russian President was not thinking properly.

“When I saw the meeting of Russia’s Security Council, I realized, yes, there will be a war,” Kasyanov said. “I just know these people, and by looking at them, I saw that Putin is already out of it. Not in a medical sense but in political terms,” he added.

The former Russian Prime Minister would go on to say that he knew a “different” Putin.

Former Russian Prime Minister turned Putin critic Mikhail Kasyanov (Mateusz Sobieraj). Source:
Former Russian Prime Minister turned Putin critic Mikhail Kasyanov (Mateusz Sobieraj/Twitter)

Kasyanov, 64, was actually Putin’s first Prime Minister, rendering his service from the years 2000 to 2004. Once part of Boris Yeltsin’s administration in various capacities, he would turn against his boss Vladimir Putin after he was sacked as Prime Minister following years of dissent against Putin’s administration. He claimed that there was no separation of powers in the administration which led to impunity, and that the government could no longer function in autonomy as Putin had been giving instructions to each branch of government.

He would later be the subject of black propaganda in Russia due to his turn against Putin. From 2007 to 2008, he would create a new political party to run against Putin, establishing the Russian Popular Democratic Union Party. The Russian Government later blocked his party from participating in the elections. In 2008, he could garner enough signatures to run as a presidential candidate, which was later deemed invalid by their election commission. Kasyanov would call the elections a sham and farce and called the Russian public to boycott them.