Winter in Europe May Be Springtime for Putin

Through Daniel Yegin and Michael Stoppard

The second front has opened in the struggle for Ukraine – an energy war in Europe. Vladimir Putin’s strategy is no secret. He laid it out at an economic conference in St. Petersburg in June: High energy prices bringing hardships radiating through the European economy that will cause social unrest that will make people vote their aching wallets. This, in turn, will bring to power populist parties that, to use his own language, will transform “the elites” in Europe.

The ultimate goal is to put in power governments in Europe that are not committed to supporting Ukraine, thereby shattering the Western coalition. The strategy is already at work. Last month, a right-wing party withdrew from Italy’s governing coalition, citing “the awful choice” facing Italian families “between paying their electricity bills and buying groceries.” This forced the resignation of the prime minister Mario Draghiwho traveled to Kyiv in June to reiterate Italy’s support for Ukraine. Winter in Europe May Be Springtime for Putin

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