Divide & divide, stir people up & then swoop in with a seemingly reactionary plan.
And all of it stemming from an insatiable lust for control and power.
He (Gary Kasparov) said that, rather than marching across the border, Russia would try to stir up some pro-Moscow "form of dissent" in the Baltics. This would allow Russia to maintain plausible deniability and characterize any military action in the region as a reaction — something that would make it difficult for NATO members to call it an invasion.But, hey, maybe annexing some nearby towns might be a good idea.
What may be most disconcerting about Putin in general, however, is his lack of predictability. All of the panelists agreed on one thing: Putin's end goal is to stay in power. And if that goal is suddenly best furthered through making noise in the Baltics, then there's a very real possibility he'll take action.
"We're talking about a man who doesn't have a plan. So we're trying to figure out what his plan is, but he doesn't have one," Gessen said. "He sees that as an option. It is definitely an option, he is considering it, and he may wake up one morning and do it."
More on Vlad here.