The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a “rehearsal” for a larger conflict with the countries that make up NATO, according to a Russian political scientist.
Alexei Fenenko, a research fellow at the Institute of International Security Studies, made the remarks on Thursday while speaking on the Russian-state TV talk show “60 Minutes,” according to Daily Beast Russian State TV Reporter Julia Davis.
“For us, the war in Ukraine … is a rehearsal for a possibly larger conflict in the future,” Fenenko said. “And that is why we’ll test and go up against NATO weapons, and will see on the battlefield how much stronger our weapons really are compared to theirs.”
“Maybe it will be a learning experience for a future conflict,” he continued.
Russia has been bragging about developing high-tech weaponry during its invasion of Ukraine. A senior Russian official made unsubstantiated claims earlier this month that Russian forces have a laser weapon system in Ukraine that can take out a miles-away drone within seconds.
Last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the conflict will “eventually hit everyone.”
“Russian aggression was not intended to be limited to Ukraine alone,” Zelenskyy said. “To the destruction of our freedom and our lives alone. The whole European project is a target for Russia.”
There’s also concern that Russia might leverage cyber activity to conduct data attacks, Insider’s Stravros Atlamazoglou reported.
There are “perceptions of a cyber Armageddon bricking US and European computers or destroying Ukrainian critical infrastructure. That probably didn’t happen because Putin wanted to fight a limited war in Ukraine,” said former Russia analyst Michael E. van Landingham.