AFTER CRIMEA: Top Intelligence Analysts Forecast The 5 Things That Putin Might Do Next

MAR. 21, 2014, 9:15 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invaded and annexed Crimea, continuing a Kremlin practice of employing military intervention abroad under the pretext of protecting ethnic Russians and Russian interests.

While Putin’s creep into Ukraine is far from over, there are other military moves Russia could make to extend its post-Soviet sphere of influence.

Wikistrat, a consultancy that analyzes geopolitical and economic forces using crowd-sourced expertise, has been calculating what could happen next in the region.

In January, Wikistrat analysts forecast the potential for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to resign (which he did a month later) and for Crimea to request annexation into Russia (which occurred this week).

Recently, 66 analysts spent five days exploring scenarios involving all types of interventions, from small-scale missions against criminals and terrorists to outright invasions and massive cyberattacks.

Here are five plausible and alarming scenarios compiled by Wikistrat senior analyst (and BI contributor) professor Mark Galeotti:

Galeotti then explains why Russia would potentially act in these ways, and the effects of that sort of behavior.

These observations encapsulate why Russia discreetly intervenes aboard, how it’s done, and the effect of the Kremlin’s actions.

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