Putin’s view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors. Parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland are states where Putin claims to have ownership. The West’s leaders seem, from what they say, entirely to have forgotten that there are some leaders in the world who want to conquer other countries. But if Putin is not stopped, the issue will be brought sooner or later. Putin has said several times that the Bolsheviks and Communists made big mistakes. He could well say that the Bolsheviks in 1917 committed treason against Russian national interests by granting Finland’s independence.
— Andrei Illarionov, President Vladimir Putin’s chief economic adviser from 2000 to 2005; quoted by Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, March 2014
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