May 10th, 2014
10:37 PM ET

Kissinger: Putin likely didn't plan to bring Ukraine situation to a head

Fareed speaks with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger about what might be behind Russia’s recent policy toward Ukraine. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Kissinger: One has to ask oneself this question: He spent $60 billion on the Olympics. They had opening and closing ceremonies, trying to show Russia as a normal progressive state. So it isn't possible that he, three days later, would voluntarily start an assault on Ukraine. There is no doubt that…

So to explain. You're saying you don't think this was a plan.  You think he reacted to events that he saw as spiraling out of his control?

Kissinger: Yes. I think at all times he wanted Ukraine in a subordinate position. And at all times, every senior Russian that I've ever met, including dissidents like Solzhenitsyn and Brodsky, looked at Ukraine as part of the Russian heritage.

But I don't think he had planned to bring it to a head now. I think he had planned a more gradual situation, and this is sort of a response to what he conceived to be an emergency situation. Of course, to explain why he did it doesn't mean one approves of annexing part of another country or crossing of borders. But I think we ought to settle the Ukraine issue first, and then have a discussion about relations with Russia.

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Topics: GPS Show • Russia • Ukraine

soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Francesco

    Why question this man today?
    After his treacherous past was already laid out in "The Trial of Henry Kissinger", by Christopher Hitchens.
    Does CNN think that his reputation is untouched. Doesn't CNN know that this man is already remembered as
    a war criminal, and a self-serving, unscrupulous egoist of the work kind. A fraud, outside in? Keep it up CNN and it will take much more than Bordaine to keep your ratings up. After seeing this, I'm not even turning you on for his show.

    June 1, 2014 at 8:00 am |
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