Invasion of Ukraine was ‘on the horizon’ – Former USSR resident and Brookhaven native offers his thoughts on the war

For a Brookhaven native who once lived in the former Soviet Union, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could be seen “on the horizon.”

Bill Perkins lived for 12 years in the Central Asian city of Almaty, in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.

“For many of us living in the former Soviet Union, we have seen this on the horizon. Putin will eventually seize the opportunity to make geopolitical moves on the chessboard when he senses the weakness of the West. He has had the ambition to restore the former Soviet Union to some form of Moscow domination since he assumed supreme power in the Russian Federation in 1998,” Perkins said.

Former managing director of Mangistaumunaigaz – Kazakhstan’s fourth largest oil and gas company, Perkins said all similar companies there “always felt the hand of Big Brother in Moscow, especially after Putin replaced Yeltsin” .

In late 1999 or early 2000, Perkins met two Russians interested in his business. The men advised Perkins to ramp up production from their 15 fields near the Caspian Sea to maximize yields as soon as possible, because Putin would start rebuilding the former Soviet Union once he saw an opportunity.

“They said it might take years, but Putin was here to stay and that was his ambition and his kin,” Perkins said. “That was over 20 years ago and it is finally coming true today.”

Many believe the recent unrest in Almaty and across Kazakhstan was orchestrated as a pretext for 78 Russian commando flights to restore order in the Central Asian country five times the size of Texas, rich in natural resources of oil and gas, uranium, coal, gold, copper and more,” Perkins said. “It was just a move on the chessboard to test the waters ahead of his foray into Ukraine. Unfortunately, there’s probably more to come.

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