By Mick Krever, CNN
American and European sanctions imposed on Russia over its alleged backing of separatists in Ukraine are “pointless,” Dmitry Babich, a political analyst at the international Russian state broadcaster Voice of Russia told CNN’s Hala Gorani, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Wednesday.
“It’s not immediately clear how these sanctions can bring what we all desire – peace in Ukraine,” Babich said.
Russia, he said, sees the conflict in Ukraine as a genuine civil war, not a Russian creation.
“For thirty years, Russia and America were not able to stop the flow of arms and fighters from Pakistan to Afghanistan,” he said.
The “Russian-Ukrainian border is huge; it’s thousands of miles. And there are many people in Russia who want to fight in Ukraine. There are lots of people with fighting experience from Afghanistan, from Chechnya, from Moldova.”
Babich expressed dismay that the United States and other Western powers have not criticized the current Ukrainian government’s offensive against pro-Russian separatists in the same way that they condemned the use of snipers against protesters in Kiev earlier this year.
“There are no critical words towards this government, neither in the United States nor in Europe. That stumps Russians, and makes us more resistant to sanctions.”