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Russia pays record 25% of budget for Putin's paranoia - US intelligence

Russia pays record 25% of budget for Putin's paranoia - US intelligence Russian dictator Vladimir Putin (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's paranoid fear of alleged Western attempts to limit Russia's power has led to the spending of about 25% of the Russian state budget on militarization, according to Director of National Intelligence Avril Gaines.

These estimates were made during a hearing in the US Congress on May 2.

Gaines said that NATO's efforts were aimed at assuring the opposite - that the West does not threaten Russia, but Putin himself accelerated events he was trying to avoid by his own decisions. We are talking about the accession of neighboring Finland and Sweden to NATO.

The intelligence chief is convinced that Putin continues to believe that there is a threat to Russia and believes that increased militarization will convey this message to Western and domestic audiences.

Senator Angus King asked how Putin can be convinced that NATO is not an aggressive bloc and is not going to invade Russia. According to the senator, Russian intelligence services are inherently a paranoid organization.

“Yes, I agree with you that there is some paranoia involved, he (Putin - ed.) does believe that the security of his country is in some way threatened,” Gaines replied.

The Russian dictator's strategic goals, according to her, also remain unchanged - he continues to see NATO expansion and support for Ukraine as confirmation of his belief that the United States and Europe want to limit Russia's power.

In addition, Gaines said that Putin is trying to use global events, such as the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, to "divide us from our allies".

Putin is now convinced that domestic and international events are developing in his favor, the head of the National Intelligence Service said. She predicts that Moscow's aggressive tactics will continue, and the war is unlikely to end anytime soon.

The dictator is ready to spend more and more budget funds on its continuation. “Putin has increased defense spending to nearly 7% of Russia's GDP, almost double the historical average,” Gaines said, adding that the Russian defense budget now accounts for about 25% of all federal spending.

Threats to other Russia's neighbors

In Moldova, the authorities are convinced that the Kremlin will try to undermine the country's rapprochement with the European Union.

According to British intelligence, Russia is planning to target Moldova with a wave of so-called hybrid attacks before the presidential election and the referendum on EU accession.

Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, believes that if Ukraine's neighbors do not find a way to further increase defense production to help Kyiv, they will also eventually be in Russia's crosshairs. He is convinced that the Russians will take over the Baltic states in seven days. At the same time, Skibitskyi said that NATO's reaction time is ten days.