In-Depth: Why Texans should care about the Ukraine war & warning on cyber attacks

One-on-one with U.S. ambassador who served both Bush administrations.
Ukraine AP.jpeg
Ukraine AP.jpeg
Ukraine Russia
Ukraine Tensions
Ukraine Tensions
Ukraine Tensions
Posted at 7:38 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 22:44:39-05

Eyes have been glued to the conflict in Ukraine. What was once unthinkable has now become a reality for those who live in Ukraine.

"I have been warning for some years now, that Putin was dangerous and that he was not what he appeared to be," said Andrew S. Natsios, Executive Professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

Natsios served under both George W. and George H.W. Bush administrations. In a one-on-one interview with In-Depth reporter Nick Bradshaw, he's been warning people about President Putin.

"I thought he was just biding his time until he could rebuild the Russian military and then he would attempt to re-create the Soviet empire," said Natsios.

When it comes to Texas he believes we shouldn't fear but pay attention to what is happening in Ukraine.

"He would like to isolate us in every respect, he wants revenge for the collapse of the Soviet Union. And he would like the NATO alliance to go away, and he'd like the EU to go away," said Natsios. "We need to understand this is not just a matter of Ukraine."

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File - Newborn cribs in a basement used as a bomb shelter at the Okhmadet children's hospital in central Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

On top of higher gas prices at the pump and prices on things like energy increasing, there is a chance we could see cyber attacks.

"We're going to see in the next months, in my view, huge cyber attacks on our infrastructure and President Biden has to get in front of him on some counter-attacks, said Natsios. "I think we should do them now. Because Putin has already been threatening us. Before they attacks, that because it will cripple their capacity."

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People stand in line to withdraw U.S. dollars and Euros from an ATM in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Ordinary Russians faced the prospect of higher prices and crimped foreign travel as Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine sent the ruble plummeting, leading uneasy people to line up at banks and ATMs on Monday in a country that has seen more than one currency disaster in the post-Soviet era. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

What is the worst invasion in Europe, since World War 2, has played out on social media and television.

"But we need to understand we're no longer in the post-Cold War world anymore, that we're entering a new period of great power, rivalry, and violence, there's going to be a lot more instability in the world," said Natsios.

It's difficult to process what's happening at times. 74 percent of Americans call Russia's Ukraine invasion unjustified according to a recent Yahoo poll.

Putin has used religion and propaganda to help justify his reasoning for invading Ukraine.

"I'm an Orthodox Christian, but Putin has destroyed the Russian Orthodox Church by making an arm of the state," said Natsios. "So I'm very angry with what he's done to the Orthodox Church. He claims to be pro orthodox himself, I don't believe it. I think he's simply manipulated the church for propaganda purposes."

Many have compared the recent days to World War 2. Across the world cities, small and large, have said they stand with Ukraine. In Texas Gov. Abbott has asked businesses to pull Russian products from the store shelves.

Andrew S. Natsios places some blame on President Biden after the Afghanistan pull out.

"I do think it's the case I think why else? Why he timed it right now. It's like four months after this, this embarrassing withdrawal from Afghanistan that was done. It looked like we were running away," said Natsios.

He was also critical of former President Trump.

"I was [critical] yes, because the withdrawal plan was negotiated under President Trump. And Joe Biden carried out the Trump plan, both of them we need I'm a conservative internationalist, we need strong international leadership"