Fairfield security analyst narrowly misses wave of attacks in Ukraine
A national security analyst from Fairfield is counting his blessings. He escaped Ukraine just before Russia launched its most violent offensive in months.
Alex Plitsas, a former Pentagon official who is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, spent the past week working just 50 yards from where one explosive hit.
Multiple cities were targeted Monday. Missiles even struck a playground in Kyiv.
"Al Qaeda and ISIS don't do this,” Plitsas said. “I've literally never seen anything like this. Three tours, two wars, 42 countries worldwide and I have never seen such utter, callous disregard for human life.”
Last summer, Plitsas made national news for getting dozens of refugees out of Afghanistan – all by working the phones from his home. But he believes the situation in Ukraine is even more dangerous. Last Thursday, President Joe Biden even warned Democratic donors: “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
The U.S. State Department insists it has no evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning a nuclear attack, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Biden’s comments “reckless” in an interview with USA Today.
Still, Plitsas believes the possibility is on the table.
"I don't think [Putin] would go as far as launching a full-blown nuclear warhead, that we're used to seeing in videos of World War II,” said Plitasas. “There are what we call 'tactical nuclear weapons,' which would produce localized effects on the battlefield."
Plitsas said there’s danger here at home too. He warned of another Russian misinformation campaign aimed at U.S. elections this fall in a tweet Monday.
For Plitsas, the people he met in Ukraine hit very close to home.
"They're suburban. middle-class neighborhoods -- just like we have in Fairfield County in Connecticut,” he said. “And, you know, 6:00 in the morning one day, they've got missiles coming into their apartment building."