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'It's an extremely dangerous situation:' Grand Valley professor reacts to Russian invasion of Ukraine

Military Drills Russia
Posted at 5:50 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 17:50:33-05

LANSING, Mich. — Reactions to Russia invading Ukraine Wednesday night have been pouring in from all across the country.

Russian forces have been entering the country from three sides by land, air and sea.

Scott Lingenfelter is a professor of history at Grand Valley State University. He said this is a very dangerous situation and the timing is interesting.

“The precise timing is a little bit curious," said Lingenfelter. "There may be some internal reasons for that. There may be some things that we don't know. But I think he had reached a point that he had kind of had it up to here and decided that this was the time to move.”

Ligenfelter says he wasn't entirely surprised by Russia's decision to invade because of signs that go back to as early as last July.

“He was talking about how he felt this threat from the west and leaders in the region," Lingenfelter said. "One in particular, a Finnish leader, noticed a hardening in his attitude as of late October, and then came ultimatums late in the year and then the troop buildup, which started on the eastern side and then included the north and the south as well.”

Ukrainian officials say so far about 60 people have died and over 160 people have been injured. Ligenfelter said people being displaced will be a serious problem in its own right.

“The strategic clash between the two countries and maybe even, depending on how NATO is pulled into this will be decided on the battlefield more or less, and then whenever he decides, whenever Putin decides to stop. But the unfolding humanitarian crisis is something that is very serious. And it's already begun, both in Eastern Europe and in Russia," Lingenfelter said.

Right now, Lingenfelter said all that's left to do now is be patient and wait to see how this plays out. He doesn't believe Putin will stop and negotiate.

“In time, and maybe sooner than we would wish, NATO forces and Russian forces are going to be uncomfortably close and things can happen," Lingenfelter said. "When that's the situation, there's always that danger of a wider war and I think that's probably our ultimate fear.”

FOX 47 News will continue to provide updates both online and in our newscasts as the invasion progresses.

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