Putin’s former aide Andrei Illarinov said in one of his interviews that Russia has been preparing for global war since 2003 – starting with war against Ukraine.
According to Illarionov, Russia has been preparing for a major war at least since 2003 and for a confrontation with Ukraine, including the capture of Crimea, since 2004, when the ‘Orange Revolution’ started in Kiev.
Another contingency plan was drafted for 2010, in case Yulia Tymoshenko had won the presidential election instead of Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovych. One more potential date for a war was chosen for 2015, according to Andrei Illarionov, when Ukraine would hold its next presidential election. However, Euromaidan happened sooner.
The information campaign justifying the Russian invasion in Ukraine and all sorts of scenarios (including science fiction, alternative history, futurology) of possible Russian aggression against Ukraine started in 2001 but intensified in the period 2006 – 2010. These scenarios were presented in a form of science fiction, futurology or alternative history scenarios. This confirms the suggestion by Andrei Illarionov that, in the event that a candidate other than Yanukovych had won the presidential election in 2010, Russia had prepared military campaign to “handle” this outcome.