Tensions between Russia and NATO continue to escalate.
The defense alliance has repeatedly warned that Putin's regime could invade more European countries if it defeats Ukraine.
Russia, on its part, has officially denied any such plans, but at the same time has warned several neighboring countries that they are in a precarious position.
"Poland has probably begun to realize that they are next in line," said Aleksey Zhuravalyov, a politician allied with Putin, recently.
Direct Order: to Reclaim Lost Assets
Now, Putin has ordered direct action that, among others, threatens to affect Poland, reports Bloomberg.
The dictator demands that assets and properties that once belonged to or were owned by the Soviet Union be immediately seized and reclaimed.
"The order was announced late on Thursday," emphasizes the news agency.
The details of Putin's announcement are still unclear. It is not apparent how extensive the drastic measure is or exactly what type of property is intended to be reclaimed.
What is clear, however, is that it adds to the concern over the already very tense security situation in the region.
"It is unlikely that Putin's interest in former imperialist possessions will alleviate concerns about his ambitions among neighboring states after Russia's invasion of Ukraine has disrupted European security," writes Bloomberg.
Five NATO Countries at Risk
The Russian Empire, which stretched from 1721 to 1917, included all or parts of the territory in five countries that are today members of NATO:
The empire was dissolved under the pressure of World War I and the 1917 Bolshevik revolution led by Vladimir Lenin.
The Soviet Union, formally established in 1922, covered much of the empire's former territory. It collapsed in 1991 when constituent republics in the Baltics, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus, and Central Asia became independent.