A FORMER BBC Moscow correspondent is set to deliver a talk at the Borders Book Festival on how Vladimir's Putin's invasion of Ukraine has changed the world.

Acclaimed journalist Allan Little will host the McInroy and Wood lecture exclusively at this year's event.

And he believes that this is a moment of huge historical consequence and that the post-Cold War era that began with the fall of the Berlin Wall is over.

He told us: “I have been to the Borders Book Festival before and it’s a great event. The problem when talking about this subject is to try and leave the audience with some hope, but this really is a dangerous time.

“Russia has chosen to carry out an action which has brought NATO to its door. It was aimed at making Putin’s regime feel safe but things are uncertain. He can’t afford to lose and he doesn’t seem to be winning so it’s hard to see an end.

“Why Putin dislikes Ukraine so much is that since 1991 they have had several elections where the government in power has lost. That has never happened in Russian history.

“During the cold war of my generation, the Soviet Union had overwhelming conventional superiority of firepower and manpower. So they felt that NATO would be forced to resort to a first use nuclear strike. Now NATO have overwhelming conventional superiority and with the Russian army so depleted that Russia could launch a first strike if its back was against the wall.

“This is not something the world has faced before. It’s a fight between how world order should function. It’s Helsinki versus Yalta. At Yalta in 1945, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill carved post-war Europe into "spheres of influence" – most of Eastern Europe to Russia, the west to the trans-Atlantic alliance that would set about rebuilding Europe's democracies.

"Helsinki, by contrast, describes a Europe of independent sovereign states, each of which is free to choose its own alliances.

“Ukraine's defenders are fighting for Helsinki. Putin has sent his troops in to impose a modern version of Yalta which would kill off Ukraine's independence and leave it under Russian domination.

“It really is the Spanish Civil War of our time only this time the west has chosen sides.”

Little has an extensive knowledge on the subject having previously reported extensively on the political and economic upheaval of the Yeltsin regime including the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.

He has also reported from Baghdad for BBC Radio during the 1991 Gulf War, and also reported from Kuwait on the Shiite rebellions immediately afterwards.

Later the same year he was despatched to Yugoslavia, where he was to spend the next four years reporting on conflict throughout the region.

He co-authored The Death of Yugoslavia – a critically-acclaimed chronicle of the bloody break-up of the country which accompanied the award-winning BBC series.

Alan Little will be delivering The McInroy & Wood Lecture at the Borders Book Festival, Melrose Friday, June 17 at 7.30pm (Tickets £15, £13) www.bordersbookfestival.org Box office: 0131 290 2112.