- shoring up his authoritarian regime, the way despots do
- showing the west the economic power he can wield, particularly over energy supplies
The whole thing is very Russian in its simple complexity.
Any military action by the west would be insanity. You don’t go up against a nuke nation, certainly not one run by Putin. The only beneficiaries of any conflict would be the Halliburtons etc. We the People would see no benefit, and likely won’t notice the difference if nothing happens.
The Ukraine is economically important, but wedged like it is between east and west, is a pawn in a bigger game of influence.
Maybe someday Russia will get another Gorbachev.
It’s bad news, but unfortunately, just another piece of bad news in a global picture of bad news zones.
Crimean War II…and a lot less likely to result in a win this time, so as you say, the attempt probably won’t even be made.
It’s sad, but not awfully surprising - I suspect neither the Russian nor Ukrainian people are surprised.
The stock markets have shivered, but nothing spectacular. (EDIT - continuing) If the markets, which are connected to everything, felt that military action was going to occur, they’d sell everything, right now - the Ukraine is adequately connected in that manner, and represents enough of an issue, that military action would be frightening indeed.
Just don’t need it.
As for the Ukrainian people, I feel for them. Having the big bully beef up and push you aside, and wondering what on earth he’ll do now he’s around, is not a good place to be.
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