Russian President Vladimir Putin has them, so far centered on his buildup opposite Russia’s border with Ukraine.

“Further movement of NATO eastward is unacceptable,” Mr Putin told a press conference on Thursday.

This is the Kaiser presuming to order Poincaré/Viviani and Asquith not to respond to his buildup opposite the French border.

And this:

Mr Putin warned that Russia’s actions would depend not only “on the course of the negotiations, but on the unconditional provision of Russia’s security, today and in the future,” he said.

Like he’s honoring Ukraine’s security, as he’s already committed to do via his agreements under the Budapest Memoranda? He’s in no position to complain, at least in no moral position.

The Russian Anschluss:

[Putin insists] the future of the breakaway eastern region, called the Donbas, should be determined by residents there and he described the Kremlin’s role as being “mediators in creating the best conditions for determining the future of the people who live there.”
More than a million residents of the Donbas region have Russian passports, according to senior Russian officials.

The question is whether Biden-Harris, Macron, Johnson, and Scholz will have the moral and political courage that even those two sets of feckless predecessors had. In making their decisions to run and hide or to stop Putin and force him back out of Ukraine (and Georgia), these worthies need to consider that the farther Putin expands his borders, the farther he’ll demand the West retreat, for the unconditional provision of Russia’s security, today and in the future.

Update: Putin is withdrawing some 10,000 soldiers of the 175,000 that he’s mobilized on the Russian border with Ukraine. There are some reasons for this. One is that he’s making a show of this to cover the fact that he’s simply rotating troops in and out of the field to keep them fresh.

Another is that he’s giving up something small in the expectation of–and added pressure to–get something major for his going first with this “concession.”

Another is that Biden-Harris already has surrendered something, and he’s making a token gesture preparatory to forcing a major surrender regarding Ukraine, having thus built  momentum in Biden-Harris toward yielding and gotten him deeper into that mindset.

Updated Update: Other Russian troop movements include these:

Satellite photos revealed that Russia this month has moved infantry vehicles, tanks, artillery, and more into Crimea, according to reports. Additionally, a military unit has arrived near a Russian town that is situated nine miles from the border with Ukraine.

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