It’s not as complicated as some…pundits…want us to believe. One such, James Marson in his Wednesday Wall Street Journal piece, offered the following claim from a Vladimir Putin spokesman. Marson didn’t question it; he simply commented on other politicians’ responses to the claim as though it were accurate.
A Kremlin spokesman said President Vladimir Putin wasn’t presenting ultimatums, but was worried about threats to Russia’s security.
This is a truckload of bravo sierra. Putin knows full well that no one in the West is interested in threatening Russian security, no one in the West is interested in invading Russia. Putin knows full well that Russia has absolutely nothing at all of value to the West that isn’t gotten far more cheaply—and mutually beneficially—through free and honest trade.
Putin wants Ukraine. He wants Georgia and the Baltics and, later, Poland. He’s even cynically trotted out his effort to redress his mythical 20th century tragedy as his rationale for his empire-building.
It’s also entirely possible that Xi is egging Putin on, since a Putin seizure of Ukraine would give the Republic of China to Xi.