Putin’s Ukraine strategy


Putin’s Dangerous Ukraine strategy. For the past two months, Russian soldiers have been prowling the Ukrainian border, and Westerners are wondering, what next?Will Putin invade?Does he want to take over Ukraine?Or maybe the Russian strongman is simply flexing his muscles to scare NATO into undermining Ukraine.While Mr Putin appears to be in control, he is playing a very dangerous game that he cannot afford to lose.If the current crisis does not go Russia’s way, Moscow’s super-strongman could run into big trouble in the Kremlin.To understand why Mr Putin is beating the drums of war on his western border, delve into the Russian psyche.For them, it’s all about Mother Russia and the projection of national and personal power.During the Cold War, Russia was always given more credit than it deserved.It is this misperception of Russian power that has created fear in other parts of the world that has produced results for them.As a retired senior cia sources, told the press after the break-up of the Soviet union, “they never actually more than one, with the first nuclear third world countries in the world, and their original telephone systems, and a small number of soldiers on duty clear, they may have nothing can launch many missile!”In Russia, perceived personal power, the greatest asset of all, is more important than reality.In Russian eyes, a leader’s power is seen as 100 percent total control or 0 percent failure, with no middle ground.Khrushchev’s concession to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba from Kennedy, but this crisis heralded the end of Khrushchev’s time in the big chair at the end of the Kremlin negotiating table.Gorbachev was toasted on the day he flew home from Reykjavik without conceding to Reagan.Machismo works well in Moscow, where Mr Putin has made no secret of his mistresses, including a beautiful Moscow TV news anchor and an almost admitted daughter with him.Russians love the troika, and Putin’s dream is to build a statue of the three men, Lenin-Stalin-Putin, overlooking Red Square.Picture this: Lenin, uniting the workers of the world with his fist.Stalin in uniform beats Hitler, and Putin rides bare-chested on a horse, flaunting his six-pack chest.While the West may think Mr Putin is omnipotent in Russia, he must keep flexing more and more power internally.The recent public protests on the streets of Moscow have been a public relations disaster for Mr Putin.Mr Biden’s green lighting of Mr Putin’s natural gas pipeline has strengthened his authority among party bureaucrats, but not enough to satisfy his own party and those behind it.Only an effective rebuilding of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact would satisfy them.Uncle Vladimir’s reorganisation of European radicalism is not new.A few years ago, Russia was worried about Georgia’s new-found links with the West.When Kremlin diplomacy failed, Putin solved the problem with a bayonet.Russia’s incursion into the eastern third of Ukraine has yielded results.The message was clear: “Do what the big man wants or we will crush you.”Obama gave Russia the response the world was expecting, but he sent blankets and Band-aids to help Russia push resource prices to record highs. Why?A few years later, when Mr. Putin began threatening further full-scale incursions into Ukraine, Mr. Trump fired bullets and bombs.So Mr Putin has shelved his next planned power play.But now Biden and company are in charge in Washington (well, kind of…).Putin must flex his muscles again.He has amassed a large army on the Ukrainian border.These troops were formed for entry, not defense.His armour and artillery units, for example, are positioned directly on the border.120,000 Russian troops are ready to move in.If they are in a defensive position, they will be buried in the rear by artillery and support units.Russian troops are not only preparing to cross the border, but they are not trying to disguise their position, or hide their intentions.Putin wants western satellites to photograph the staging area for the troops.Why is Putin doing this?Because above all, Ukraine’s political movement toward the West, and its desire to align itself with NATO, is seen as a sign of Russian weakness in the Kremlin’s tortuous corridors.Moscow’s leaders, whoever they may be, cannot survive the public’s sense of weakness.Who cares if 10,000 Ukrainians died?But what is the best way for Mr Putin to burnish his image of power?His first choice would be to avoid entering Ukraine.If he can get Biden to guarantee a Russia-friendly Ukraine, officials in Moscow will see this as a reprint of Neville Chamberlain’s “peace in our time”, when Sittler humiliated him.As the British prime minister surrendered at Berchtesgaden, Sittler invaded Czechoslovakia and conquered 14 million people without firing a shot, while Chamberlain enjoyed a rather delicious series of quaint afternoon teas at 10 Downing Street.There is an interesting parallel between Czechoslovakia and Putin’s invasion of Crimea into Ukraine in 1938.Sittler defended the annexation of Czechoslovakia because many people there spoke German.Putin claimed Crimea should belong to him because many citizens of eastern Ukraine speak Russian.If Putin needs an excuse to leapfrog the rest of Ukraine in 2022, much of the rest of Ukraine will also speak Russian.Putin has only two options, he must either bully himself at the negotiating table into getting whatever he wants or he must release the kraken skis and get in.If the threat to bully boys works, Mr Putin will be seen as a hero in Moscow and a growing source of concern in the rest of Europe.If Mr Putin has to get in to get what he wants, he will still be regarded as a hero in Moscow and a growing source of concern in the rest of Europe.These two advantages are far more important to him than any negative sanctions the world may impose.Our reaction?If Putin does enter, Biden will just yell and send blankets and Band-aids.The third option, exit without a perceived victory, is out of the question for Mr Putin.So the West cannot win, and missed the opportunity years ago during Russia’s foray into Georgia and Crimea.Bottom line: The US and Western Europe are weakened because Putin is being tough and Obama and Biden are being weak.Are tough and weak real?To learn more

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