Published at 09:25 on 19 January 2022
I mean, sure, he runs a disgusting right-wing authoritarian regime. I don’t like Putin either. Check.
That formality dispensed with, why wouldn’t Putin threaten Ukraine? It’s a far weaker power, so Russia can get away with it.
Russia is unlikely to invade all of Ukraine, for the simple matter that doing so would be taking a bite of something way too big to chew. There would be resistance. Russia might well be able to eventually prevail over it, but it would take a major effort. It would not be a convenient little war.
So Russia is more likely to whittle off yet another chunk of Ukraine by force. Russia already forcibly annexed Crimea, and got away with it. And Russia would likely get away with whittling off another chunk.
NATO members are likely to be upset about it, but the level of upset will not rise to the level where anyone is willing to put the lives of their own troops on the line. This is particularly the case when one realizes how much of a has-been power NATO is.
This is because NATO relies primarily on the USA, and the USA is a seriously compromised nation with an extremely powerful domestic fascist movement with pro-Russia sympathies, a movement poised to almost certainly take power soon. And you better believe that latter fact is entering Putin’s calculus, too.