Why Russia is Mauling Ukraine

by | Feb 24, 2022 | Article

On February 24th, Russia attacked the Ukraine from three sides—the north, the south, and the east.  Here’s the story behind that move. 
On February 22nd, President Joe Biden announced economic sanctions on Russia for sending troops into the Ukraine.  The next day, Vladimir Putin proclaimed that Russia will attack us with “strong” and “painful” counter measures—asymmetrical moves that will hit us where we are “sensitive.”
In other words, Putin may mount cyberattacks on our water supply, our energy grid, our military or our markets. But that’s just the beginning. 
Early in the morning of February 24th, Putin gathered his military commanders in Moscow, gave a speech, and announced that Russia will mount what Putin called “a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine.”
Putin explained that he will demilitarize and denazify the Ukraine.   It sounds like Putin wants to eradicate the entire Ukrainian army and purge the Ukraine of anyone who  might disagree with him.  In fact, reports say that Putin already has lists of Ukrainians to be killed or imprisoned.  
Any nation that interferes, says Putin, will be hit with what he called “consequences you have never seen.”
Why are these attacks and counterattacks happening?  Russia appears to be making the first moves in what could become the biggest war in Europe since World War II. 
Even if Putin seizes control of the entire Ukraine,  he’s unlikely to stop there.  How do we know? In December, Putin made his demands to Western leaders in writing.  He wants all  of the territory Russia possessed before 1997.   That means he wants Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Albania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Putin appears to want close to 40% of the European continent. Why? 
In an article Putin published on the Kremlin website a few months ago, Putin implied that it had taken a thousand years for Russia to assemble its empire.  And he implied that he wants that empire back.
Then, in a one-hour speech the night of February 21st,  Putin proclaimed that the Ukrainian nation is a fiction.  Explained Putin, “Since time immemorial, the people living in the south-west of what has historically been Russian land have called themselves Russians and Orthodox Christians.” Western and Ukrainian historians disagree.  So do many ordinary Ukrainians.
But why is Vladimir Putin going for the conquest  of Eastern Europe at this particular minute in time?  He systematically weakened NATO from 2016 to 2020 by manipulating the politics in America, Britain, Italy, and the rest of Europe.  He funneled money and disinformation to movements like England’s Brexit and France’s Frexit. And he encouraged Americans to insult our NATO allies. 
Meanwhile, Putin’s cyber war against us helped set off a conflict between the American right and the American left, a conflict so severe that many now see it leading to a new civil war.
What’s more, Russia has cultivated a team of Putin cheerleaders in the USA, influential figures like Tucker Carlson, Mike Pompeo, and former president Donald Trump.  Former president Trump called Putin’s move on the Ukraine “genius.”
In other words, Putin has been using divide and conquer to make us weak. But that’s not all. 
On February 19th, Russia staged nuclear military exercises near the Ukrainian border.  The star weapon was  something America can’t match and may not be able to defend against—a hypersonic cruise missile that travels seven times the speed of sound, hugs the ground, zigs and zags to evade defenses, can be mounted in submarines, and can carry nuclear warheads to the coastal cities of the United States.
But here’s the real key.  Vladimir Putin is about to be 70 years old.  He apparently wants to go down in history as Vladimir the great.  Like Ivan the Terrible, Peter the  Great, and Catherine the Great, all of whom got their greatness by expanding the Russian empire.
Vladimir Putin, Message from the President of the Russian Federation, http://kremlin.ru/