Putin did not kept his worldview a secret until now, on the contrary, he had acted on it at least three times in the past 15 years, each time paying little price. He seized a chunk of Georgia in 2008 and of Ukraine in 2014, to say nothing of his decision to underpin the Assad regime’s murderous war against the Syrian people.
We may have forgotten about all that, just like the Russian dissident Garry Kasparov said about the “amnesia of the west” , but Putin had not. He noted the western indifference to his annexation of Crimea, and four years later, Russia was hosting the football World Cup.
Any nuclear superpower always had impunity. China can subjugate Tibet and Hong Kong, the US can bomb whoever it likes, and so can Russia, like they always have done.
Analysts say that Putin does not see Russia’s nuclear capability as theoretical, it is absorbed into his military strategy. No one would want to tangle with such a man, not least as he seems to have a stable rationality.
Modest options like perhaps enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine run into the same problems: it would mean Nato being at war with Russia.
International law and the notion of the sanctity of human life are about as valid notions as the cheap sentiments on a political banners carried by nationalists zealots.
All this could end up in full scale nuclear war. Post WW2 international order seems to be crumbling under the onslaught kleptocratic regimes and populist demagogues.
If Trumps returns to power at the next US elections, which is not impossible, we may be entering not only an age of impunity but and in a dark age where Russia, China and Trump’s America set the rules.
It’s all to NATO’s fault declares Putin. Can we really resent the Eastern European peoples’ wish to become NATO members after they had been subjugated and abused during 50 years by the USSR?
And with Russia’s brutal wars in Chechnya, Georgia, Crimea, Donbas, Syria, does anyone think these new NATO members don’t feel justified of their choice?
NATO never has given a formal promise to Russia just like Russia did to Ukraine to give up the nuclear arsenal in exchange to respect it’s territorial integrity, – not to not expand into east and central Europe.
In the past Russians invaded the eastern half of Poland territories and the western half of Ukraine which now belongs to Belarus, with the consent of the western powers. Thousands of Polish officers who had surrendered were killed without mercy by the Russians.
Beijing be thinking if Russia can take Ukraine,- why can’t China take the Taiwan?
Economic interests are partly to blame but this is minor compared to the crimes committed by the Putin’s brutal imperialism. Putin bombs cities and kills people and Europe and the United Nations must speak with one voice to defend democracy.
The Russian Empire, a historical empire founded on November 2 (October 22, old style), 1721, when the Russian Senate conferred on Peter I the title of emperor (emperor) of all Russians. The abdication of Nicholas II on March 15, 1917, marked the end of the Roman Empire and the Romanov dynasty.