Putin is a strategist. He wants some very simple goals accomplished.
First, he wants a large buffer of people in case of a war with Europe. 7 million Ukrainians to die instead of 7 million Russians if Europe attacks.
Second, he wants to isolate, humiliate, and devastate the Ukrainian economy.
A weak Ukraine is not a threat. I do not think humiliation is a primary goal, but it happens when you invade your neighbor. He has isolated Ukrainian industry from Russian industry. Over the next 20 years, he expects that will weaken what is left of Ukrainian industry.
Third, he wants population. Russia has had a population problem for the last 40 years. By taking Ukrainians, he has added 2 million Russian speakers, and if he gains eastern Ukraine, he will gain another 7 to 9 million.
Fourth, he wants the Ukrainian military industry. Ukraine competes with Russia in the international arms market. And Russia gets a large amount of their weapons from Ukraine.
Fifth, he wants to stop sending oil and gas through Ukraine to Europe. This will isolate Ukraine in the energy sector.
Sixth, he wants to own the oil and gas that will be produced in Crimea, the Black Sea, and eastern Ukraine.
But, the seventh goal was his priceless goal.
Putin showed the world that Russia is the great power, and the USA was weak and powerless to do anything.
Nations around the world will consider Russian industry out of fear the US is falling behind.
So, why has Obama been so willing to give Russia the advantage?
That is a good question and a great new blog topic.
Don’t you think?