As Reuters 2/22/22 (unusual date) tells us, “President Vladimir Putin also signed a decree on the deployment of Russian troops to the breakaway regions. But White House officials said that because Russia already had troops in the regions, Moscow’s moves did not trigger a broad package of sanctions which Washington and its allies have been working on in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. The White House announced separate, less severe, and more targeted sanctions. European Union member states are also considering possible sanctions.” You can read the entire article here.
Explainer: How Western sanctions might target Russia https://t.co/Qttj7EVjVn
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Despite the occupation of the Eastern provinces of Ukraine which are populated with Russian adhering separatists I still think Putin will not invade the rest of Ukraine. Yes, in a way he may be mad and not listening to his own advisors who must realize the gain from so doing a full invasion would be personally and politically disastrous to their overall interests. But he is a chess player and the cost of killing a million people will include a lot of his soldiers who will as NY Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize writer, Thomas Friedman has forecast, Putin will not get high marks from his people when his soldiers start coming back in body bags.
Recall my earlier warning Op Ed about what befell LBJ and George W. B Bush for not understanding that conventional wars in today’s interconnected world are not winnable. As I argue such wars now are obsolete as a means of winning enhancing political victories. Nuclear NO Conventional NO.
Most important Putin now has a plausible off ramp. He in his own mind has checkmated the enemies and can now withdraw a hero to his beleaguered people.
In discussing this situation with a close friend including my thought Putin may be mad, he emailed me as follows:
I am not sure that Putin is mad, but he is, like most Russians, a chess player. He has undoubtedly read Sun Tzu, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
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What Vladimir Putin Is So Afraid Of In Ukraine
Ex-US Ambassador: ‘Putin unlikely to commit Russian lives’
Russia expert: Putin wants a ‘replay of the end of the Cold War’