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  • It's a big topic and I'm by no means an expert, just read a few things lately.

    Putin views Ukraine as "spiritually" part of Russia. He wrote a 5,000 word essay on the subject which you can find on the Russian president website.

    Putin objects to NATO expansion and thinks that there is a plot going on to minimise Russian influence. Hence he likes to install dictators in neighbouring countries. See Lukashenko / Belrus

    The US would like to lead the diplomatic mission to dissuade Putin from invading Ukraine. Some in Europe are now thinking they should have their own voice (Macron).

    If Putin instigates a blatant invasion, the US and Europe will impose significant economic sanctions on Russia. However Russia have already demonstrated that it cuts both ways (see gas prices).

    Some people think that Putin is just "flexing" and won't actually do an invasion, but we don't know.