Why Russian Pushed into Ukraine?

Zeihan suggest 2 reasons:1)Defensible borders 2)Bad Russian demographics
https://zeihan.com/ukraine-the-war-after-the-war/
The Russian strategic position is not what it was. The Russian heartlands are great wide opens. Defending great wide opens takes more troops than any country could supply. So, as Russian czar Catherine the Great famously put it, “I have no way to defend my borders but to extend them.”

At the height of Soviet power, the Russians controlled all nine of those geographic gaps that allow entry to the Russian heartlands. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia commanded but one. Courtesy of Putin’s wars of expansion and “peacekeeping” efforts in the former Soviet space, the Russians now have forces in six. Of the remaining gateways, two lie on Ukraine’s western border: the Polish and Bessarabian Gaps.

The Russian population suffers so completely from drug abuse, alcoholism, malnutrition, and disease that it is the world’s fastest collapsing demography (although recent statistical updates suggest China is challenging Russia for the top spot).

Since 1992 Russia birth rate is less than death rate.
https://www.rand.org/pubs/issue_papers/IP162.html

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<The Russian population suffers so completely from drug abuse, alcoholism, malnutrition, and disease that it is the world’s fastest collapsing demography >

If Russia needs more workers they could always increase their immigration quotas…if anyone was crazy enough to want to immigrate to Russia.

Wendy (grand-daughter of emigrants from Russia - God bless the U.S.A.!)

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Wendy (grand-daughter of emigrants from Russia - God bless the U.S.A.!)

Greetings, comrade!

My great-grandparents emigrated from Russia to the U.S. with only $50 in their pockets. And a bunch of precious gems sewn into the hem of my great-grandmother’s dress (great grandpa was a jeweler).

When we talk about travel plans. My wife sometimes thinks we should visit Russia. My response: Have fun and don’t forget to send me postcards.

AW

The defensible borders argument seems pretty ridiculous to me. What country is threatening to invade Russia? None. Putin may be crazy enough to be thinking this is rational but it’s not at all.

The typical desire for empire-building by people like Putin, seem the most likely reason, though distracting the Russian population from domestic problems seems a potentially potent reason too.

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Since 1992 Russia birth rate is less than death rate.

I can think of a lot of people who should love to live there…

The Captain
unfortunately they are living here

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I can think of a lot of people who should love to live there…

It’s a free country, you can leave anytime you want.

AW

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The defensible borders argument seems pretty ridiculous to me. What country is threatening to invade Russia? None.
Recently none. But there is historical memory of the Mongols, France & Germany. And NATO has been marching up to the border of Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. There may have been verbal promises made not to expand NATO eastward. Looking on the internet there are many pro & con links whether such promises were made. Certainly the Russians have been complaining for a long time about the expansion. We simply ignored those protests as they were weaken & had zero ability to oppose those actions.
https://www.nytimes.com/1995/03/21/world/russia-warns-agains…

And there are questions on how involved the US was in the 2014 Ukrainian government overthrow. It’s not like US CIA doesn’t have a record of such activities. And then there are the US interventions in Iraq, Libya, Syria & Afghanistan on questionable reasons. The US currently has frozen Afghanistan monies in the US leading to starvation of Afghani people.
Is Vlad Putin a nice guy? No. But we should look realistically at US actions in the world.
A big reason Russia & N Korea are safe from invasion is that they have nukes. The world has the lesson of Muammar Gaddafi. Give up your pursuit of nukes and you are dead meat.
Russia/Soviet Union have/has an adversarial relationship with the US. Yes they are bad actor but our hands are not pristinely clean.

distracting the Russian population from domestic problems seems a potentially potent reason too.
Partially but the Russians are very nationalistic. They support strong leaders as they do in the Middle East. Also sliding from a major player to an also-ran regional player eats at their national psyche. They feel humiliated. When Putin took the Crimea back his popularity surged. Dangerous to push a nation with nuclear weapons around & humiliate them. A irrational response can occur.

Also NATO & the US have sent the green light that we would not intervene militarily. Also the EU & US are unwilling to fully support sanctions against Russia**. So Ukraine a payback for NATO expansion? A cheap price because it is the Ukrainians that are paying the price for the US & EU are unwillingness to spill blood.
Also Russia has the experience of pushing the US aside in Syria maintaining Assad’s power in that nation. That event and last years war-game* of US vs China where the US forces had their ass handed to them brings questions to mind.
Questions
1)War-games are not realistic or illustrates capability of a nation’s warfighting ability.
2)Propaganda to increase defense spending. Propaganda to push the danger of China.
3)A wake-up call on wasteful defense spending that doesn’t aid in a nation’s war fighting ability. Our nation’s defense spending equals the top 10 nations combined. Cost-benefit equation is wide off.

*https://americanmilitarynews.com/2021/07/us-failed-miserably…
**https://boards.fool.com/italy-belgium-russian-sanctions-3506…

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A big reason Russia … is safe from invasion is that they have nukes.

============================================

LOL! What have been smoking? Why in the world would any country want to invade Russia?

Jaak

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Why in the world would any country want to invade Russia?

Maybe a Steppe up for some?

Pete

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Why in the world would any country want to invade Russia?

Jaak

Oil & Gas. If they were as weak as a Middle Eastern country without nukes; we might do it & say the oil & gas would pay for the invasion. Deja Vu!

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Rachel Maddow explains it quite well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG9pxkZXiTw

-IGU-

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Oil & Gas. If they were as weak as a Middle Eastern country without nukes; we might do it & say the oil & gas would pay for the invasion. Deja Vu!

========================================================================

Silly answer to a serious question.

“Why in the world would any country want to invade Russia?”

It’s a free country, you can leave anytime you want.

AW, you are wrong on several counts.

My family also fled both NAZI and Soviet tyranny.

The “lot of people” I’m referring to espouse leftist ideology.

Your country might be ‘free,’ maybe, but I neither live nor reside there.

Maybe you meant to say: “It’s a free country, THEY can leave anytime THEY want.”

The Captain

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The defensible borders argument seems pretty ridiculous to me. What country is threatening to invade Russia? None.

Recently none.

Eurasia has been a battleground since before the start of history. Peace in Eurasia is only short intervals between invasions and wars. Ukraine and Russia are an amalgam of Vikings, Mongols, Tatars, and lots of other ethnicities. This is just round 99,999 of the Eurasian Heavyweight Championship.

Most of history is created by the desires of the various successful leaders – the strong ones. You can read about it even in the Bible.

The Captain

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A prominent comment about the invasion of Ukraine, sometimes made in the UK, is that it was a mistake to allow East European countries to join NATO.

On BBC Radio 4 on Friday night one speaker put this one forward on the Any Questions program. Journalist Andrew Neil in a tweet an hour ago robustly states that:

1st, they were the countries which, rightly, most feared a revanchist Russia.
2nd, NATO’s eastern expansion finished in 2004. It’s now 2022.
3rd, Eastern Europe was quite right to join NATO. Does anybody seriously doubt that if they hadn’t, Putin would have retaken the Baltic States by now?

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Rachel Maddow explains it quite well:

Her rhetoric sounds good at first blush. Then I recall the “explanation” for why the US was going half way around the world to kill Muslims “they hate us for our freedom”.

Steve

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Putin’s primary motivation is his personal security, followed closely by Russia’s security, and then the history books. Putin has prepared for sanctions and invaded because he was prepared and could withstand the expected response. Putin expects higher oil prices and higher domestic support in Russia, both of which benefit Putin. A weakened Ukraine will show the world that aspiring to NATO membership can lead to bad outcomes.

NATO is high on the list of possible threats to Putin, given the examples of Libya and Yugoslavia, and so Putin would like to weaken NATO. Putin had hoped Trump would win a second term and withdraw the US from NATO, but that didn’t work out. Putin has to appear strong against NATO, and Ukraine was the easiest target. Estonia would have been invaded if it had not joined NATO in 2004. Russians favor strength and bluffing.

The proper response is to strengthen NATO to show Putin that war will not weaken the alliance. That is what we are seeing, with NATO troop movements to Eastern Europe.

---- links ----
% of world landmass
Russia 11.00%
Canada 6.10%
China 6.30%
United States 6.10%
Brazil 5.60%
Australia 5.20%
India 2.00%

Ukraine 0.40%
https://www.worldometers.info/geography/largest-countries-in…

“Figure 1 shows the great powers on a standard measure developed by political scientists to capture ‘the ability of a nation to exercise and resist influence’ in the world. By the 1970s, on that measure, the Soviet Union became the world’s leading power.”
https://voxeu.org/article/soviet-economy-1917-1991-its-life-…

Did Vladimir Putin call the breakup of the USSR ‘the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century?’, March 6, 2014
"Putin’s words vary depending on the translation, but the idea remains the same.
From the Kremlin:
“Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory.”
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2014/mar/06/john-bolto…

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Putin underestimated the strong response to the invasion. The question now is how will Putin respond?

Zelenskyy says Russia will be disconnected from SWIFT, February 26, 2:07 pm
“Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Saturday Western countries have agreed to disconnect Russia from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) banking network.”
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/live-updates/russia-ukraine/…

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