Weakness is Lethal: Why Putin Invaded Ukraine and How the War Must End - Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t invade Ukraine in 2022 because he feared NATO. He
2 October 2023
Putin 3 Institute for the Study of War & AEI’s Critical Threats Project 2023 framed Ukraine as a threat to Russia and claimed that Ukraine was planning to attack Russian-occupied territories and Russia in 2022. In reality, the Kremlin assessed Ukraine’s military capabilities and will to fight to be so weak that Russian forces would overrun the country in a matter of days. The notion that U. [...] Putin failed to get Ukraine to join Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union in the 2000s and failed to get pro-Kremlin leaders in charge of the Ukrainian government in 2004. Putin failed to establish full control over Ukraine even when Yanukovych was in power. Putin was able to solidify some of his territorial gains in Ukraine through the Minsk II Accords that froze the frontlines in Donbas, but. [...] Putin’s propaganda in the lead-up to the invasion reveals that he and his idealogues lived in an echo chamber dominated by an alternate reality in which Ukrainians would welcome the Russian forces liberating them from the supposed oppression of the ”Kyiv regime.” Putin did not see NATO or the West as a power that would counter his ambitions in Ukraine either. [...] The US, for example, responded to the Russian ultimatum by reaffirming its commitment to Ukraine and to NATO’s open door policy and offered to discuss the possibility of negotiations to address Russia’s issues with NATO predictability and transparency in Europe. The US even offered to discuss a transparency mechanism that would confirm the absence of Tomahawk cruise missiles at Aegis Ashore si. [...] Forcing the West to reject these 7 Institute for the Study of War & AEI’s Critical Threats Project 2023 ultimatums also provided the Kremlin with additional justification to blame the West for the war, as the Kremlin continues to do.