Russians (and Putin) were restoring their influence and status in the world. Prior to 2013, Putin was the most respected politician in the world, an idol of the american right, and on the cover of magazines as a hero.
The problem was, that when the Ukrainian Maidan Revolution occurred, and protests spread to St Petersburg and Moscow, clamping down at home was warranted – Russia doesn’t need another period of chaos.
However, instead of calling world leaders and saying:
“This puts our only warm water port, and our military production facilities in the Donbas out of our domain of control, and is strategically intolerable, so we are going to restore Crimea to Russian sovereignty, and pull our industrial assets out of the Don Basin, and compensate Ukraine with a 20% discount on gas for the next 50 years, and we hope you and the international community will understand our actions as undesirable but necessary in order to maintain the postwar balance of powers”.
What did we get instead? Putin blinked. Made up stories about little green men, flooded social media with propaganda, caused a civil war that killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands, and returned Russia to the status of international pariah. When everyone complained, he threatened everyone including even Sweden with military action.
In return the west imposed moderate sanctions to demonstrate that Russia is a paper tiger, because 50% of the economy is dependent upon export of fungible petroleum assets and that the government would go bankrupt, and the people starve.
The only reason they didn’t cut Russia out of the international banking and clearance system was that the immediate financial and economic collapse would have hurt ordinary russians rather than the political elite.
I have been on-message since the very beginning (I was living in Kiev at the time, and still list Kiev as my residence). That message is simple: russians are almost always right. So why lie? It is russian low trust and preservation of asiatic attitudes toward deception that cause these problems.
As far as I know, the great problem of the world is the ending of immigration into the west, and then combining german technology and institutions, with russian labor and resources. It is that and only that combination in the future that can hold chinese world conquest at bay.
America is dead via immigration that could not be achieved by leftist insurgency, the vote, or propaganda. We will have a civil war in the united states by 2025.
The world needs a strong russia. But what makes russians incompatible with estern civilization ins one thing:
“If a person tells a lie, who is at fault, the person who lies or the person who believes the lie?”
In the west, universally, we say the liar. Far too many russians say the person who believes the lie.
This is what separates high trust western ethics from low trust russian ethics.
So the message to Russian State, Russian People, and Putin is: When you’re right, and in the right, don’t lie.