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There is so much history and nuance behind the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, that I won’t begin to attempt to pretend I am an expert or know what is going on. Some will be experts on every detail of Ukrainian military history but very few will actually know the real motivations behind the recent invasion. I had some background knowledge of the history and have brushed up in recent days.
However, what does interest me is the timing. Why did Putin invade now? He has had troops on the Ukrainian border for almost a year now and the situation hasn’t changed much since 2014. Why now? There must have been a trigger that occurred in recent weeks.
Below are some of the theories on why Putin chose the 24 February to order an invasion.
1. Putin is ill or has gone crazy
There are rumours that Putin has a long term illness or degenerative disease, evidenced by his change in appearance. Some say that his swollen looking face is evidence of medical steroid use. Others see evidence of a decline in his mental health due to Covid, prolonged lockdowns and increasing isolation.
This is the most dangerous of scenarios because this is completely unpredictable. Had he just had enough, decided he hasn’t got long left in this world and wanted to make a name for himself as the man who returned Russia to its former glory?
Is the date irrelevant? His paranoia or illness meant he tipped over the edge and woke up one day thinking today is the day?
From everything I have seen of Putin to date, he may be suffering an illness but he doesn’t seem crazy (well, any more than usual).
2. Putin miscalculated
In this scenario, Putin overplayed his hand and miscalculated the Ukrainian resistance. He failed to see that many Russian and Ukrainian soldiers trained together as young men and so would be reluctant to fight each other.
He saw an opportunity and took it without playing through the various consequences. The economic sanctions came as a surprise to him and, as he had not suspected they were coming, did not foresee the Russian oligarchs getting angry at their financial losses.
Putin got greedy and seeing the opportunity to take over a country full of valuable resources, took it.
I don’t see this scenario as a likely one. Putin is renowned as a strategical thinker, using psychological tactics from his KGB/FSB training to outmanoeuvre his opponents. This would be very out of character if this is what actually happened.
3. Putin was tricked
Was Putin not on board with the current agenda? Russia’s agenda, China’s agenda, the Covid agenda, the WEF’s agenda, who knows but was he tricked into thinking he had backing for his invasion, when in fact it was all a ploy to oust him.
Was this regime change in the public domain? Possibly, but again, why now, what caused him to suddenly think this was a good idea when he knew the repercussions?
4. NATO membership imminent or weapons placed on the border
On 8 April 2021, after an estimated 85,000 Russian soldiers had gathered in Crimea, the Ukranian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, spoke to Joe Biden and urged NATO members to speed up Ukraine’s request for membership.
In September 2021, NATO, along with the Ukrainian military undertook joint military exercises. At this point, the Kremlin warned this expansion of NATO military infrastructure in Ukraine was a ‘red line’.
November 2021 saw US warships enter the Black Sea and was described as ‘a threat to regional security and strategic stability’ by the Russian Defence Ministry.
On 13 November 2021, Russia told NATO to stop ‘concentrating a military fist’ near to its borders and to stop sending weapons to Ukraine.
Putin said, at the end of November 2021, that deployment of long-range missiles capable of striking Moscow would be a ‘red line’ issue for the Kremlin. He was worried that the missiles would be able to be converted into long range Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Britain has been supplying Ukraine with weapons for a while now, including anti-armour weapons.
Did the Kremlin receive intelligence that one of their ‘red lines’ had been crossed. Or perhaps that NATO membership was being expedited? Quick NATO membership is unlikely, however the ‘red line’ intelligence is a strong possibility. However, why not highlight this reasoning in the media? Why not say so in his speech? Putin would have known that by saying ‘we have invaded Ukraine because of the placement of long-range missiles on our border’ would have given him much more world-wide support.
China has said it ‘understands Russia’s legitimate security concerns’ and called for dialogue to resolve the situation.
Is this a prolonged war to ensure Ukraine can’t ever obtain NATO membership?
5. Calculated gamble to bring down the west
Is this an example of Putin playing 4D chess with the West. Boris and Biden aren’t exactly difficult opponents. Has he and the Kremlin gone through every scenario and decided to take a short term hit versus long term destruction of the West?
It was not exactly difficult to predict that there would be calls for financial sanctions or calls for Russia to be removed from SWIFT. If I was being even more cynical than usual, the response on Twitter, calling for Russia to be removed from SWIFT, almost seemed co-ordinated.
Was this Russian online interference, double bluffing the West. Did Putin want the sanctions and removal from SWIFT because he knew how much more harm it would cause the western world. Was he actually encouraging it, from behind the scenes, because he knew it would increase the price of gas, and shortages of fertilisers would cause food shortages.
Have plans been set in motion to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency? Was this the excuse needed to do so?
Was the ultimate goal to cause the West to self-implode? I would say this scenario is a highly likely one. If Putin only cares about winning then he wouldn’t care about the costs to the world or Russia. In the process, he could financially wipe out some of the oligarchs who were not loyal to him and so were not forewarned to diversify their investments.
6. Cover for something bigger, Covid injuries/Climate/Food shortages/Economic meltdown?
A population concerned with an imminent nuclear war are less likely to pay attention to other news. News such as the slow, but growing, trickle of vaccine data that is being released. Insurance companies estimating that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic. Or the first batch of Pfizer’s trial data being released tomorrow.
Moderna’s share price has certainly benefitted. After 6 months of massive falls, it shot up on the day of the invasion and has been steadily climbing since.
News that would be better hidden such as climate issues caused by the sun, upcoming food shortages or a financial depression. All of these would be issues that our dear leaders would prefer us not to panic about.
However, there are many of us still paying attention, so would this really be a reason for instigating a war? Especially a war where nuclear weapons are available and however planned something is, there is always the potential for something to go catastrophically wrong.
Unless the news they are trying to hide is not massively significant, it will, within a short period of time, be obvious to the masses anyway. Therefore, I don’t think this theory is a viable one.
Very quickly into the invasion came the biolabs rumours.
The speed of this rumour and the quick suspension of the account from which it came from, makes me suspicious but I remain open minded about it.
Apparently, the US has biolaboratories in 25 countries around the world, including 11 in Ukraine. How true this is, I don’t know. There were reports of this information being wiped from US websites, however, the US embassy in Ukraine website still states that it has a biological threat reduction programme. This is to consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern and to continue to ensure Ukraine can detect and report outbreaks caused by dangerous pathogens before they pose security or stability threats.
Did the Kremlin get intelligence of a biological threat in one of these biolabs? Again, why would they not highlight this point? It would be great anti-western PR if Russia said ‘we have proof the US created Covid and we have proof they are developing something worse, therefore, we need to destroy these labs’.
Therefore, whilst these labs may have been one of the targets, I don’t see it as being the main reason for suddenly invading.
Within hours of beginning the invasion, it was reported that Russia had seized control of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site. Zelensky said officers fought to defend it “so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated”, He called it a “declaration of war against the whole of Europe”.
Strangely, it was subsequently reported that the Ukrainians and Russians were holding the site in co-operation. Ukrainian military were allowed to remain at the site and work with the Russians.
The Ukrainian presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said after an “absolutely senseless attack…it is impossible to say that the Chernobyl power plant is safe.” Another minister said radioactive dust could be sent over “the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and countries of the EU”.
Did a problem occur at Chernobyl that required an immediate Russian military presence? Was that presence so big that it would have been noticed had there not been the cover of war? Is that why the Russian and Ukrainian military are working together? Why was Chernobyl one of the first targets and captured almost immediately?
Or will any Covid/lockdown or vaccine deaths now be blamed on radioactive dust which leaked after the attack?
If you want to go down a deeper rabbit hole then look into what Chernobyl actually means, its name’s biblical connections, the name’s connection with the ancient city of Nimrud, the connection with the biblical figure of Nimrod and the WEF’s link to Nimrod. Most likely completely unlinked but interesting stories nevertheless.
Another rabbit hole to go down is the theory that Covid is just a cover for radioactive poisoning. The symptoms of Covid are apparently very similar to radioactive exposure but I haven’t looked closely enough at this theory.
9. Climate change loons
Have some extreme climate change psychopaths infiltrated global governments convincing them that nuclear war is a good thing?
This is a very unlikely scenario but as the Huffington Post article shows, some people actually think a nuclear war would be good for the climate!
It is an unlikely scenario but we are living in a strange world and it is not outside the realms of possibility that a billionaire, such as Bill Gates, comes on board with this kind of plan. He has already publicly stated that he thinks spraying dust into the atmosphere, to block out the sun for a while, may offset the effects of global warming. What dust was he talking about? Nuclear dust?
10. Water shortages in Crimea
From 2014 onwards, Ukraine has been cutting off water to Crimea. They claimed that the peninsula owed outstanding debts for water supplies so built a dam to restrict the water flow.
This resulted in agricultural failure in 2014 and the situation was only getting worse. Reservoirs have been running extremely low and the situation was at crisis point last year.
Crimea has a population of 2.4 million people. Were they on the verge of a humanitarian crisis which required the destruction of the dam?
Again, this may have been another happy outcome for the Kremlin but why not publicise this? Telling the world that Ukraine is stopping water to 2.4 million people, who are likely to die without it and soon, would have made the invasion seem more legitimate to others around the world. Or why not just bomb the dam and save being accused of breaches of international law?
Something doesn’t quite add up about the timing of the invasion. I have no doubts that it is happening and that it is a terrible humanitarian crisis for the Ukrainian people.
Furthermore, I don’t think a country can ever be excused for invading another country. Even if they have legitimate concerns themselves.
However, I want to understand why now? And why are we not being flooded with millions of phone recorded invasion footage? I know there has been some but not the quantity you would expect with everyone having a mobile phone these days. Is this due to a telecoms blackout or because the invasion is more targeted than made out, so less visible to the everyday citizen?
Why did the invasion only take place once the rest of the world had rapidly deescalated from Covid panic? Within a few weeks we went from a heightened state of fear to living with the virus. Was this invasion planned months in advance and a war combined with Covid was deemed too much for a population?
The timing of what happens next will give further clues as to the real reason the invasion took place last week. Will it end quickly after negotiations? Will it be a prolonged war or will it intensify with western boots on the ground?
Which scenario or combination of scenarios do you think is most likely as to why Putin invaded last week? Or do you have any other theories?
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As a person from Russia, who follows news, I must say that your summary is most excellent. You have really covered the bases and laid out all the possibilities.
Despite being from Russia, I consider this war -- and starting ANY major war like Iraq or Yugoslavia -- to be wrong. I absolutely hate what is happening and my heart aches at the fighting and innocent people.
We are all assuming that Putin will lose this war. If he wins it, the consequences will be very upsetting to think about.
But assuming that he will lose it, it is possible that he was tricked into it like Saddam was tricked into taking over Kuwait.
The US greatly benefits from today's events and isnow having a chance at extending its global dominance -- if Putin loses.
For sure I cannot possibly know, but to me the important indication is that Putin also pushed vaccine mandates and passports.
The mass covid vaccinations arguably made things worse and the mandates had nothing to do with public health. The fact that Putin walked in lockstep with the west and China on this most important issue makes me think he is rather a part of the plan rather than some sort of contender.
To control the population it is better to split the world again: have two separated superpowers which will be playing enemies so that their respective citizen-slaves do not get those dangerous ideas for self-government, real freedom, equality and collaboration. The timing was perfect as well - the covid scare is unravelling and the vaccine failure and side effects are getting harder to hide. Even the MSM was slowly accepting it because of the sheer impossibility to hide it anymore. Now nobody talks covid, but behind the scenes the vaxx passports are being advanced.
So shortly, I think this is just the next part of the play and Putin is playing according to the script. The real war is not between countries or blocks but rather between the elites, the super rich, and the rest of us.