Well, a number of wonks predicted that Putin would not move on Ukraine until after the Olympics ended, and here we are. Putin, along with Ukrainian separatists, has declared the 3 eastern regions of the Donbas, Luhansk, and Kharkiv to be finally ‘liberated’ from Ukraine. Many Americans do not know that Ukraine used to be a part of Russia, with Kiev the Russian capital before it moved to Moscow, and that many in eastern Ukraine speak Russian and identify with Russia. Putin is being very shrewd; he made this move largely because Biden and other western leaders have told him that there will be a reprisal from the west if and when Russia invades.
But if Putin’s annexation gambit succeeds, it will be the west who will have to decide whether to initiate war to keep Donbas, Luhansk, and Kharkiv in Ukraine. In that event, Putin can mobilize his huge force of 190,000 troops now positioned on the Ukrainian border in a ‘defensive response’ to crush NATO resistance, take the 3 regions by force, and blame the west for being the one to tee-off a shooting war. Although he is already several steps behind Putin, Biden & Co. continue to set a Russian military invasion as their red line for imposing crushing sanctions, and possible military action, against Russia. Western governments, to some extent, will use conflict with Russia as their next political canard after COVID to consolidate support from, and controls over, their people.
Sanctions wont be effective for making Putin unpopular with the Russian people and internally destabilizing his regime. Yes, they will make life harder for everyday Russians, but they will know very well that is the west, not Putin, who is imposing their suffering. Now that Germany has halted certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that its own energy complex is so highly reliant upon, we will get to see not only how effectively LNG from Qatar and the United States props up their energy needs, but also whether China will step up to buy Putin’s Nat Gas. China has a loose, pre-existing alliance with Russia. Although delivering Russian gas to China is more of an ordeal than pumping down a 750-mile pipeline, it is still practical. The short stretch of the China/Russia border lying between Kazakhstan and Mongolia could serve as a transfer point into the Altay prefecture of Xinjiang, China that would obviate any need to transport it much further around the eastern border of Mongolia.
Biden and Trudeau both treat standoffs with their adversaries similarly. They both do nothing to deter them, refuse to negotiate with them, and ignore their arguments prior to a crisis point. Then after the crisis that noone wanted flares up, they both promise to bring down hard punishment after the fact. But Trudeau’s adversaries were peaceful working Canadian citizens, while here is Putin and his military. It was a lot easier for Trudeau to stop the Ottowa protests by betraying his own people of their civil rights than it will be for slow-Joe to intimidate Putin. Politicians make the same basic mistake that traditional market analysts still do: They both commonly ignore the fact that today, the balance and interplay among our economic, political, and social systems are entirely internationally-connected. Printing a slew of new QE money will not stimulate the US economy when Americans see better investing opportunities abroad and so send that money offshore. And economically sanctioning Russia wont press Putin into a corner as long as Russia has economic ties to large trading partner who don’t go-along with the sanctions.
Look for China to become bellicose with regard to Taiwan very soon based on the same premise (“Taiwan has always been part of China”). Xi knows that the west does not have the resources to fight two simultaneous territorial battles with its two most powerful totalitarian geopolitical adversaries: Russian and China. There is word that Schwab and some of his fellow western elites seeking to impose the Great Reset are crazy enough to view conflicts with China and Russia as opportunities to overthrow the leaders of those countries to push their plan into them, thus making it global. They are complete megalomaniacs who only care about taking power, remaking the world in their green, communist fantasy image, and care naught for all the lives and material destruction they are causing and will cause along the way.
Of course, war will have serious effects on the actions that governments in the west take next, impose a huge humanitarian and refugee crisis in Europe, and disrupt global markets, particularly energy. We are coming into a crisis phase in international politics due a sort of ‘perfect storm’ of turmoil: The opportunistic aggression of several countries (Russia, China, Iran, North Korea) now combines with the fact that the pro-Great Reset-chasing governments of the west realize that COVID and their other deceptions are unraveling, so they are moving faster and with more force to grab for the control they seek. Iran will have nuclear weapons in just a few months, something which will destabilize the middle east and spark a new arms race in the region. During 1931, president Hoover likened the wild coursings of what he called “refugee gold”, “flight capital”, as well as credit to “a loose cannon on the deck of the world in tempest-tossed sea”. That’s what we can expect to see again quite soon.