Fried in Foreign Affairs: Putin’s long game in Ukraine

“Russian President Vladimir Putin appears poised to launch a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. He has amassed troops near the border, spurned Western attempts at a diplomatic resolution, and most recently recognized the independence of the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, with Russian troops and weapons entering the region soon after. U.S. President Joe Biden has called Russia’s move into the Donbas an “undeniable invasion,” and announced a set of sanctions on Russian financial institutions, sovereign debt, and individuals. These were interim steps; Biden warned that more sanctions will follow should Russia continue to escalate the crisis. Berlin has also halted the certification of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russian natural gas to Germany, marking a major shift in its policy toward Russia and sounding a warning to Putin that his aggression is alienating the country, along with others in Europe.”

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Image: Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council in Moscow. February 21, 2022. (Sputnik/Alexey Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS)