So what is going on in Eastern Ukraine? Today’s news reports are that Russian provocateurs are seizing more public buildings.More troops are backing them up, though not a full invasion. Where is this headed?
Here is my take. Putin wants to destabilize Ukraine so that he can exert more control there. But he knows that if he invades, it will trigger more sanctions. So he is orchestrating the biggest mess that is possible short of an invasion. Why? He hopes that the Ukrainian government will get very, very scared. And that then they will come to him to do a deal. Then he can get what he wants without invading.
Will it work? It might if the Ukrainian government feels sufficiently isolated. In other words, if the west sits back and only warns Putin not to invade, he may not need to.