Homeland is not an ass presented for a kiss
Yuri Shevchuk on his recent concert event in Ufa diagnosed hidden reasons of pain in Russian, and also, yes, Ukrainian, warmongers’ anuses as follows:
Homeland, my friends, is not the President’s ass presented for a kiss.
Technological stagnance may encyst Russian economy sometime down the road, but it takes years, not months, to erode structural frameworks, and China, India, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, or Turkey are all ready for help as proxies or independent suppliers (Russian imports from aforementioned countries skyrocket, while Russian ruble continues to strengthen). I see strictly zero optimistic scenarios for Ukrainian statebuilding project; both sides, Russia and West (i.e., EU whipped by Americans), appear intended to demolish it. I even think there was initially a Wag the Dog-style cooperation between them about Ukraine, subsequently gone awry when it turned out that Ukrainian politicians couldn’t think less about the integrity of the country they had been chosen to represent. The core reason of their existence on posts they currently occupy is capitalizing on the slow-burn, preferably never-ending, early to mid-twencen trench war. Putin, on the other side, grossly misinterpreted the situation inside the Ukraine because of his infamous aversion to modern information gathering methods. He lives and wants to die on the media-darkened hill surrounded by an echo chamber.
Incompetence aside, he might have gambled because of the constant erosion of his historical vision that such policy, however rational, had been creating. We all know for whom violence is the last refuge, though. Empires must win by example, not by bloodshed. The lesson for the US is also clear, albeit hard to swallow for mad boomers on their fly-bitten totem poles.