(NOTE: I have been a resident of Ukraine where I maintain a technology business and think tank. I have been loosely involved with the intelligence industry. I was involved before during and after the revolution. Aside from aggression against Ukraine, I am otherwise a Russophile.)
Alexander is clearly avoiding the underlying truth to paint Russian aggression in the most positive light.
(a) The Russian government had spent years taking over the banking system, hollowing out the Ukrainian government and the military, and buying both the president, the elections, and everyone else possible in order to weaken Ukraine for a Russian takeover.
(b) The Donbas people are not ethnic Ukrainians they are ethnic Russians relocated (invaded) to Ukraine by the soviets like Russians were relocated (invaded) into the Baltics. The Ukrainians treat these Russians like Americans treat ‘trailer trash’ or the British treat ‘pikers’ and for good reason. They are and have always been the disproportionate origin of organized crime common in Russia. This sentiment remains among Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, and Finns who are still ‘stuck’ with ‘leftover’ Russian underclasses the way Americans are stuck with African-Americans, and brits, french, and germans are stuck with Muslim underclasses.
(b) Before the revolution the Ukrainian people sought to separate into two countries: Russified east, and polish-Ukrainian west, because the divide was both linguistic, ethnic, cultural, and political – with the don basin Russians desirous of returning to communism and funding the communists in Kyiv (I watched the party HQ be destroyed). And the rest of the country looking across the border into Poland and demanding that they have the same opportunity to achieve prosperity that the Polish have done. The people know that between the oligarchs and the Russians they are oppressed, and cannot achieve economic prosperity without rule of law.
(c) Putin sees the CIA under every leaf so to speak. ( I was involved enough to know that it was nearly impossible to get US help for the Ukrainian revolution until the last minute when it was a matter of preventing harm to the common people. ) So when Maydan was successful due to overwhelming ethnic Ukrainian support for following Poland into prosperity, joining the EU, and if necessary NATO, Putin ‘flinched’ for the first time in his life in justifiable reaction to the expansion of the Donbas revolution into Moscow and St Petersburg. So they launched the little green men initiative, and sent trucks under the pretense of humanitarian aid, to pull the technology (machines and tools) out of the Don Basin necessary for the continuation of Russian military reconstruction. And then took over
(d) Who failed? Putin failed by the rather absurd Russian need to deceive rather than openly state the issue. Putin could have easily learned from Bibi, made a few phone calls to world leadership, activated the diplomatic and intelligence corps, and simply explained the ethnic, political, and strategic necessity of Russian national security for taking over the ethnic Russian regions of eastern Ukraine and Russia’s only warm water port of Crimea, and the Black Sea oil reserves, in exchange for something as simple as long term discounts on gas to Ukraine. Putin at the time was the world’s most influential and most respected politician. He could have used the opportunity then (like he is using the current crisis) to restore the lost opportunity for strategic European defense that the Clinton administration walked away from – and insulted the Russians – by not directly pulling them into nato after the collapse … and worse … not producing a marshall plan to save the Russian people as we had the Germans. This is one of the great political failures of history, the folly of which has demonstrated that the American political system is the worst in the west.
(e) Instead, because of his fear of the CIA under every leaf, Putin threatened all of Europe repeatedly saying that he could conquer all way to Sweden if he wanted to. In doing so he destroyed the belief that Russia would join the European peoples once again and defend against the coming conflict of civilizations. This is what caused ‘nato aggression’. NATO expansion was intended to make a future for Russian Integration so Americans could withdraw from Europe. However, Putin’s threats converted that strategy to one of containment. In other words, we both made our beds and are stuck sleeping in them.
(f) The US strategic position is that Russia must be integrated into NATO, or at least ‘a circumpolar strategic security treaty’ but that until rule of law can be established so that corruption endemic in Russia, Belarus, and Moldova can’t infect Europe – this is impossible. But that the USA cannot facilitate that strategy until Russia recognizes the necessity of regional territorial self-determination AND the french, germans, and intermarium countries can provide sufficient strategic self-determination that Russian aggression and expansion can be prevented by their balance of powers. The US strategic position is that this cannot happen until generations have ‘changed’. And that the unification is a natural long-term outcome, that will finally unite german technology, Slavic agrarian production, and Russian resources and labor. (France is, unfortunately, equal to the Russians in political will to rule all of Europe.) But while Americans were naive and stupid, Russians attribute this idiocy as intention, rather than that our country is ‘owned’ by special interests the way Ukraine is owned by the forty or so oligarchical families, and the government is their tool, and Russia is one of the demons they can tell the children to scare them into obedience. There are plenty of us that understand the Russian position and love the Russian people, and admire president Putin for his stand against the spread of western decadence and the manipulations of our government. But there is blame on both sides for not understanding one another.
In other words, most of us want an end to the conflict between Russian vs baltic, Intermarium, Germanic, and Latin civilizations.
But Russians are a lower-trust people. And while they are right to resist the decadence and degeneracy of the postwar ‘woke’ west, the truth is more useful than threats. Unfortunately, the Russians cannot seem to comprehend the incompetence, naivety, and utopianism of the high-trust as what it is, rather than taking a leadership position ( again, like Israel ) and simply stating the truth: Russian geography is a problem that can only be satisfied by an economy that can pay for the infrastructure, administration, and defense of a small population spread across eleven time zones along her borders in the absence of east-west rivers, lakes, or seas, vastly driving up the cost of her territory, compared to the concentration of those geographic luxuries of the European oceans, seas, lakes, and especially temperate rivers.
To pay for that economy Russia needs to roughly double her population and maximize her access to the baltic, black sea, and European river and rail systems, while defending against colonization of the east the way the Americans are demographically colonized by South Americans, Europeans are being demographically colonized by Africans and south Eurasians.
The world is a simple place really. Geostrategy is a simple thing. It’s the political power we seek through lies that make the simple appear complex by psychologizing, moralizing, gossiping, shaming, and undermining one another.