Putin’s Russia isn’t about to invade Ukraine, and neither will China be marching in to Taiwan. They’ll be doing nothing until the Winter Olympics are over.
It’s not complicated. Putin wants to assert Russian influence over the former Soviet Union and has no intention of allowing one of the Ukrainian factions to take the country in the direction of Poland and other Warsaw Pact allies. This has nothing to do with Russia’s security – to believe otherwise you’d have to think the West had designs for an invasion of Russia. This is nonsense. Putin probably isn’t paranoid.
Western media paints the Ukrainian situation as a noble government in Kiev and a bunch of evil separatists. It’s not. It’s an ongoing nasty civil war, with no end in sight. Because of the geopolitical situation, no one is doing anything about it.
Some factions in Ukraine, which is a big place, have neo Nazi roots. They’re not the separatists. The Russians have a history with the Ukrainian Nazis, and seeing them on the streets of Kiev is going to have an effect of their thinking. The President, government and most Ukrainians are certainly not Nazi sympathisers, of course – far from it.
My guess would be that Putin has had enough of the instability on his boarders and plans to do something about it. This would be logical, but it will be the people of the region that suffer if this takes the form of military action. I fear that it will, but after the sport is over.
Note to history
When this was written, the BBC was reporting that Russia was pulling its troops and tanks back from the border and Putin’s insistence that he had no plans to invade. The headline is mocking the BBC and other media outlets. As predicted, Russia declared the pro Russian areas of Ukraine independent of Kiev the day after the Olympics ended, and at time of writing, is believed to have sent (more) troops in to “defend” them – i.e invaded Ukraine.