1/ A prosperous and democratic Ukraine would, from Putin's standpoint, be dangerously attractive to Russians. So his goal may be to militarily divide it up, much as the Israelis have divided up the West Bank, so it cannot function effectively as a state.
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2/ Seizing major Ukrainian cities would be militarily costly, so Putin is more likely to want to surround them, controlling access and supplies, making the welfare of their inhabitants into bargaining chips in negotiations.
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Replying to @nickreeves9876
Good analysis. I also think one of Putin's aims in invading Ukraine will be to drive millions of Ukrainian refugees towards EU borders to try to destabilise the EU. There weren't enough Syrians in 15; and not enough Iranians last year. But Ukrainians would swamp the EU

Jan 21, 2022 · 10:32 PM UTC

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First Putin took London, now he'll take Berlin and Paris.
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There’s going to be millions of Palestinians coming to UK shortly