The Davos crowd and the Borgist post grad students running US foreign policy do not believe in history. They believe altogether in economic determinism. For them, history and culture are surface phenomena that mask the economic realities beneath. History is an amusement trotted out for the dummies on national days.
But Putin has brooded long and deeply over what he sees as injustices done to “Holy Russia.” People who are spiteful and mean spirited toward their adversaries want to say that he wants to re-create the USSR. No! He wants to re-create the Russian Empire. They have missed little details like his secret conversion to Russian Orthodox Christianity while serving in KGB counterintelligence. His father was an ardent communist. Do you think the man’s son would have been welcome at home if the father had learned? Do you think Vladimir’s superiors in the KGB would have been pleased?
Putin has taken the measure of Biden, BoJo and company. He sees his chance. Will he stop for now at the line of contact? IMO that depends on whether or not the Anglo-Americans are now willing to talk seriously about Russian national security. If we are not he may well decide to advance to the limits of Russian ethnic habitation in Ukraine. pl