What Does Vladimir Putin Want?


In a lengthy essay penned in July 2021, Putin referred to Russians and Ukrainians as "one people."

Suggested the West had corrupted Ukraine and yanked it out of Russia's orbit through a "forced change of identity."

That type of historical revisionism was on full display in Putin's emotional and grievance-packed address to the nation.

He announced his decision to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics while casting doubt on Ukraine's sovereignty.

However, Ukrainians, who have sought to align more closely with Western institutions like the European Union and NATO in the last three decades.

They have pushed back against the notion that they are little more than the West's "puppet."

Putin's efforts to bring Ukraine back into Russia's sphere have been met with a backlash.

With several recent polls showing that a majority of Ukrainians now favor membership of the US-led transatlantic military alliance.

In December, Putin presented the US and NATO with a list of security demands.

Chief among them was a guarantee that Ukraine would never enter NATO.

The alliance rolls back its military footprint in Eastern and Central Europe, proposals that the US and its allies have repeatedly said are non-starters.

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