After reading many experts about the War in Ukraine, I’ve decided to forward my own theory. Let me set it up.
Imagine you are at a spot, possessing a chunk of meat and you’re surrounded by gnashing hungry wolves. To ward off the pack, you cut a piece from the chunk and lob it at a distance. Immediately, the wolves race towards the grub only to come back back unsatisfied for more. And you repeat the trick again. Also consider, you have unlimited supply of meat.
Just keep this scenario in mind. You’ll need it later to understand my point.
Putin got Russian power in 1999 and almost immediately he hoisted one chunk of meat towards Chechnya, a small blob of land between the Black and the Caspian sea. Although Chechnya wanted Russia off their back since 1994, but when Putin came, he reduced Chechnya to ashes by 2000. NATO kept their mouths shut.
In 2008, Putin lobbed another chunk towards Georgia, another land between the same seas as Chechnya, and reduced that to the ground. NATO kept their mouths shut.
In 2014, well, another flesh was thrown towards Crimea, then, a part of Ukraine floating in the Black sea. This time, NATO made some noise followed by some half-hearted sanctions.
Cut to 2022, a huge chunk of Putin’s meat has now fallen on Ukraine. This time NATO and Biden both seems to have woken up (and Biden more so) and there are widespread sanctions. But the problem is, when winter comes next, in September/October, will the Europeans burn wood/coal for heating. This will put climate change and Greta Thunberg down into the deep end of the Black sea.
What is significant is the frequency of Putin’s “meat-chuck.” His attacks follow a pattern of every 6 to 8 years. Which means (and again this is my theory) the next Putin’s attack will happen between 2028 and 2030. Remember, he is President for life. I’ll leave it to you to guess the country, although I have some inkling as to which it is.
My theory takes the approach of a behavioral view. Putin seems to be doing something or the other – like, becoming President, then becoming Prime Minister and electing his own President, and then becoming President and electing his won Prime Minister. Finally, and are getting fed up of all these jigree-pugree, he settled the matter by amending the Constitution and made himself for life. Yes, he made himself for life.
If one is inhabiting the center of power, its unlikely that one is inhabiting a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum – so the adage goes, and Putin’s effort to inhabit a perpetual power center will always be challenged. Hence, the jigree-pugree – and hence the periodic hoisting chunks of meat to challenging wolves.
When the pressure on Putin’s spot grows unbearable, Putin declares some war here or there. The guy is actually buying time and relief. His excuses for war may be bunk but his intent is clear.
Similarly, NATO and the west are manufacturing their own bunk. There are immense number of articles and Op-Eds giving pretty brainy pieces as to why Putin is wrong and the West is right etc. But does Putin care? I don’t think so. He should be enjoying a Russian SPA with his problems far off his back.
Contrary to western media, Putin wouldn’t desire a quick victory. As Russian winter can be weaponized, so can European Winter. And – winter is coming.
When any country is at war, the power radiates out. Besides, the Boss can veto extraneous interventions (those oligarchies always want a treat) and take extra judicial measures (just throw the bother in jail). Peace in a dictatorial country is unnerving, with idle army and Generals and Oligarchs radiating their attention towards power (read Putin). Power sprouts parasites and its better to get the moochers feast on some distant land. Throw those wolves some bones.
Putin is threatened by Russian Oligarchs. The west banning and sanctioning “Putin’s oligarchs” serves Putin, as it weakens his adversaries. Banning Russian gas pipe lines trims the wealth of people who can contest Putin. Remember China’s blowback on their Tech-Industry.
During Chechnya, Georgia, and Crimea, the western powers watched the takeover and sat mute. This may not have suited Putin. This time, Putin got what he desired – Western Involvement. So, war in Ukraine will smolder, and probably this way The European Union can get their heat in winter to warm their homes.
Putin’s problem is not NATO or Ukraine. Putin’s problem is not Putin. Putin’s problem is his challengers – which, to us, are unknown, unreported, unwritten – but clearly visible to Putin.