Lot’s of people in the west consider Putin being a madman, a crazy person, an unintelligent person etc.
I don’t think he belongs to any of those categories. Instead, as Konstantin Kisin argues in the very insightful video below, Putin is acting very rationally, based on the Russian worldview: REALPOLITIK. Basically, he (as well as China leadership) have come to the conclusion that Western leadership and Western power is weaker than ever, West (at least Europe) is becoming increasingly dependent on Russian oil and gas, the West is totally polarized, fully occupied with arguing about which pronouns to use, how many genders there are, how many letters the rainbow flag represents, and other significant problems, thus providing Russia and China a golden opportunity for a massive power grab.
This CAPx article provides additional reasoning along the same lines.
“Relatedly, not every world leader is motivated to support the ‘rules-based international order’, free trade, and peace. As Russian-born comedian Konstantin Kisin notes, Western governments must get their heads around the idea that ‘not everyone thinks like you, values what you value, or wants what you want.’ “
Yes absolutely, a lot of truth presented there. The West is certainly weak in the ways you mention and others. But I ask, was the West weak 8 years ago when it reaped its 5 Billion dollar investment (as remarked by Victoria Nuland at the time) in Ukrainian regime change? Are such operations a sign of strength or weakness? My opinion is that staging regime change in Ukraine in 2014 (by violent force), in order to turn Ukraine into a Russia-hostile platform, is intended as a manifestation of western strength.
But rational people at the time recognized it for what it actually is: overreach, fueled by derangement and delusion. And hubris? Magical thinking, recklessness, nostalgia for 1990s Russia prostrate, and other diagnosable conditions? Grandiosity? Inability to recognize the existence of others?
Russian reversal of that power grab by force 8 years ago, by force today, doesn’t reach the level of power grab unless you’re calibrating things to, you know, 1996 when Russia was an inch from ceasing to exist (an aberration).
The west though certainly is in free fall collapse. Self inflicted it seems to me. Nothing to do with Russia. And no doubt, everyone can see, this could have been avoided by leaving Ukraine neutral, agreeing to security guarantees, which the US refused to do, naturally, because in it’s current state of mind, there can be no authority other than US authority, anywhere on this earth.
In the first few minutes of the video, Konstantin Kisin says some things about 2014 and Crimea’s return to Russia but he does not mention the US coup d’etat immediately preceding that. Then he talks about Putin’s need in 2014 to show the Russian people his power to expand the borders of Russia.
Is that not a fantastical analysis? Is it not factual, that the US-installed government on day 1 after the coup in 2014 announced intent to renege on the Kharkiv treaty? (And did they not also outlaw the Russian language?) And that this represented clear and present danger to Russia of LOSS of Sevastopol and their position on the Black Sea, a Russian position held since before the United States existed? No Russian leader would permit that to happen. Again, other than Yeltsin who was drunk. So this was not about expansion of Russian boundaries but rather the opposite, prevention of catastrophic loss and the subsequent inevitability of return to 1990s collapse and beyond: total disintegration.