Land Grab – Putin Style…….

While we all meander through our lives this Sunday, February 27, 2022, on the other side of the globe in Ukraine, citizens are fighting for their lives.   Average citizens are taking up arms to push back the invasion of Russian forces.  Everyone has seen the graphic pictures and videos splashed all over media showing the courage and veracity of the Ukrainian people against what is supposed to be a superior force, the Russian Army.

 In a world that is emerging from the COVID-19 Pandemic it seems surreal to now be on the path of armed conflict, or a basic all-out war that for all intents and purposes lacks provocation and/or a conflict other than the made-up reasons Russian President Vladimir Putin has conjured up to try to give himself a reason to invade Ukraine.

What is the real reason behind the invasion into the Ukraine?  Well, who knows if we all will ever really know the actual true reason, but we know that what is being bantered about are not likely probable ones?  First and foremost, the statement by Putin that Ukraine is developing its own nuclear weapons arsenal is not believed by most intelligence personnel throughout the world. 

What is believed is a series of issues surrounding how the Soviet Union broke up in the first place and the proud ideology of the participants.   Here in the United States, we do not have such thinking as we do not have a part of our contiguous country that has left our country and formed its own ideology.  You see, the true heart of the matter is the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Undoubtedly such events left an undeniable effect on Putin and others in Russia in November of 1989.   The Fall of the USSR happened only a couple of years later in December of 1991.  Since that time some thirty years ago the world may have changed, but some of the people have not, most undoubtedly the younger Putin who was station chief of the KGB outpost in Berlin so many years ago. 

Fast forward to 2022, and you have an incredibly frustrated political operator who has seemed to remain in power long after he should have been gone making speeches and writing books.  Not only have new laws been passed under the Russian Constitution allowing such terms of office, but Putin has never really faced an actual democratic vote, as none exists in Russia.  So you have an interesting recipe in Mr. Putin, someone who not only controls the political agenda for the country but also controls the economics. 

As many have heard, according to sources in the intelligence community, most are convinced Putin is the richest person in the world with a personal net worth at some $200 billion.   How may you ask?  Well for starters, Putin was Prime Minister of Russia before he was the President.   He was in the right place at the right time.  As Russia’s economic expansion over the last two decades has been large, he was in the position to profit from said expansion.  Putin owns many companies that are partners with or own large pieces of each part of the Russian economy. (Talk about conflict of interest).   A lot of the money was also made by bending the rules here and there for the major industries in Russia, run by his pals (the oligarchs) to experience massive expansion and give their friend, the President a piece of the action.  Add to that anyone who opposes his policies winds up dead, exiled or does not own their business anymore tomorrow when they wake up.  If you had the FSB as your own police force imagine what you could do.   

So, when you are asking, how did we get here, when a superpower like Russia is trying to take over its neighbor, Ukraine, that used to be a part of Russia, you merely have to look at the economics to find out why.    The major export from Russia is fossil fuels, or in another words, oil, and natural gas.   Now, one of the larger pipelines that delivers said products through Europe is located where?  That’s right.  You guessed it, Ukraine. 

Are you following yet?

How would you like it if you were beholden to a group of people whom you consider “subjects” in your Tsarist dream world that rebelled and made off with their own country? You probably wouldn’t, most especially if you are king of all you survey.    

Now, those very same people happen to be occupying the land where just shy of 20% of all the natural gas distributed throughout Europe runs through.  That’s right, the pipeline that carries approximately 20% of all-natural gas in Europe goes through Ukraine.   So that means that an independent country that was and is looking to join NATO, sitting right next door to the former Soviet Union controls the pipeline that Russia makes billions upon billions out of.  

See, you’re now following along, right?  No one in Russia wants an independent Ukraine to one day wake up, realize other countries citizens have a better standard of living because Ukraine has gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to being compensated for running and housing the pipeline.    If you are Putin and you want to keep your ‘subjects’ in poverty and not asking lots of questions, you do not want a liberated Ukraine and its population going off and trying to become all civilized like other Western Nations. You most certainly do not want Ukraine to join NATO and then have the West breathing down your neck if something goes wrong.

Ladies and Gents, this is not about Ukraine’s strategic location or some super top secret nuclear weapons program they are conducting.  This is about (as most things are) money.  Plain and simple.  Russia wants to keep controlling it and Ukraine wants to be left alone.  A completely free Ukraine is not helpful to the Russian sphere of dominance, influence oh and their surging bank accounts.   This is all a land grab of monumental proportions because everyone wouldn’t play nice in the sand box.  While it is sad, it is unfortunately completely true. 

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