The latest developments in Ukraine indicate that Russia is now in the final stages of preparing the groundwork for an invasion. Having spent weeks dismissing Western warnings of imminent war as mere hysteria, the Kremlin and its proxies in eastern Ukraine have begun spreading patently false accusations of genocide in Donbass at the hands of the Ukrainian military, while calling for mass evacuations of civilians to Russia.
It suggests a chilling coda is close at hand to the months of debates among Western policymakers and analysts over whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was intent on invading Ukraine, whether he was using the military buildup as a coercive negotiating tactic, or whether he was simply bluffing.
In our coverage of the crisis, we have tried to avoid speculation over Putin’s intentions, which are impossible to determine with any certainty until he has acted upon them. Instead, we have chosen to cover aspects of the crisis that are clear and instructive: what factors are driving it, what it can tell us about the broader trends on display today in global politics, and what it reveals about certain fundamental and timeless principles of international affairs.