Russia-Ukraine war: What triggered Putin and what may happen next

Senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot reacts to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

London-based senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot talks Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin’s eagerness to restore the former Soviet Union.

It had been feared for years: a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. And now, it’s happening.

Images of Russian tanks rolling into Ukraine were perhaps the most chilling that Fox News monitored through a long night during the opening round of the assault.

The question remains: What is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aim? 

If it is just to enlarge and solidify the pro-Russian eastern portion of the country that has been disputed for the last eight years that would be grim enough.   

President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Jan. 25, 2022. 
(Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

But as we watched attacks on military bases, airfields, air defense sites — nearly to the Polish border in the west — during the first day of the invasion, the objective seemed to come into focus. Putin plans to dramatically alter Ukraine.  

His objective is to roll back history before NATO reached the eastern flanks of Europe, to rewind the clock before the collapse of the Soviet Union to an era when Russia and Ukraine were one.   

In an address overnight, Putin cautioned the Ukrainians not to put up a fight, not to stand in the way of the Russian invasion. 

Ukraine’s military forces are vastly outnumbered by Russia. Its hardware is inferior. Its strategies are not as complex. Though the fog of war is thick during this first day of clashes, it seems Russia is making significant gains across the country, even near the capital city of Kyiv. 

A woman walks past debris in the aftermath of Russian shelling, in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Still, if it counts for anything — and it should at some point in this grinding process — the will of the Ukrainians is there. We heard it on the streets of Kyiv and in civilian training sessions just a few weeks back. A determination to fight, a love of country, a hatred of the invader.  

We saw it in 2014, when Ukrainians protested in Kyiv and died for their freedom, for their right to choose their future.   

We saw it in February 1992. The people there had just voted to leave a sinking Soviet Union to be independent. They sang “Svoboda,” which means freedom in Ukrainian. They knew they were a country then. They know they are one now. No matter what Vladimir Putin says.  

And while most military analysts say there is a chilling reason to expect Russia will win this first battle over Ukraine, the war for the country’s people’s hearts and minds – and souls – could prove to be much more difficult.    

Source: Read Full Article