Why did Putin Invade Ukraine?

Only Putin really knows

A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames
3 min readFeb 25, 2022

Why did Putin invade the Ukraine?

Because Putin knew he could. Historically, Russia knew it could get away with an invasion, President Vladimir Putin was waiting it out; waiting for the perfect opportunity. The “occupation” of parts of other countries by Russia didn’t start with the “illegal annexation” of Crimea in 2014.

Moldova’s Transnistria, Georgia’s Abkhazia, and Tskhinvali regions were occupied or interfered with in 1991–92, 1992, and 2008 respectively. The lack of a robust response from the West in each instance emboldened the Kremlin and other authoritarian regimes to strive for even more power and eroding influence at home and abroad.

For Putin, the weak reaction from the West on Russia’s build up of troops on the Russian-Ukrainian border was a signal it was acceptable. It wasn’t just the weak reaction from the West, it’s more complicated than that. It was how the United States was coping with it’s political polarization at home, Britain’s excursion from the European Union, Germany’s new and untested chancellor, and illiberal populism which has reared its head on both sides of the Atlantic. This would be attractive to any leader with aspirations of world dominance at best or illusions of grandeur at minimum, but there’s more to it than that: there’s the rhetoric.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking at a news conference said: “I don’t consider the situation now more tense than before. There is a feeling abroad that there is war here. That’s not the case.”

Then, there’s the press conference where President Joe Biden told reporters that the response to any Russian invasion “depends on what it does” and if it’s a “minor incursion.”

“Russia will be held accountable if it invades — and it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and what to not do, et cetera,” Biden said.

This laissez-faire attitude towards the situation didn’t help either.


What do I think? Is it a fear of NATO encasement on Russia’s western border? Is it a fear of Ukraine joining NATO? Is it the fear of Ukraine’s 100% acceptance of democracy? Is it Putin’s dreams of reviving the great Soviet Empire of the 20th-century or even of the 18th-century? I don’t know and nobody else does either regardless of what they claim’ only Putin knows.

I do know it’s too early to tell. This situation is just like the first 48 to 72 hours after a school shooting, everybody is rushing to get eyes on their opinions — no matter how outrageous their claims may be — disguised as fact. The politicians have an agenda seeing how most if not all politicians have ties to the Military Industrial Complex in which war equals higher dividends on their stock returns.

The mainstream media, whether it’s the legacy news agencies such as ABC or CBS or NBC or newspapers such as the New York Times or the Washington Post or even the Wall Street Journal is pushing their agenda in order to please their shareholders. Then there’s the cable news networks — CNN, MSNBC, and Fox — wanting to appease their sponsors.


You can believe your favorite political pundit or side with your favorite flavor of journalism but, they don’t have the answers. You should’ve learned this when America invaded Iraq because Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction,” and then it was proven to be a lie. Only Putin knows why he attacked Ukraine.



A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames

ElbyJames is an American disabled combat vet exiled in the UK & a free speech absolutist. He’s an occasional Top Writer