The West is thinking tactically, Russia is thinking existentially. If that’s the case, bet on the Russians. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
Today’s zeitgeist is that all politics is but a Manichaean tapestry of the ‘good’ and those who have failed to ‘decolonise’ from their past.
The war taking place in Ukraine has been understood on one side – the wider western view – in terms of the secular expression of today’s western culture. Typically, it is cast as a struggle of this culture, loosely packaged as ‘democracy’ versus the authoritarian culture of Russia, Iran and China – cultures that reflect offensive, nativist and repressively ‘incorrect’ values.
It is believed that Putin is held “to have sensed weak political leadership in America – and like a chess player who sees weakness on the board, and an opening for an attack – takes it”.
This represents the authentic reading of a majority in the West. It is not hard to see why it should have become the settled view. It comports closely with today’s zeitgeist that all politics is but a Manichaean tapestry of the ‘good’ who see things in a ‘modern’ and culturally-aware way – and those who have failed to ‘decolonise’ from their past.