Vladimir Putin may have flubbed most of his war aims but he’s arguably achieving the most important, neutralizing Russia’s own urban, educated middle class, the real threat to his regime.
Whatever the merits of his complaints about NATO or Western hypocrisy, these are not sensible motives for the war he launched. Destroying the infrastructure and productivity of a territory you propose to annex, alienating its 44 million inhabitants, is not a useful goal except on the way to another goal.
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