Russia, mired in war, faces economic pain and attempts to isolate it

LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine plunged Europe into its biggest land war since World War Two, igniting a conflict that has killed thousands, displaced millions, pulverised Ukrainian cities and damaged the global economy.

Despite warnings from U.S. intelligence in the run-up to Feb. 24, many European and Ukrainian officials did not believe it would happen. It was far too much for the Russian army to bite off, went the thinking.

Putin, who turned 70 in October, was, however, incensed by what he saw as Ukraine’s treacherous Westwards pivot, and ordered an invasion – which he called “a special military operation” – nonetheless.

His goal was to root out what he saw as excessive and potentially dangerous Western influence in an area where Moscow once held sway and to speed up what he saw as an inevitable historical shift to a multi-polar world.

When in September he announced the annexation of four Ukrainian regions his troops partially…

Read more…