The article by T.P. Bloomfield on Medium promises to tell us “Why Putin Wants Ukraine.” As well as explanation of the “reasons behind Russia’s impending invasion.” His text excellently summarizes what mainstream media say about the current conflict.
The problem is that Western politicians and pundits do not know the history and do not understand Russia. It is not about NATO but about money. In my article “Why do most Westerners misunderstand Russia?” I explain the historical context.
Putin wants Ukraine because it is an industrialized and potentially rich country. The fertile Ukrainian farmland is one of the best worldwide. Donbas is one of the most industrialized regions of the former Soviet Union. Ukraine does not have gas and oil but has coal and iron ore. Last, it has a well-educated and entrepreneurial workforce.
When gaining independence in 1991, Ukraine was richer than Poland in most economic factors. In the following years, the Polish economy catapulted, Ukraine’s sunk. I show charts in my article “Ukraine — the world is watching.” Illumination published it, but T.P. Bloomfield did not check the previous writings on the subject. Millions of Ukrainians visited Poland; many of them work there. In vocabulary, the Ukrainian language is closer to Polish than to Russian. Hence, Ukrainians can easily understand how things are done in Poland and ask themselves the obvious question: Why can we not do the same?
After becoming independent, Ukraine opened to the worldwide market, and often, Western connections offered better deals. In 2013, Ukraine selected to loosen its post-Soviet economic ties with Russia and advance its economic ties with the European Union. Russia saw it as a financial loss. Russia could expect that if Ukrainians followed the path of Poland, within the next 20 years they could become an industrial powerhouse. Putin is smart enough to know that the corrupt Russian economy would lose in that competition.
Russia responded by taking Crimea and stirring trouble in Donbas. Before that, no one talked about Ukraine joining NATO. After that, with the new Russian threats arriving, it became obvious that Ukraine might not survive without the NATO guarantees.