Putin is an ex-KGB man. He's an expert on subterfuge. It's all about power. Putin wanted to gain control of Russia. He did. He wanted to strengthen his grip. He did. He wanted to re-establish Russia as a powerful world force. He has. He is a very rich powerful man.
The West missed a golden opportunity didn't we?
At the end of the Cold War we should have welcomed Russia in from the cold, set up more trading links, diplomatic links and reduced all threats.
We didn't do that. Our fear of socialism/communism prevented that.
As the USSR collapsed we courted those satellite states. We moved NATO bases to the borders of Russia. We moved missile sites onto their borders. We came an even bigger threat.
The way I see it Russia was forced to act.
They had to take Crimea in order to have that sea port. The Ukraine was a response to NATO aggression.
I'm not sure how the US would feel if Russia was similarly setting up missile sites in Cuba for instance - Oh yes - I forgot. They be prepared to have a third world war to stop it.
Russia and Putin set out to destabilise Europe and the USA. It's all about power, right?
There have been cyber attacks, assassinations, nerve agents, intrusions into air-space and interventions into elections.
How much effect has Russian actions had on the referendum? On the election of Trump?
It's hard to say isn't it? What is not in doubt is that they have had some coordinated influence. They have seized the chaos caused by terrorism and mass immigration to help create further chaos and undermine the West. It's all about power, right??
What could be better than Trump and Brexit for Putin? Not a lot.
In two elections NATO is weakened, alliances are split, the EU and Britain are enfeebled and Trump is creating division and hatred. It's almost as if Putin planned it!
Is Trump a Kremlin stooge? Or do they have blackmail material? Is he in their pay?? Or did Putin just want him because he's so divisive he seeds chaos where-ever he goes? He's certainly a loose cannon!