Putin’s Fallback Strategy

Putin thought he could replace the western-oriented democratic regime in Ukraine with one that would bring the country firmly within the Russian orbit. That hasn’t worked out and can’t work out because of the rightful revulsion the vast majority of Ukrainians now feel toward Putin. Presumably, Putin now understands this reality. So what is his fallback strategy? I suspect that it’s to so weaken Ukraine– to so transform it to a shell of its former self –– that it will be more of a burden than an asset to the West. Putin’s mindset is: If I can’t have it, at least I can make sure they can’t have it.