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In case you’re just catching up, yesterday there were reports that French President Macron may have brokered a Biden-Putin summit that would deescalate the crisis. That didn’t happen. Today President Putin of Russia gave a long speech in which he insisted that Ukraine is not a real country and is merely a phony state created by the decisions of the Bolsheviks a century ago. It’s a speech that will be studied closely as it openly and aggressively touted the revanchist, neo-Imperial vision which Putin has long been said to harbor but has never stated quite so openly. He then recognized the “independence” of the two separatist puppet states Russia set up in eastern Ukraine during the 2014-2015 crisis. The leaders of these puppet states then immediately requested Russian “peacekeepers” to come into their purported territory. It was a request Putin — surprise, surprise — rapidly acceded to.

So over the course of the day Russia has executed an invasion and what amounts to a de facto annexation of Ukrainian territory but without — so far — firing a shot.

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