Moscow’s endgame is to embed Russian territories back into Ukraine as a Trojan horse. And it is desperate to cut a deal to secure this result.
Observers report a huge buildup of Russian military forces on Ukraine’s borders. We are talking about 7000 or more troops already inside Ukraine and some 50,000 massing outside. Besides scores of howitzers, rocket launchers, and armored vehicles the estimates specify 100 tanks inside and another 400 tanks outside the porous border. You could call it an escalation; the invasion began with Crimea and moved to Donbas and hasn’t stopped since. But that would be a euphemism.
Have you heard about the Iran-Ukraine affair? It goes like this. Vladimir Putin’s Russia makes nice over an Iran nuclear deal. It is helpful in every way. In return, the United States turns a blind eye to the big Russian military build-up on the Ukrainian border and in areas under the control of Moscow-backed rebel separatists.