Why Invade Ukraine, Uncle Vlad?

Putin tried but failed to justify his war to the West. He did fool a lot of people leading up to the conflict, but since then he’s been overmatched; Europe has learned to fear and mistrust him, and much of the United States loves an underdog too much to want to believe him. In another article, we dealt with a few of his claims (and some others from across the internet), and the actual truth behind them. The bottom line is, there’s just not much truth to them.

But if not the plight of expatriate Russians, what could possibly motivate a modern dictator to get involved in a land war in Eurasia?

Let’s be clear: Uncle Vlad is a psychopath. (So are many world leaders. It’s kind of a qualifying trait. -Editor) He doesn’t care about the suffering of his people; hell, he’s the root cause of most of the suffering of his people. His only concern with the Russian-speaking natives of the Donbas is as a pretext.

But for what, exactly? Oil? Ukraine produces thirty thousand barrels a day, less than Papua New Guinea, Peru, or Germany. It can’t be for oil.

…Well, yes. Oil. Exactly for oil.

For the past decade and more, the price of crude oil has been hovering around $35 a barrel. Suddenly, there’s a war, and BAM! Oil jumps to almost $150. But why? Ukraine doesn’t produce oil…

Ah. But Russia does — it’s the second-largest world producer, just behind the United States and a hair ahead of Saudi Arabia. Europe depends on that Russian oil, and it also relies on the Saudis. Saudi oil passes through pipelines that run through… wait for it… Ukraine. UkrTransNafta has a capacity of over 100 million tons per year.

With a single move, Putin has created a massive (if artificial) increase in the price of his country’s biggest export while demonstrating to Europe just how dependent they are on him for all their energy needs. As an added bonus, if things stop going his way, a couple of well-aimed missile strikes will permanently dim the lights from Seville all the way to the Carpathians.

So. Tell me again all about how this war isn’t going Putin’s way?

If what you just read pisses you off, that’s not because it’s wrong. People are wrong every day and it doesn’t get to you. If you’re upset by this article, it’s because deep down you’re afraid it’s true.

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