Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, had 200,000 Russian troops invade Ukraine on three sides beginning on February 24.  Why did Putin invade Ukraine and what does he want? He has said that he really wants assurances that Ukraine will never be admitted as a member of NATO.  The U.S. has told him that decision is up to NATO and Ukraine, not the United States, and also signed a November 10, 2021, agreement to protect Ukraine.  However, Putin has also said that he wants to reconstitute the former Soviet Union and allegedly had a military second only to the United States (so his threat needed to be taken seriously).  Moreover, Putin saw how a weak President Biden left behind in Afghanistan hundreds of Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans that assisted the U.S.

Ukrainians have been courageously and fiercely defending their country against overwhelming odds using American Javelin missiles to destroy Russian tanks and American Stinger missiles to destroy Russian helicopters and planes.  In 1994, the U.S and Russia guaranteed Ukraine that it would be protected if it gave up its nuclear weapons.  It unwisely gave them up.  Civilians have been given weapons and taught how to make Molotov Cocktails.  Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has rallied many countries in the world to assist Ukraine with weapons, cash, and volunteers to defend themselves against the Russian military.  However, Ukraine is being slowly destroyed every day with constant artillery, missiles and bombs.

Why and how did this happen?  In the one-year Joe Biden has been President, a barrel of oil increased in price from about $40/barrel to about $100/barrel. This has enriched huge-oil-exporter Russia to the extent that it could afford to have Russia’s military attack Ukraine with expensive missiles and bombs. The huge increase in the price of oil that enabled Russian aggression was due to: Biden preventing any new leases on Federal lands for oil and gas exploration and drilling; Biden stopping the Keystone and other oil and gas pipelines; Biden stopping any oil and gas exploration and drilling in Alaska; Biden significantly increasing fees for drilling on existing leases on Federal lands; Biden stopping off-shore drilling; Biden stopping fracking.

The world is not technologically ready to cease using fossil fuels.  It should be in about 25 years.  The U.S. has “jumped the gun” and is paying the price in massive inflation as well as some of our adversaries, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, being enriched by the high price of oil.

The United States should have begun arming Ukraine when Russia began moving troops to the Ukraine border in April 2021.  A negotiated settlement is the most likely end of the war.  However, things could get a lot worse first, with poison gas and tactical nuclear weapons.  We’ll see.

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