Political theorist Peter Zeihan discusses how Russia's impending demographic collapse and harsh geography has pushed them toward the invasion of Ukraine.

“The world is changing in ways most of us find incomprehensible. Terrorism spills out of the Middle East into Europe. Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, and Japan vie to see who can be most aggressive. Financial breakdown in Asia and Europe guts growth, challenging hard-won political stability. Yet for the Americans, these changes are fantastic. Alone among the world’s powers, only the United States is geographically wealthy, demographically robust, and energy secure.”

“The intent is not for Russia to be productive, but to instead transform these conquered peoples into a different sort of barrier — a sort of strategic road bump between more distant foes and the greater Moscow region. Since few people tell their children nursery rhymes about the joys of serving as other people’s cannon fodder, the Russians often have to find ways to motivate their conquered populations — or more to the point, to intimidate their subjugants into accepting the role the Russians demand of them. The Russians do this with a deep, intrusive, and cruel intelligence service. In short, the Kremlin wants to alter Russia’s borders so they are easier to defend. Unfortunately for the Russians (and their neighbors), there is no internal fastness to which they can retreat. The more securable borders that Russia desires can only be achieved by expanding.”

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