Putin Just Told Us What He’s Planning

From a New York Times essay by Alexander Baunov headlined “Putin Just Told Us What He’s Planning”:

Vladimir Putin’s speech on Friday, in which he formally proclaimed the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, was many things: a distorted history lecture, a rather tedious enumeration of supposed Western sins, an airing of grievances and a vaunting of power. For all the rhetorical flourish — accusing Western elites of “Satanism,” for example — it was in many ways a typical address from Mr. Putin.

But it was also something else: a plan. Amid the bluster and veiled threats, the president made three distinct points that, taken together, form a blueprint for war and peace.