Do you suspect the human and economic toll of Ukrainian occupation is going to make Putin think twice about invading another Eastern European country (e.g. Baltic States)?

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Mar 4, 2022·edited Mar 6, 2022Author

I suspect he was already hesitant to invade the Baltic States because they're in NATO, but this has made him even more hesitant in my mind for three reasons.

1. Ukraine is one of if not the most "Russian" country that Russia doesn't control, so the fact that resistance is so high and the fight so bitter suggests that NATO countries would be even more aggressive in their individual defense. If even Ukraine—a country with a significant Russian population—is aggressive and united, just imagine how aggressive Poland's might be.

2. In November 2019, Macron said that NATO was suffering "Braindeath" and that there was little that united the bloc and that European security was falling behind. This war has worked against Putin by surprising NATO without surprising NATO. Europe and the US are reacting to the war as if we have been invaded, even though Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Putin has essentially had the downsides of invading Europe—increased push for European security—without actually being able to surprise attack NATO.

3. I suspect one reason the invasion has gone so poorly for the Russians at this state is that Russia's state capability has probably degraded so much that even their military, which was said to be only third behind the US and China, has seemed disorganized and lackluster in their fighting. Putin will be wary to invade countries like Poland and Estonia which have militaries with much higher capability than Ukraine.

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