Why does Putin intend to frighten the West with his troops more than invade Ukraine?

  • Sarah Rainford
  • BBC News in Moscow

Attributed to him, Getty Images

Illustrative image,

Russian troop movements have been significant, but many in Moscow doubt that President Putin was intending to escalate the escalation.

It was impossible to ignore the course of events: thousands of Russian troops were deployed near the border with Ukraine. At the same time, a group of US warships was reported to be heading to the Black Sea, and the Russian Foreign Ministry warned them to stay away “for their own good.”

As hostile rhetoric and military moves intensified in Ukraine, Western politicians began to fear an open invasion of Russia, and urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to “de-escalate.”

Russia refused: The Defense Ministry insisted this week that its actions were in response to NATO “threatening” maneuvers in Europe.

Then Putin received a phone call from the White House.

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