Over the last week, Russia has been slowly dropping the pretense and invading the Ukraine with active troops, tanks and artillery pieces. Many of these soldiers, as with the earlier incursion into the crimea, are pretending to be rebels, which is technically a war crime.
As has been pointed out, the Ukraine is not the limit of Putin’s ambitions. He has claimed that he will rescue all ethnic Russians who are “threatened” which means the baltic states and Poland could be on their target list.
The West is finally responding. The plan is to deploy troops to the new NATO bases in Eastern Europe as well as to provide military aide to the Ukraine. I would suggest that reviving missile defense would be another good step.
This sets up the potential for a wider war. But it’s something we are obligated to do under the NATO treaty. We’ll just have to hope that the prospect of tangling with an actual military force is enough to give Putin some pause.