An analysis of the text of the statement, Russia’s subsequent actions, and the reactions to the statement from around the world shows that the Kremlin’s real goal is to persuade Ukraine to peace on Russia’s terms.
Over the past month, Ukraine’s military intelligence and analysts have warned of the Kremlin’s plans to force Ukraine to at least a truce, using the governments of some countries, especially in Europe, as leverage. As a result, as we can see, Russia has chosen the usual tactics of nuclear blackmail.
Currently, the plan looks like this: Russia will continue its nuclear escalation in Belarus, mostly in the form of threats, without taking any real steps to give politicians and governments sensitive to the Kremlin’s wishes grounds to declare the need for immediate talks with Putin. It should be noted that we are also talking about an immediate ceasefire, which is solely in the interests of Russia, which has failed in its offensive and is frightened of possible actions by the Ukrainian Defense Forces.
Similar statements have already been made in Bulgaria and Hungary. In the near future, we should expect other, more influential players to get involved in the process in sync with the increase in aggressive rhetoric.
However, this plan will obviously fail, just like previous attempts at nuclear blackmail by the Kremlin. The world knows the value of Putin’s bluff and promises, so only a complete withdrawal of troops to the 1991 borders, punishment of those responsible for starting the war, and compensation for all damages can be the beginning of a peace process.