In addition to Vladimir Putin’s geographical ambitions, a renewed Russian Empire must be feared by the world. That is what it means to be an empire.
Putin is not getting the response he wants.
He’s been trying to spread fear through his nuclear threats, both those against the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and his and his associates’ talk about nuclear weapons. But the West is not cowering in fear.
There is no physical indication that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons. Preparations will be observed by governments and other folks who are watching. Russia’s actions at the Zaporizhzhia plant seem to be designed to avoid the worst outcomes so that they can steal the plant for the Russian electrical grid.
The tactical purpose of the fear-mongering is to convince Ukraine and its supporters to back off. That hasn’t worked.
The Russian destroyer Udaloy I forced the USS Chancellorsville to maneuver to avoid collision in the Phillippine Sea today. They were sending a message – look at the guys sunbathing on the flight deck.