As someone who lives in an ex-USSR country, on the border with Russia, i will start with a bit of history -
I find it intereseting how aftter “Allied Forces” won WW2, Russia somehow gets romanticized in America.
A super quick history - after Allies “saved the world from Hitler” , US and UK forces went back to their dreamland with food and fat people.
Russia, however, took control of half the Europe, and started devastating those countries more than Hitler ever did.
Hitler was an asshole to jews, but Stalin… well… he just wanted everyone to die. There are lots of data on how Stalin actually killed more people than Hitler did, its just that the info is super unpopular because it would mean that US actually helped.
Anyway, Stalin just starved to death millions of people just to get rid of them. Took away properties from everyone and just gave it away to russians. My family owned 3 buildings in a capital, which were taken and just given to russian workers to live in for free. In fact, to this day, even tho we have the buildings back, there are some people we cant evict because of laws, they live for free and make debts for water and electricity, which we have to pay for.
Anyway, because of this politics, most eastern europe, and Ukraine also, is populated with russians alot. Some countries managed to get rid of them a bit better than others. Mine didnt. Ukraine didnt.
So basically 90s come along, USSR crumbles, capitalism kicks in.
Before that, government gave you job, medicine and school for free. You had money, but nothing to buy with it. No one had anything good. My grandmothers appartment looks exactly the same as any other appartment in that building as in USSR all the stuff was identical.
In fact, there is a Russian comedy from 70s about a guy who got drunk and went to the wrong house and wrong appartment and lived there for 2 days before he understood he is not at his home.
When capitalism kicked in, people started creating busineses. But as it is with capitalism - not everyone succeeds. So people who havent addapted and succeeded - mostly russians, they start to live in memories of their childhood, when everyone had jobs and money.
Like in Undisputed 2, when american fighter talked with russian fighter, american said : “in my world there aint shit for free” and russian said : “i my world everything is free but its all shit”.
I guess, when you dont have anything, you are ok with having shit also.
A long time has passed and many russians scattered around the world, who havent succeeded in modern world, start to live in memories and legends about “the old days”. They see Putin as a leader of something great. Being a russian is nothing special in Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, etc, so its easy to get caught into Putins bullshit about how great Russia is.
Fun fact - actual russians in Russia dont think that russians in other countries are “real russians” so the ones we have here are actually NOT welcome in Russia. They just rarelly know that.
Russian mentality in the world could be something simmilar to what Americans have - called hillbillies? I mean those guys with confederate flags, still hating on different races, still thinking they will bring back slavery or shit? Like, they dont understand enough, so they are stuck into fact that being white is good, even tho even whites know that those rednecks(?) are the lowest people ever.
Its simmilar with russians - like 50% of russians in every country are like redneck idiots who just dream about USSR being created again.
So now back to Ukraine and other countries Russia always tries to fuck with.
There are these russian rednecks in every country who say that this country hates them, took away their jobs etc, so Putin uses the excuse of “freeing his people” and helping them.
In my country we also have whole cities populated only by Russians and if they would call for “help” Putin would be on our border also. In fact, he actually is. At least once a year Russia does these military “trainings” on the borders of Ukraine, Baltics, etc, which are mostly like demonstration of power.
Putin also knows that he can do what he wants because lets be real - America does not give a shit, NOR should they. If i was American, i wouldnt want my son to go and die for some shit country also. It just creates this huge problem of no one helping, and Putin knowing that.
He already killed thousands of Ukrainians when he anected Crimea and the world just let that slide. Its round 2 for Ukraine.
As much as i know, Ukraine now says they are twice as ready. My country has sent help also last week.
We know we have to stick together because if Russia invades Ukraine and gets away with it, we are next. Thats why these border countries stick together.
Sad fact is that even if we all combine our forces we still make up for like 1/10th of what Russia has.
The only hope we have is the opposition in Russia because not all russians are retarded idiots. There are many young people who want to be a part of the modern world, and we kind of hope that these people wont let their sons to die for this stupid shit.
But sadly, being in Russian military is a proud thing and of course - being on the winning side is cool.
Imagine you being a poor 20yr old from nowhere, and Putin saying : “we are 100 to 1, we will win, we will conquer them and you can take their stuff”. Most people do agree without thinking.
Russia acts simmilar to North Korea only they actually practice that shit.
For those who dont know or forgot - Russia already invaded Ukraine 8 years ago. There were dead bodies hanged in electrical wires and every kind of gore you can see in movies.
I find it funny how 8 years ago Russia invaded Ukraine, took away Crimea, but now world wonders “will Russia attack?”… I mean - why the fuck not? They did it super successfully just 8 years back.