On Feb. 24, Russia invaded Ukraine on multiple fronts, launching the most violent phase of a war to re-establish the Russian empire. It is a war that did not begin then, or even in 2014 when Russian forces occupied Crimea and pressed into the Donbas. Rather, the conflict began at least 20 years earlier, within years of the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Russia began a number of campaigns to restore its former power.
In short, Russia’s attack on Ukraine is no normal power grab. And that is why so many experts have misunderstood it.