The internet is full of articles attempting to understand Putin’s motives starting from what he had said about the subject.

Here’s but the last I’ve read.
Why has Russia invaded Ukraine and what does Putin want?

Nothing special inside but it illustrates well enough the point I’m trying to make.

At first, Putin’s words are summarized and then proven ‘wrong’. Misleading. Or plain false.
In the next section of the article, the author – Paul Kirby, like many more before him, attempts to divine what Putin will do. Starting from the same words which have just been proven false and/or misleading.

?!?

No, the author is not ‘dense’.
He simply does what he was trained to do.

We, here in the land of democracy, understand language as a medium for negotiation.
And negotiation as an exchange where we let our needs be known, in earnest. As an exchange where we ‘trade’ information with the goal of finding the best mutually acceptable solution for whatever problem we attempt to solve.
In this sense, a negotiation is a form of cooperation. And compromise is something which both sides find beneficial.

For people conversant in ‘dictatorian’, ‘compromise’ is something to be shoved down the throat of the weaker side. The bigger the power differential, the harder to swallow becomes the ‘compromise’.

Doesn’t make much sense?
To us, democrats?
Because we know that shoving things down the throat of now weaker people doesn’t work on the longer time frame?

‘Assuming’ is the worst thing a negotiator may make.

We keep assuming that dictators are rational. Even worse, that they follow the same ‘ratio’ as we do.
That we – as in we and them, see the same world and have ‘slightly’ different goals.
And express those different goals in the same manner. Using the same kind of language.

We are wrong.

We, the democratically minded, are trained – conditioned is a truer word, to consider ‘the other’ as being equivalent to us.
At least some of the others, but that’s another discussion.
We actually ‘know’, in our bones, that we cannot ‘do’ anything by ourselves. That we exist only in cooperation with those around us. That everything we have ever accomplished was the result of a common effort.

People conditioned in dictatorial regimes see things rather differently.
They don’t cooperate, they just obey.
Their existence does not stem from the common effort but from following orders.
Language is not at all a medium where information is being passed between equivalent agents but a two way conduit. Orders are flowing from top to bottom and acknowledgments crawl from bottom to the top.

‘And what about ‘information’?!?
How does it travel among those people?’

Piecemeal.
Exclusively on a ‘need to know’ basis.
Nobody ‘volunteers’ any information unless expressly asked about it by a superior.

This is why dictatorships end up crumbling under their own weight.

That’s why we don’t understand, for real, what Putin attempts to communicate.
That’s why he is extremely annoyed right know.

Putin no longer understands what’s going on.
Let aside the fact that nobody around him dares to volunteer any information – which would be contrary to what Putin wants to hear.
My point being that Putin had been accustomed to having his way.

I’m not going to enumerate all the things he had done. Things we should have reacted against…
As in ‘reacted’, not meowed meekly.
As a consequence, he had grown accustomed to shoving things down our throats…

Suddenly, we have stopped swallowing!
Without giving him a ‘reasonable’ reason…
A reason he could understand!

Do you remember what I’ve told you?
A few moments ago? That dictators don’t care about those who are weaker? Nor about the long term consequences of their decisions?
That dictators are concerned exclusively with their own survival?

Savvy?