Why President Biden will end up giving Putin what he wants in Ukraine

The Biden administration is working hard to build a coalition of European partners capable of deterring Russia from invading Ukraine.

Allied capitals are saying all the right things, but if you listen closely it is not hard to detect an air of desperation hanging over the effort.

Washington knows none of the Europeans are willing to fight for Ukraine’s sovereignty, and the Europeans know Washington won’t either.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin doesn’t want to actually occupy Ukraine—which he could easily do east of the Dnieper River that bisects the country—but he does want to neutralize it as a military threat.

That means keeping Ukraine out of NATO, precluding use of its territory for Western military bases, and minimizing any military cooperation between Kyiv and western capitals.

Biden’s team, led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, tells a brave story about why any such guarantees are off the table, but in the end the administration will give Putin most of what he wants.

Biden & Co. just won’t admit publicly that is what’s happening.

In order to understand why Putin’s campaign of intimidation is likely to bear fruit, you need to consider some salient facts about the Ukraine situation that seldom get mentioned in mainstream media accounts.