Pray tell, who will invade Russia from the West?
Who will have the troops to occupy and pacify a conquered Russia?
Where, pray tell, is the buffer zone's limit when Moscow looks west at a vast plain extending to the Rhine River? Do you really think Donbas and Crimea are enough buffer with this type of thinking?
And if the threat is not military, but ideological, threatening Russia's autocracy with democracy (God forbid the long-suffering Russian people should be condemned to that!), what good does a territorial buffer provide? Did a territorial buffer help the Soviet Union when their system and empire collapsed from 1989-1991?
Doesn't Russia see that Ukraine was (and still is) a barely armed state with its armed forces still deployed as if it was the Cold War (thus poised to lunge west)? And now Ukraine sees Russia as a military threat?
Doesn't Russia see that NATO was barely able to operate in the new NATO states let alone invade Russia, and that Russia's actions are prompting NATO to make tentative steps to defend the new NATO line further east?
Is Russia so blind that they can't see that there is no threat from the West while China is a gathering storm in their rear? And that China's help is a trojan horse to undermine Russia more?
This Chinese aid comes with strings, mainly in terms of Russia agreeing to sell more military tech (design and manufacturing methods) to China.
Many Russians are nervous about this because of Chinese claims on much of eastern Russia and increasing Chinese economic domination in the Russian Far East. At the moment Russian leaders are more concerned with the imaginary threat from the West rather than the very real one from the east.
A growing number of Russians are becoming vocal about the Chinese threat and the fact that current Russian policy is driving away the only effective allies (the West) Russia could have to deal with a Chinese move on the Russian Far East. ...
Westerners in Russia, especially those who speak and read Russian, report that state controlled Russian media has seemingly reverted to stories and attitudes right out of the Cold War. It is, in short, unreal but actually happening. Russian media is full of stories of NATO aggression against Russia and anything that is going wrong in Russia is blamed on a NATO conspiracy to destroy Russia.
What fantasy world does Putin inhabit? Why are Russians going along with his Viking funeral ride?
Face it, Russia is being led by freaking idiots. Aggressive and dangerous idiots, but idiots nonetheless.