The Enigmatic 'Russian Soul' By Sergey Maidukov (American Thinker, March 28, 2014).

"Ranked at number 155 according to the Global Peace Index, Russia is one of the most dangerous countries in the whole world. It is notorious as the lawless land, where people are assassinated every 18 minutes, averaging 84 murders per day in a nation of 143 million." " A number of ... myths exist. For example, the common legend of an ancient Slavic culture. There never was, and could not be, such a concept because the term “Slavs” in all Western European languages always referred simply to “slaves” -- the pagan people who survived under the oppressive regimes of one conqueror after another." "A new poll, conducted by the independent Levada Center in Moscow, found that nearly 60 percent of Russians “deeply regret” the collapse of the Soviet Union."

I begin this REALITIES with reference to Maidukov's informative column in my search to find an explanation for the notorious Russian barbarity seen in Ukraine. In a nutshell, that's been the Russian way for a thousand years. Russia, and all of the Far East, missed out on the civilizing Hellenistic influence of Greece and Rome. They retained the savage gene of their forebears, Vikings, Mongols through tsarist regimes (guys like Ivan the Terrible, died 1584, aged 53, first Tsar of all Russia). Some of his handiwork may seem familiar:

The destruction of Novgorod: [Mariupol?] "Novgorod was Moscow’s main rival. When Ivan took the city, he burned it to the ground. About 12,000 people were mercilessly executed. Children and women were thrown into rivers. Famines followed the killings, which took as many lives. It would take centuries for the once-bustling city of Novgorod to fully recover from the famines and mass killings." (History about Tomorrow).

Russia, like China, having never been a free country, is accustomed to brutal government treatment. Russians have always lived in fear, with fear their stock-in-trade, and neighbors their commodity. During, and in the aftermath of, WWII the communist Russian Army under Stalin was notorious for raping every female person they encountered regardless of age. That historical attitude has not changed under Putin - witness Ukraine.

The West has finally come to a red line (survival of Ukraine) which, if it fails to defend, will spell its downfall. America, though late and slow to the game, is finally providing the fighting tools which can permit the small Ukrainian military to actually defeat mighty Russia. In Putin's mind, this cannot happen. Such an outcome is simply unimaginable, and the consequences would be catastrophic for world peace.

NATO, and America herself, will live in the shadow of perpetual Russian blackmail if we do not help Ukraine win this war A.S.A.P. Russia, and China as well, should be reminded that the West has ample nuclear firepower, on land, sea, and air, to destroy both of them.

Let's hope that Putin has enough logic brain cells remaining to understand this fact.