This is the Eastern Front as the Germans invaded East. See any similarities with the geography at play here? It is not surprising that Putin wants the Crimea, warm water ports energy. It is the same reason the German planners wanted the Crimea. This is not irrational. This is a well fought over piece of land.
The specifics are different today than they were in 1941. Though when analysts go, but this is Czechoslovakia in 1938 I cringe. The reason for that cringing? I know that WW II is the absolutely last good war. Hey we won. I also know that this is not Living Space. This is much older than Living Space. This goes back to the Russification policies started under Peter and Catherine the Great.
No, this is not the 1930s, but it has historic echoes.
Now I have a lot of reading to do to catch up with the recent history of the area. After all my graduate course in Russian history is a tad old, and a while ago. There was still a USSR in place. For the record Putin is pining for the old times USSR, and the 19th century called.
But yes, a lot of this is geography. And if you want to understand fully what is going on, look at a map. It will not disappoint. In fact, a few maps are in order, a political map, a physical map and a resource map. Those are the minimum. A few maps of WW I and WW II, and the Crimean War will also help. And that means I have a lot of that to do myself.
Let’s just hope we do not have historic miscalculations though, or we might be facing another European ground war, and due to interlocking alliances, we are not going to stay out of it. Not just that, our national interest will force our leaders to join up. We the people have no say. And how serious this is? Well, everybody is starting to play the propaganda game and leaving actual straight news reporting. That is not a good sign.