In the turmoil in the spring of 2014, immediately following the Revolution of Dignity, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered an attack on Crimea and instigated and supported the separatist activities in Donbas. Encouraged by Russia’s early successes in its war on Ukraine and the lukewarm approach of some Western countries to imposing sanctions, Putin ordered the massive February 2022 invasion, initially focused on Ukraine’s capital and leadership.
NATO, for its part, has consciously and conspicuously de-emphasized nuclear weapons in its defense policy and posture since the end of the Cold War. As a consequence, the Alliance now lacks the policies and capabilities needed to deter, and if necessary to respond to, a limited Russian nuclear strike.
– Dr. Matthew Kroenig, 2015, US Senate testimony