There is a very simple reason why Putin is moving towards all out conflict in Ukraine, and it is nothing to do with the Minsk Protocol, it is to do with — age.
Time moves for no one – even grandmasters – and with age there is cognitive decline, Putin is running out of time, simply put, this may be his last chance to complete his duty of service for Mother Russia.
The sense of urgency is also aggravated by the current coronavirus pandemic, as well as obvious weakness with the Biden administration bringing forth a definite corridor of opportunity for Russia and China to move forward with military action.
Without this move, where will Putin lie in history? It is the audacious moves that define great leaders in history, those that defy any sort of odds, or reason, even if a move fails, they had the sheer audacity to attempt it in the first place. Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, are some examples of military leaders who made bold almost impossible moves, some in absolute desperation and some with sheer ego and will as their reasoning.