Vladimir Putin has pulled the trigger.
Sending Russian troops as peacekeepers to the rebel-held Donetsk and Luhansk centres in Donbas in eastern Ukraine is an invasion of Ukraine.
It is not yet a full invasion, but it is an invasion of Ukrainian territory.
After Joe Biden stumbled several weeks ago and said a minor incursion by Putin would not necessarily trigger a response, the White House was fast and emphatic: any incursion by Russian troops into Ukrainian territory would constitute an invasion.
Putin has now crossed that line.
Putin has also recognised the so-called independence of the two breakaway territories.
These territories are not in truth independent, they are completely subservient to Moscow, which in the past has infiltrated Russian soldiers into them in civilian disguise. …
There is a brazenness, an Orwellian quality, to the way Putin makes up facts. He is using these falsehoods as a justification for intervention.
It may be that some Russians believe them. No one else does.
But facts, fraudulent or otherwise, and belief of any kind, are not the point of Putin’s performative propaganda.
The Beijing Olympics finished on Sunday, and Putin invaded hours later. This was pre-planned, weeks ago. Biden gave his ok with a slip of the tongue a few weeks ago.
The question now is: will Putin go further?