It doesn’t take a Master’s Degree in International Relations to see what’s happening here.
Putin has the world convinced that he’s looking to conquer the entire country border to border – but he doesn’t have to.
It’s no coincidence that the mass of Russian troop movements matches regions of predominantly Russian speakers and major natural gas pipeline junctions.
If Russia stops at the Dnieper River, they effectively win the war; their objectives are complete. They move the border farther West to apply counter-pressure on NATO; they unify Russian-speaking regions of the country back into Russia; they control major pipelines feeding the rest of Europe.