"Russia and Ukraine have come to believe that peace negotiations has reached a dead end."
A fatal flaw of Minsk was the absence of the US. Just as Kyiv regards the "DNR" and "LNR" as puppets of Moscow, the Kremlin sees Ukraine as an American puppet. Putin believes that Kyiv is only fighting because of Washington. Only through dealing directly with Washington would he have made a workable deal at Minsk. The fact that he wanted the Americans out of the negotiations indicates that he was only interested in an unconditional surrender. At Minsk, he has repeatedly demanded control of Ukraine's domestic, foreign, economic and defence policy, ie. the end of Ukrainian independence. Since 2014, the separatists have vowed to "purge" all of Ukraine of all independence and democracy. This is an existential war - Ukrainian freedom v Russian tyranny.
"Putin likes to boost his domestic image." Some fight for territory or resources or ideology, but Putin fights for vainglory. This makes his behaviour all the more erratic and dangerous. His current sabre-rattling is like the school bully who approaches his victim and sharply raises his fists, as if about to strike. The victim raises his arms defensively. The bully then exclaims, "You are paranoid! I wasn't going to hit you!" He continues to do it until the moment he decides to hit his victim for real. He then says, "Why are you hitting my fist?" Typical schoolyard bully.
"Joe Biden called him a killer." Biden is guilty of what the British call "stating the bloomin' obvious."
Death toll for the wars in Chechnia: 150,000-200,000, Georgia: 1500, Ukraine: 15,000, Syria: 700,000. Plus all the murdered journalists, human rights activists and opposition politicians. Yet RT baulks at the suggestion that their employer is a killer.
"a full invasion of Ukraine would require at least half the Russian army." This assumes that Putin wants all of Ukraine. He may decide on seizing the Black Sea coastal regions only. This will deny Ukraine access to the sea and all sea-based trade. An historical precedent are the 18th century partitions of Poland. Poland was not wiped off the map overnight, but in a series of Russian-led land grabs over 23 years.
"Medvedchuk, has less than five per cent support." This will not concern Putin. In pre-2014 Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov and his Russian Unity Movement enjoyed very little popular support but this did not stop Putin making him figurehead governor of the peninsula after the annexation.
I question the claim that most Russians think that their military are not involved in Donbas. Enough Russians have fought and died there to dispel any myth of non-intervention. The article does not mention the fact that most Russians appear to believe that most of the fighting in Donbas is between Russian forces and troops from the US, UK, Germany and Poland. Western leaders frightened of Russia's possible reaction to NATO troops in Ukraine are missing the point. Putin and the Russian media have convinced themselves that they are there already.
The article does not mention the myth of "humanitarian intervention" a la former Yugoslavia. Russians believe that their troops went into Crimea and Donbas to prevent Balkan-style ethnic cleansing. This myth will be told again in any further invasion.
‘Vietnam-scenario’- this is a false analogy. Vietnam received unlimited amounts of help from China and the USSR. It is questionable as to whether NATO will be so generous with Ukraine, and Putin knows it.
"Russia could even be classified as a rogue/terrorist state." Given the Russian government's behaviour since 2000, I am surprised that this was not done long ago.