In a televised speech days before the invasion, Putin suggested that “modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia.”
Putin has inherited much of his world view from the Russian-chauvinist and Russocentric traditions of the former imperial and Soviet Russian regimes. His Ukrainophobic attitudes can be attributed in part to his being steeped in deeply rooted feelings of both Russian superiority and resentment towards Ukrainians who have consistently asserted their distinct identity.
Russia has for four centuries tried to fully subjugate Ukrainian lands and to subdue the Ukrainian nation by means of laws and policies designed to undermine and suppress the Ukrainian language and culture, while at the same time privileging Russians in Ukraine.
Putin has repeatedly sought to disparage Ukraine’s successful declaration of independence in 1991 and is determined to put an end to it.