I really appreciate the Putin is going slow on the retaliations to the endless provocations of the West.
By leaving many of them off the table, he allows himself the ability to slowly ramp up the retaliations as more and more red lines got crossed. As the lines crossed get more severe, so do the retaliations.
Also, it makes Russia out to be the good guys. It’s hard to fight fair in war. The nature of war makes the desire on the part of the soldiers and officers for revenge palpable and hard to control.
Putin lays off attacking the GRU, reserving it for when multiple red lines have been crossed. He’s a good guy! He’s fighting a clean, sanitary, almost humanitarian war.
Putin refuses to hit decision making centers until the last red line is crossed. Nice! He’s a good guy.
Russia fights clean like a civilized country unlike the bestial Nazis and the morally neutered West that supports them. I think the world appreciates Russia for fighting fair while at the same time recoiling at the crimes of the Nazis and the depraved West. And this is very important.
People keep calling for Russia to go all out, fight fire with fire, and carpet bomb Ukraine or even Kiev. Do they realize how many civilians will die in such an escalation? Do they realize how the West would use these casualties? They’d have a field day with them.
The Global South already knows how Western imperialism (basically NATO and the US) and its attack dogs fight. Just look around. It’s pure terrorism. That’s how the West spreads its rule. Rightwing death squad dictatorships, genocidal fascist dictators, reactionary Islamist headchoppers, Nazis – these are the handmaidens of the “civilized” West. Russia gains so much goodwill by being the opposite of that.
The South can look at each one and decide if they want (Russian) civilization or (Western) barbarism.