Let's say, for the sake of argument, you are Vladimir Putin. Consider the following facts and assumptions:
Hillary Clinton appears increasingly likely to win the presidential election.
Hillary Clinton is a member of the globalist elite and is heavily influenced by Wall Street, the Saudis, and the neocons.
Hillary Clinton has a little girl's conception of military action. "We came, we saw, he died."
Hillary Clinton has always shown a tendency to overcompensate to prove how tough and ruthless she is.
Hillary Clinton doesn't negotiate, she dictates.
Donald Trump is not a member of the globalist elite.
Donald Trump has openly expressed his desire to avoid war with Russia.
Donald Trump prides himself on negotiation, not confrontation.
The USA is already engaged in a war-by-proxy with Russia in Syria.
The globalist elite is already waging economic war on Russia.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO
You don't want Ukraine. You don't want war with the USA. You prefer to have an opponent like Donald Trump with whom you know you can negotiate to an enemy like Hillary Clinton with whom you cannot. Now consider the following possibilities:
The neocons are actively pushing for war with Russia in order to force Assad out of Syria
Ukraine will join NATO under a Hillary administration.
Wall Street needs some sort of major global event to pop the current asset bubble.
Also, Russia has made it very clear that they will never accept Ukraine in NATO, but the US has blatantly ignored every Russian warning and instead engaged in a series of provocative steps in Ukraine, in the Baltics, and in Poland.
If you were Vladimir Putin and you expect that a Hillary Clinton administration will make war with the USA inevitable, would it not logically make sense to start the conflict while there is still a chance to totally transform the shape of the US election? Right now, Trump is in trouble because the media is relentlessly away pounding on a few remarks about women from more than a decade ago and the public awareness of the war-by-proxy between Russia and the USA is totally nonexistent.
But if Russia invades Ukraine, takes Kiev, and scares the pants off the Baltics, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe alike, that will completely transform the election picture. For all her bellicosity, no one can take Hillary Clinton seriously as a war president, particularly anyone in the military after Benghazi.
So, are there any signs that Putin might be in a position to invade Ukraine on short notice?
"As many as 40,000 Russian troops are massing on the country’s border with Ukraine – prompting fears of a new military invasion. Among the units deployed to the area are armoured vehicles, tanks and fighter jets." (August 2016)
"Russia has amassed some 100,000 soldiers in occupied Crimea and Donbas as well as along the eastern border with Ukraine." (October 2016)
"Russian state officials and government workers were told to bring back their children studying abroad immediately, even if means cutting their education short and not waiting until the end of the school year."
"Amid escalating U.S.-Russia tensions, the Russian military said Tuesday it will co-operate with China on efforts to fend off a threat posed by the U.S. missile defence program."
"At the end of last week, Latvia identified several Russian planes near its borders: Su-24 tactical bombers, Su-27 multipurpose fighters and an An-26 military transport plane. Russia also conducts military drills near Latvian land border. Two airborne divisions – 76th and 98th – take part in joint exercises with elements of full-fledged combat activities."
Now, I'm not predicting Russia is going to invade Ukraine. I'm not in any contact with anyone on the ground or in Russian circles.. I am merely observing that logic suggests Putin should invade Ukraine before the US election if it seems likely to him that Hillary is going to win it. The third debate is October 20th. Barring Donald Trump turning things between now and then, which looks increasingly unlikely given the 24-7 media assault, logic would dictate that a Russian invasion of Ukraine will begin the weekend after next, most likely on the morning of October 23rd.
I don't know whether Putin will dare to roll the dice on such a potentially dangerous gamble, particularly because it is clear that Russia doesn't want Ukraine. But with the neocons relentlessly pressing for war with Russia, the Russian president would be better off starting a regional war now in the hopes of avoiding a global one than holding off and having it forced upon him in one or two years time. And aside from Duerte, Vladimir Putin is the one world leader who might have the steel to think through the logic and grasp the adder.