The aggravation of the situation on the borders of Ukraine reminded the five-day Georgian war of 2008, when Russian troops entered into conflict with Georgia on the side of Abkhazia and South Ossetia – unrecognized so-called republics. During this time, Russia managed to launch an offensive deep into the territory of Georgia and inflict damage on Georgian troops – and then achieve a profitable truce, avoiding full international isolation.
In this context, it is important to understand that Ukraine is not Georgia, and the Kremlin can hardly count on a quick victorious war. Firstly, the Ukrainian army of 2021 is qualitatively different from what it was seven years ago. Ukrainian soldiers have gained real combat experience of confronting Russian mercenaries. Secondly, having started an open war with Ukraine, Putin must be one hundred percent sure that the Biden administration will not dare to fully engage in military hostilities, instead limiting itself solely to new sanctions. Given the current geopolitical situation, he no longer has such confidence, so the risks are much higher than they were in the situation with Georgia. Thirdly, although Russian society is constantly being zombified by pro-Kremlin propagandists, it is not fully prepared for a full-scale war with the once "brotherly" country. At least one would like to hope so.