Russia and Ukraine
I don’t think Putin really wants to risk war. I think he’s bluffing in order to get concessions.
Putin is a demagogue and autocrat. But he’s sending a valid message that the behavior of NATO has been intolerable. Russia took some action about it in 2014 by annexing Crimea. NATO just kept on encroaching to Russia’s west.
The kind of bluffing that Putin is doing could ratchet out of control. I don’t think it will.
It will be interesting to see if any concessions are forthcoming. If not, Russia will do something else anti-social in a couple of years in order to voice frustration.
Meanwhile, NATO’s recalcitrance is fostering a stronger alliance between Russia and China. Eventually that will be bad for NATO.