I am honestly a little surprised at Putin being so aggressive. His stated goals: Crimea, Donbass and keeping the Ukraine out of NATO; definitely could have been attained without a war. If anything, war has made each of them less likely.
It also has by default empowered another autocracy which happens to be Russia's rival: Türkiye.
Argument of authority here: I degreed in something something social science and one of my favorite classes was about former Soviet countries. The little Russian I can still understand comes from there.