While I was in Russia, I learned that the Russians do what is necessary. Resources are limited there, so they must prioritize carefully in order to ensure survival. When they fought off millions of invading German troops, for example, was it necessary that they develop strategic bombers? No, it was not. They focused on fighters to attain air superiority and ground attack aircraft to destroy tanks. They made two of the best planes of the war that way. Was it necessary that they have nearly countless models of tanks for every occasion, like the Germans? No, it was not. The Russians made the T-34 tank, perfected it in the T-34/85, and added the JS2 and Su-122 to complete the lineup. The primary role for tanks was destroying enemy tanks. Next role was mobile artillery for ground troops. Those tanks did the job, and are considered some of the best tanks ever made, certainly the best of their day. It was necessary to make those, not others.
Is it necessary for Russian food to taste amazing? No, it is not. There is dessert, and their desserts are what tastes best. Is it necessary to mow everything? No, it is not. The grass in medians and shoulders will grow tall. Is it necessary to move large numbers of people efficiently in a major city? Yes. Moscow has one of the best subway systems in the world.
Now, Vladimir Putin is asking the USA, “Is it necessary to have a war in Syria?” It is clear that the Russians would prefer not to have one, given how they recently declared they would secure Assad’s chemical weapons. They want the USA to answer “No” to that question.
If the USA does answer “Yes”, however, what will be the Russian reaction? Well, one can see that the Russians saw it as necessary to put their fleet and some soldiers in the area before asking the question. If the USA answers “Yes”, then the Russians seem to believe that it is necessary to be involved in that Syrian war, should it happen.
And now Putin’s question is bigger: “Is it necessary to have a war with Russia?” And when a Russian asks about what is necessary, do not doubt his resolve to do what he must to in order to survive. Do not doubt that resolve, or they will drag pieces of your capitol back to Moscow and build a museum around those pieces, because in Russia, they consider that to be a necessary way to learn history. It’s quite effective.