Scuse me John, but weren't you the one discussing cause and effect? Did eight years of bombing Russian speakers in the Donbas pass you by? Did ignoring the Minsk 2 agreement resulting in thousands dead?
Putins expressed ideas were about responsibility for the Russkiy mir: the greater "Russian community" of which a large number were in the Donbas. There is little doubt that Ukraine had turned against this community and indeed had been passing laws against the use of the Russian language itself.
Rather than being, in your tabloid term "a ruthless autocrat with grandiose ideas about a greater Russia " Putin had in fact refused to recognise the Donbas states for many years, wanting Ukraine to properly respect its Russian community, but unfortunately this it refused to do.
On grain, Russia is paying the West for weapons with its grain: it wont be going to keep a starving third world fed. Russia exports about four times a much, but of course Western financial sanctions are responsible for inhibiting the flow of that.
Those sanctions were designed to destroy Russia's economy, much as NATO's training and arming of the Ukrainian army and its affiliated Nazis were designed to keep a debilitating war going in the Donbas with the long term intention of bleeding Russia militarily.
In the greater scheme of things the aim of the West was either to control Russia by turning it into a comprador state controlled by the west or to break it up into smaller statelets that could themselves be easily subverted and dominated thus the vast resources of the largest country on the planet could be looted.
I'm sorry that you cant see that and instead chose to swallow Western personality propaganda: that the war in Ukraine is all about the ego of "Ruthless" Putin the Dictator: its simply not.