If you think this is worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis, you really should read more history. At that point the Soviet Navy was steaming toward Cuba, just off the south coast of Florida, and everyone had their guns out. Right now, Putin is just playing this stupid despot game because he knows the entire world is transfixed by a combination of covid, culture war and social media - and there has never been a weaker US President. He can literally do what he wants in Ukraine.
However, if he puts his finger anywhere near the nuclear trigger, someone in the Kremlin will off him. It's as simple as that, and he knows it.