I listened to the episode on a plane today, and I must say I rather agree with your analysis. It doesn’t fit USA’s modus operandi, it doesn’t make sense strategically for Russia, and I didn’t even suspect Ukraine until I listened to the episode because I don’t believe they could have possibly pulled it off.
I also wholeheartedly agree that “cui prodest?” is the most adequate way of solving this puzzle.
However, I must point out that while Russia’s lack of strategic sense in doing a thing like that is obvious, it doesn’t really indemnify Russia per se. Russia has been making moves that make no strategic sense (and are actually a strategic disaster) left right and center lately. One could easily argue the very launch of the Special Military Operation* was strategically insane from the start…
* - being a Russian citizen and a Russian resident I can end up in jail for calling it a war.