The desperate Vladimir Putin, still with that nuclear arsenal

Ukraine

We might be seeing an answer to the question of “Where does Vladimir Putin stop?[8] And it might not be the answer Putin anticipated.[9] So ultimately the question becomes just how ‘existential’ is Russian success in Ukraine, really?[10]

Russia’s president keeps understandably schtum about his “special military operation”. But indefinite stalemate is not what he expected. He didn’t expect car bombs in Moscow and humiliating attacks on fortress Crimea, either.

Least of all did [Vladimir] Putin anticipate 80,000 Russian soldiers dead or wounded. Dying with them is his Peter the Great pipe dream of a “greater Russia”. Extinct already is his reputation as anything other than a killer and a crook.

An endless military quagmire is not a scenario Putin can afford as slow-burn western sanctions corrode his economy and his military’s manpower and materiel are steadily depleted.[11]

Probably the only way Putin can even save face is if western support for Ukraine is undermined. Simon Tisdall points out a great many fissure points he can exploit and, in some cases, already is. Tisdall doesn’t actually use the old trope of a cornered, wounded animal as being the most dangerous in reference to Putin, but his analysis certainly follows it.[12] Which is why I still worry, albeit a little less urgently, about this escalating to nuclear war.[13]

Simon Tisdall, “Putin is trapped and desperate. Will his friends in the west rescue him?” Guardian, August 28, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/28/putin-is-trapped-and-desperate-will-his-friends-in-the-west-rescue-him-russia-ukraine


Gilead

Donald Trump

Coup attempt

A judge seems set to acquiesce to yet another of Donald Trump’s stalling maneuvers.[14]

Mariana Alfaro and Eugene Scott, “Judge’s openness to special master for Mar-a-Lago documents raises new questions in criminal probe,” Washington Post, August 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/29/special-master-trump-biden-pennsylvania/


  1. [8]David Benfell, “Where does Vladimir Putin stop?” Not Housebroken, June 10, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/04/where-does-vladimir-putin-stop/
  2. [9]Simon Tisdall, “Putin is trapped and desperate. Will his friends in the west rescue him?” Guardian, August 28, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/28/putin-is-trapped-and-desperate-will-his-friends-in-the-west-rescue-him-russia-ukraine
  3. [10]Julia Ioffe, “Will Putin Get His World War III?” Puck News, February 22, 2022, https://puck.news/will-putin-get-his-world-war-iii/; Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s New Iron Curtain,” Puck News, February 24, 2022, https://puck.news/putins-new-iron-curtain/; Julia Ioffe, “Europe’s 9/11,” Puck News, March 3, 2022, https://puck.news/europes-9-11/; Luke McGee and Claire Calzonetti, “Putin spokesman refuses to rule out use of nuclear weapons if Russia faced an ‘existential threat,’” CNN, March 22, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/22/europe/amanpour-peskov-interview-ukraine-intl/index.html; Eugene Rumer and Andrew S. Weiss, “Ukraine: Putin’s Unfinished Business,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, November 12, 2021, https://carnegieendowment.org/2021/11/12/ukraine-putin-s-unfinished-business-pub-85771
  4. [11]Simon Tisdall, “Putin is trapped and desperate. Will his friends in the west rescue him?” Guardian, August 28, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/28/putin-is-trapped-and-desperate-will-his-friends-in-the-west-rescue-him-russia-ukraine
  5. [12]Simon Tisdall, “Putin is trapped and desperate. Will his friends in the west rescue him?” Guardian, August 28, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/28/putin-is-trapped-and-desperate-will-his-friends-in-the-west-rescue-him-russia-ukraine
  6. [13]David Benfell, “Nuclear survival,” Not Housebroken, June 10, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/13/nuclear-survival/
  7. [14]Mariana Alfaro and Eugene Scott, “Judge’s openness to special master for Mar-a-Lago documents raises new questions in criminal probe,” Washington Post, August 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/29/special-master-trump-biden-pennsylvania/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.