Vladimir Putin is finished? Maybe.

I’m off to get the updated COVID-19 booster. I’m mostly caught up.


Ukraine


“Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[10] fair use.

Mike Martin writes in the Telegraph:

[The Ukrainians] have [retaken over 2,500 sq km of Russian-occupied Ukraine] by punching a hole through thinly-guarded Russian front lines east of Kharkiv, and severing the Russian lines of logistics, forcing the withdrawal of large contingents of Russian soldiers from multiple locations, but most importantly Izyum and Kupyansk.

Without these two cities, Russia cannot effectively supply its forces in the north-east or the east of the country, and so further collapses, withdrawals and surrenders of Russian forces are to be expected.[11]

If that seems hyperbolic, consider what Russian forces did as they withdrew: They abandoned “military vehicles, ammunition, and equipment,”[12] dropped their rifles, donned civilian clothing, and ran.[13] This is simply not a true fighting force.

I don’t know that Martin is quite right to suggest a turning point has been reached.[14] On the other hand, while I’m not sure he has adequately reckoned for the fact that the Ukrainians, too, have suffered heavy losses, I’d be hard-pressed to tell you he’s wrong. We might soon have a proper answer.

Martin also speculates that this may mean Vladimir Putin’s downfall.[15] As local Russian officials call for his resignation,[16] I can’t tell you Martin is wrong here either. But then Martin wonders about the aftermath.[17] And that just might be something we ought to be thinking about more seriously.

Robyn Dixon, Steve Hendrix and Liz Sly, “Russia confirms big retreat near Kharkiv as Ukraine offensive advances,” Washington Post, September 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/10/ukraine-kharkiv-russia-retreat-izyum/

Thomas Grove and Evan Gershkovich, “In Major Advance, Ukraine Drives Russians Out of Key Front-Line Cities,” Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-major-advance-ukraine-drives-russians-out-of-key-eastern-city-11662807160

Steve Hendrix et al., “Russian troops in big retreat as Ukraine offensive advances in Kharkiv,” Washington Post, September 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/10/ukraine-kharkiv-russia-retreat-izyum/

Isobel Koshiw, Lorenzo Tondo, and Artem Mazhulin, “Ukraine’s southern offensive ‘was designed to trick Russia,’” Guardian, September 10, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/10/ukraines-publicised-southern-offensive-was-disinformation-campaign

Allison Quinn, “Moscow Officials Urge Putin to GTFO: ‘Everything Went Wrong,’” Daily Beast, September 10, 2022, https://www.thedailybeast.com/moscow-officials-urge-vladimir-putin-to-give-up-power

Associated Press, “Ukraine pushes major counteroffensive as war marks 200 days,” September 11, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-moscow-kharkiv-9e5363cd199fd7f01cba14efa4678e5f

Steve Hendrix, Serhii Korolchuk, and Robyn Dixon, “Amid Ukraine’s startling gains, liberated villages describe Russian troops dropping rifles and fleeing,” Washington Post, September 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/11/kharkiv-liberated-retreat-izyum-russia/

Mike Martin, “Putin is finished. The Ukrainians have him on the ropes with a stunning victory in their sights,” Telegraph, September 11, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/09/11/putin-finished-ukrainians-have-ropes-stunning-victory-sights/


Gilead

Donald Trump

Coup attempt


Fig. 1. Original: The White House. Derivative work: J. J. Messerly, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

My guess is that the latest filing by Donald Trump’s lawyers[18] is meant 1) to build a conspiracy theory case, and 2) play for yet more time.

Devlin Barrett and Perry Stein, “Trump’s lawyers suggest seized documents may not be classified,” Washington Post, September 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/12/trump-classified-special-master/


  1. [10]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  2. [11]Mike Martin, “Putin is finished. The Ukrainians have him on the ropes with a stunning victory in their sights,” Telegraph, September 11, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/09/11/putin-finished-ukrainians-have-ropes-stunning-victory-sights/
  3. [12]Hugo Bachega, “Ukraine’s rapid gains stun Russia,” British Broadcasting Corporation, September 12, 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62874557
  4. [13]Steve Hendrix, Serhii Korolchuk, and Robyn Dixon, “Amid Ukraine’s startling gains, liberated villages describe Russian troops dropping rifles and fleeing,” Washington Post, September 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/11/kharkiv-liberated-retreat-izyum-russia/
  5. [14]Mike Martin, “Putin is finished. The Ukrainians have him on the ropes with a stunning victory in their sights,” Telegraph, September 11, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/09/11/putin-finished-ukrainians-have-ropes-stunning-victory-sights/
  6. [15]Mike Martin, “Putin is finished. The Ukrainians have him on the ropes with a stunning victory in their sights,” Telegraph, September 11, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/09/11/putin-finished-ukrainians-have-ropes-stunning-victory-sights/
  7. [16]Allison Quinn, “Moscow Officials Urge Putin to GTFO: ‘Everything Went Wrong,’” Daily Beast, September 10, 2022, https://www.thedailybeast.com/moscow-officials-urge-vladimir-putin-to-give-up-power
  8. [17]Mike Martin, “Putin is finished. The Ukrainians have him on the ropes with a stunning victory in their sights,” Telegraph, September 11, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/09/11/putin-finished-ukrainians-have-ropes-stunning-victory-sights/
  9. [18]Devlin Barrett and Perry Stein, “Trump’s lawyers suggest seized documents may not be classified,” Washington Post, September 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/12/trump-classified-special-master/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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