Putin brings shame to himself and Russia

Putin brings shame to himself and Russia

March 4, 2022 0 By Rick

The last time I seriously worried about WW III was in 1962 during the Cuban Crisis. I lived in Tampa, Florida, close to a strategically important air force base. I was in my first year of high school, and I was sure this would be a target. It was a tense 13-14 days, as I remember. We practiced what to do if a nuclear bomb struck Tampa. We drilled at school every day. Soviet ships carrying missiles destined for Cuba steamed toward a US Naval blockade that had vowed to destroy them if they didn’t turn away. Luckily for the world, the two superpowers worked out a compromise and WW III was averted. It wasn’t lucky for me, however. I was so sure we were headed for a war that I completely stopped doing my algebra homework and failed the course. So, I’m 0 for 1 when predicting world wars and proud of it. I brought this up because I – like much of the world – am worried about the prospects of WW III again. But hopefully, I’ll be wrong again. It’s hard to believe what we’re seeing happen in Ukraine and fathom the aggressive, despicable and bewildering rhetoric Putin is spewing forth. But it’s not just Putin. I just finished listening to a live speech from the Russian Ambassador to the UN. OMG! I’ve never heard such outright lies. That he actually believes the free world will believe him is mind-boggling. And the fact that he lives in New York where he can see uncensored television – as opposed to the poor Russian citizens who have no idea of what’s going on – makes it flat out laughable! Russia holds a veto in the UN Security Council and can use it to quash any criticism of the invasion. Has the time come to kick Russia out of the UN Security Council?

Humanitarian and war crimes
Although it’s challenging to obtain accurate figures, it appears that the humanitarian crisis continues to grow, with more than one million people displaced so far. Following the dismal performance by the Russian military (more on that in the next section), Putin has now opted to terrorize the Ukrainian population. Russia’s recent attacks around Ukraine have included hits on civilian apartment buildings, schools, hospitals (including a children’s hospital), Kyiv’s central TV tower, the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial, the main rail station, centuries-old St. Sophia’s cathedral and now Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. The list just keeps getting longer. Russian soldiers are looting food stores, stealing cash from the tills and even bartering with the locals for needed supplies. Other Russian troops are surrendering to the Ukrainian military. This is not what we expected from the vaunted and feared Russian military. Did they throw the strategic playbook out the window? WTF?

Russia’s poor military performance
Most Western observers are surprised that despite many months of preparation and positioning large numbers of troops at the Ukrainian border, the Russian invasion so far appears to be a disaster, with some even calling it a failure. Before the invasion, military “talking-heads” had predicted that Russian cyberattacks would take down the entire Ukrainian mobile and internet infrastructure to destroy communications. More than a week later, this still hasn’t happened. Where is the much-feared electronic warfare? Why has the Russian juggernaut failed to roll over the significantly undermanned and outgunned Ukrainian defenders? In the lead-up to the invasion (Russian news media is forbidden from using that term), intel pointed to a build-up of logistical “bells and whistles,” such as medical supplies, blood packs, mobile crematoriums (according to some reports) and food. Yet only a few days into the war, Russian units were already running out of rations, fuel and ammunition. It almost seems that there was no tactical plan whatsoever. How did Russia mismanage this invasion so badly? 

Air superiority
Russia’s forces have failed to achieve air superiority. They have underestimated the use of armed drones that Kyiv purchased from Turkey. And Turkey has already sent more, according to reports. Ukrainian sources allege that the Ukrainian Air Force has downed nearly 30 Russian fixed-wing aircraft and about 30 helicopters. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense alleges that Russia has lost more than 900 armored vehicles, 200 tanks, as well as “dozens of air defense units, artillery systems, motorized vehicles and other hardware.” (See official Ukrainian statistics.) Other open-source, independent sources cite lower figures, saying Russia has lost some 530 vehicles, 220 of which have been destroyed, 130 abandoned and 178 captured. Moreover, it appears that the Russian invaders, many of whom are young, poorly trained and thought this was an exercise, thought they would roll through the country with little resistance, expecting the Ukrainian people not to put up much of a fight. Surprise, surprise Putin! That’s just not happening. Intel experts estimate that Putin is spending some $20 billion every day! He can’t keep that up forever. So, now that Putin is dealing with an opposition that hasn’t given up, what will he do now?

Will Putin lash out?
Many readers may not be aware of the “Five Eyes,” an intelligence alliance consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the US. According to a statement from a former member of this alliance, “we’re now entering a very dangerous phase in which Russia may use its more indiscriminate weapons at scale to break urban resistance, especially in Kharkiv, but maybe even in Kyiv.” Russia has already used banned cluster munitions, positioned thermobaric weapons close to the Ukrainian border, and become the first state to attack a functioning nuclear power plant. Intelligence agencies are worrying more and more about Putin’s mental and emotional state. One source said that Putin has the appearance of a man “whose state of mind has deteriorated to the point where he’s seriously contemplating bringing about the end of the world before his own regime might come to an end.” He appears to be increasingly paranoid and unstable, as evidenced by his meetings at a long table where he sits far away from his interlocutors. Is this something left over from years of isolation due to Covid, or is it to protect himself from any physical harm that he fears his visitors might inflict on him? We can only wait and watch to see what happens. If there was any such thing as a membership card in the human race, Putin’s should be revoked. No matter how this turns out, Putin has brought shame to himself and Russia (the country – not its people).