Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

How much can Russians take?

It’s fair to ask of our fellow travelers who happen to live in Russia: How much more of their country’s squalid leadership can they take as they watch their young soldiers get slaughtered in Ukraine?

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin launched an illegal and immoral war against Ukraine in February 2022. He reportedly expected a quick-and-dirty finish to the conflict, with the Ukrainians buckling under the weight of the vastly superior Russian army.

Not so fast. It damn sure didn’t happen.

Now the Ukrainians have launched their long-anticipated “counter offensive” and have retaken much of the land captured by Russian troops.

Putin’s armed forces have performed miserably. Putin surely must know it. Every international observer worth a damn has declared the Russian effort a tactical defeat for Putin.

Back to my question …

Russians cannot possibly be so gullible that they believe the propaganda put forth from the Kremlin about the so-called “success” of the military effort in Ukraine. They have access to worldwide media accounts that tell a stark story of incompetence, malfeasance, desertion among the troops and draftees fleeing the country to avoid conscription into the Russian army.

It all makes me wonder just how much longer Putin can continue to (mis)manage this conflict.

He is being offered a bitter but nonetheless important lesson, which tells him something like this: You do not invade another sovereign country expecting it to roll over just because you demand it. 

The Russians should have learned that lesson already in Afghanistan. It reminds me of the truism about “those who fail to learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.”

Putin gets his payback

Yevgeny Prigozhin seems to have died in a plane crash today.

I say “seems” because Russian authorities haven’t yet declared that he is indeed one of the 10 people who died when the plane plummeted to the ground.

Who is this guy? Two months ago, he mounted a mutiny against Russian strongman Vladimir Putin with his mercenary army  marching within spitting distance of Moscow. Prigozhin called off his challenge to Putin, retreated to Belarus, and then Putin declared that he wouldn’t exact any punishment against Prigozhin.

Then this happened. Coincidence? Hardly!

The death of this thoroughly bad actor shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone. Putin’s promise to let Prigozhin live on was pure BS and those who follow Kremlin intrigue knew it when Putin made the declaration.

I am not mourning Prigozhin’s apparent demise. I am just aghast that Vladimir Putin would follow the script from which he has been reading once again … while the world is watching how he is prosecuting an illegal and immoral war against Ukraine.

Putin commits No. 1 blunder

In the annals of strategic blunders, it appears to me that an all-time mess-up might have been committed by Russian dictator/tyrant/goon Vladimir Putin.

He invaded Ukraine in February 2022 thinking the war would be brief, that he would install a puppet government in Kyiv, he could bring his troops home, he could force NATO to fall apart and could have his way in that part of Europe.


President Joe Biden declared this week on his trip to Lithuania and then to Helsinki, Finland, that Putin already has “lost the war” in Ukraine.

His military is third-rate at best; Ukraine has shown itself to be more than capable; NATO not only has held together, it has grown; Finland’s inclusion in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization effectively doubles the size of territory bordering Russia.

Oh, and the alliance has held because of Biden’s expertise in foreign policy and his steady leadership as president of the world’s pre-eminent military and economic superpower.

My sense now is that it might be time to start pressuring Putin to begin negotiating a way out of this war. We have supplied Ukraine with plenty of arms, ordnance, various supplies and training to handle the supposedly vaunted Russian military. The Russians have demonstrated time and again a level of battlefield incompetence that no one saw coming.

President Biden is not overstating what looks to be more obvious all the time … that Russia has already “lost” the Ukraine War.


If only a good guy could emerge

Before we get too far down the road in wishing for a different outcome in that brief rebellion we witnessed in Russia, it’s good to put a couple of aspects in proper perspective.

One is that the alternative to Russian strongman/goon/tyrant Vladimir Putin was not a good one.

The commander of the Wagner military group of mercenaries is one bad dude. Yevgeny Prigozhin had led a march to about 125 miles south of Moscow before he called the whole thing off. Putin called him a traitor and vowed maximum revenge.

Then Prigozhin high-tailed it to Belarus after that country’s president brokered some sort of stand-down. Putin said Prigozhin wouldn’t face punishment after all.

That’s all the bad news. The good news is that there appear to be major cracks appearing in Putin’s ring of protection in the Kremlin, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“I suspect that this is a moving picture and we haven’t seen the last act yet. But we can say this,” Blinken told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “First of all, what we have seen is extraordinary. And I think you have seen cracks emerge that weren’t there before: first in having Prigozhin raise front and center — questioning the very premises of the Russian aggression against Ukraine to begin with — the argument that somehow Ukraine or NATO posed a threat to Russia, and a direct challenge to Putin himself.”

Prigozhin’s forces have been fighting alongside Russians seeking to overthrow the Ukrainian government … and have been getting their asses kicked by Ukrainian forces. The Wagner leader is angry over the incompetence being shown by Putin and his military high command, which is why — apparently — he sought to toss Putin out via a military coup.

If it’s true that Vladimir Putin’s regime is showing signs of weakness, then it appears incumbent on those who want him removed to ensure that an actual democrat emerges to take the reins of power in the Kremlin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin is nothing of the sort.

Still, what we witnessed for about 48 hours was a remarkable attempt to unseat a wholly evil tyrant who should stand trial as the war criminal he has proven himself to be.


Putin faces rebellion? Yes!

Vladimir Putin isn’t looking like such a tough guy after all, given the challenge mounted by the leader of what they call a “mercenary” army intent on challenging the dictator’s invasion of Ukraine.

The mercenary force was said to be marching on Moscow. Then the leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, reportedly ordered his Wagner forces to “stand down.”

What in the world does this mean? At first blush, it appears that Putin is likely to seek the harshest retribution imaginable against what he calls an act of “treason” against the Kremlin. Well, that’s not exactly how some of us beyond the Russian borders see it.

Prigozhin was acting out of a sense of desperation as Russian military forces are being defeated by Ukrainians seeking to regain territory taken by the Russians in their illegal and immoral invasion launched more than a year ago against Ukraine.

And it damn sure signals a serious fracture within the Russian military command that has acted incompetently and stupidly ever since Putin ordered the invasion in early 2022.

Meanwhile, the United States — led by President Biden — continues its aggressive support in providing aid and equipment to Ukraine.

This is serious stuff, folks.

Wagner Chief Marches on Moscow in Mutiny Challenging Putin (yahoo.com)

As Yahoo News reports: The insurrection is without precedent in Putin’s nearly quarter-century rule in Russia, jolting a country trying to sustain a war in Ukraine that’s the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II. It’s unfolding against the backdrop of a Ukrainian counteroffensive across some of the area where Wagner’s troops deployed for months in the war’s longest and bloodiest battle.

My strong hope is that Joe Biden continues to apply maximum economic pressure on Putin in a strategy he hopes will persuade the dictator to cease his aggression.

The United States cannot let up in its support of the valiant Ukrainians who are fighting for the survival of democracy in Europe.


Happy anniversary, Vlad!

This is an “anniversary” that Russian goon/strongman Vladmir Putin likely never presumed he would commemorate.

It’s been one year since the Russian tyrant launched his illegal and immoral war against Ukraine. He sought to bring the former Soviet republic to its knees in days. It didn’t happen.

What Putin is now realizing, even if he doesn’t admit it, is that people whose sovereignty is threatened by an evil aggressor will fight to the death to protect themselves and their nation.

Ukraine has done that … and then some!

Yes, the Ukrainians have had help. It has come from President Biden, whose leadership has melded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into a cohesive alliance hell-bent on ensuring the Russians do not attack NATO. Doing so would doom the Russians.

Putin’s cakewalk into Kyiv has turned into a stumble-bum quagmire.

May the Russians continue to suffer the shame they have earned by their conduct on the battlefield. May they also be denied a second “anniversary” of this disgraceful episode.


Joe Biden: ‘wartime president’

Joe Biden has done the impossible by becoming a “wartime president” without a single American fighting man or woman engaging in combat with a foreign enemy.

How did the president do it? By sneaking into war-ravaged Ukraine and delivering one of the more stirring speeches in recent memory, assuring Ukrainians that the United States and our many allies worldwide stand with them in their fight against the immoral invaders from Russia.

“Kyiv stands. Ukraine stands. Democracy stands,” Biden told the Ukrainians. Yes, it’s all true.

It was a remarkable feat for President Biden to venture into Ukraine under the cover of darkness. He strolled the streets of Kyiv, the capital city that just a few months ago was under siege by Russian artillery. Yes, there were sirens blaring to warn Ukrainians of pending danger from Russian artillery. Joe Biden would not be deterred … nor should he.

The visit reportedly buoyed the Ukrainian troops who are fighting valiantly — and successfully — against Vladimir Putin’s armed forces.

To be sure, the president’s visit drew expected criticism from the MAGA wing of the Republican Party back home. These are the nimrods who express skepticism about Ukraine’s ability to fend off the Russians, who invaded their country on multiple phony pretexts uttered by Putin.

Biden, though, has stitched together a strong alliance comprising NATO and EU nations committed to opposing Putin’s land grab in Ukraine as he seeks to reincarnate the Soviet Union-style of ham-handed rule. Putin sought to weaken NATO. Thanks to Joe Biden’s leadership, all he has done is strengthened the alliance formed after World War II to protect Europe against the kind of aggression the world is witnessing at this moment.

Joe Biden spoke like a man in the middle of a struggle. Indeed, he is. President Biden is fighting to preserve democracy, which is fighting for its life against the authoritarian instincts of a brutal killer.


‘Crimes against humanity’? Yep!

Vice President Kamala Harris laid it on the line while attending a European security conference in Munich, Germany.

She has accused Russian goon/strongman/thug Vladimir Putin of committing “crimes against humanity” while waging the immoral and illegal war against Ukraine.

There you have it. The VPOTUS put it on the record. She is correct to call Putin what he clearly has been. A war criminal!

What in the world will the great powers gathered in Munich going to do about it? For my money, and I’ve said this already, Putin needs to stand trial for the crimes the troops under his command have committed against Ukrainians.

The International Court appears to have sufficient evidence against Putin to put this monstrous leader on trial.

He has ordered the shelling of hospitals, schools and houses of worship. Ukrainians have dug up mass graves containing the remains of women, children and men who clearly were not able to participate in battles on the field.

This individual, Putin, has targeted civilians in a strategy that clearly violates treaties signed that govern the conduct of modern war.

Does that make him a war criminal? Uhhh … yeah! It damn sure does!

The supposed vaunted Russian military machine has been anything but the fearsome machine Putin and his henchmen thought they were commanding. They have learned the bitterest lesson possible, which is that people whose national sovereignty is threatened will fight to the death, which the Ukrainians have done as they have turned back the Russian onslaught.

A war that was deemed to be a cakewalk when Putin invaded Ukraine a year ago has now turned into an epic quagmire. What’s more, Putin has committed multiple crimes against humanity in an effort to get the Ukrainians to surrender.

The Ukrainian armed forces are having none of it.

Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, should be in leg irons and locked up.


Again, put Putin on trial!

Russian war criminal and all-round nasty individual Vladimir Putin is showing the world — yet again! — why he needs to stand trial in the International Court for crimes against humanity.

Witness the Russians’ bombardment of an apartment complex in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv. They are still digging bodies out of the rubble. I lost count of the number of civilians who died in the missile blast; last I heard it was about 30, including at least three children.

It’s good to ask: Why in the name of the rules of warfare do you target an apartment complex? It contains no military value. It is not a part of the country’s infrastructure. It contains housing for families.

Yet the Russians are continuing their assault on these so-called “soft targets” while waging a losing war against Ukraine.

They act on orders from the Kremlin. Who runs the government? Vladimir Putin!

There is plenty of precedent for putting a head of state on trial in absentia. Putin must stand trial for the crimes he is committing against humanity, as the world is witnessing during the Ukraine War.

Putin has been committing crimes ever since he sent his troops in to launch his illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainians have fought back heroically and have actually gained the battlefield advantage against the Russian aggressors.

That only has accelerated Putin’s desperation, resulting in the kinds of attacks that have leveled civilian targets … killing civilians, to boot!

This individual needs to stand trial for the crimes he is committing!


Yes, Putin is a war criminal

Emanuel Macron is sounding every bit like the world leader many observers contend he has become. I heard a demonstration of his forthrightness and strength the other day in a “60 Minutes” interview.

The French president said in response to a direct question about whether Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal.” Without flinching, blinking or pausing, Macron said “yes, he is a war criminal.” Putin’s crime, according to Macron? Putin is ordering the bombing of civilian targets in Ukraine.

There. Done deal. Putin, who launched the illegal invasion of Ukraine in February, has demonstrated beyond a doubt that he needs to go on trial for war crimes, said Macron.

Indeed, the French president is emerging as Europe’s most formidable leader. He took over that role when German Chancellor Angela Merkel vacated her office this year.

It’s no small feat that the European Union has held together stronger than ever in opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Or that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization stands as one against any threats that Russia might pose to any of its members.

I credit two people for that solidarity. One is President Joe Biden, who has summoned NATO to be firm against the Russians. Another is Emanuel Macron, who speaks with strength and resolve in condemning the Russian tyrant.

We need a strong Europe to stand against the Russian aggressors. Europe needs a strong United States to lend its own resolve to this fight.