Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Putin’s big aim? Pffftt!

Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine those many weeks ago to prevent an expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Hah! What happened then? Oh, Sweden and Finland have applied for NATO membership. Indeed, if Finland is accepted as a NATO member, the Russian tyrant will watch his country’s border with NATO expand by roughly double what it is at the moment.

So, this begs the question: How is it working out for you … Vlad?

It ain’t!

Russian troops are getting their butts kicked on the battlefield by dedicated Ukrainian soldiers and militia. Putin sought to conquer Kyiv and Kharkiv — Ukraine’s two largest cities — only to watch those efforts literally go up in flames.

Russian soldiers are suffering from low morale, lack of ammunition, faltering equipment, resupply crises and are showing signs of insubordination on the field of battle.

None of this is likely to stem the assault that Putin launched against a sovereign nation. He now is threatening Finland with reprisal if NATO accepts the Finns and the Swedes.

I must point out, too, that NATO — thanks to the diplomatic efforts led by President Biden — is more united than ever in its mission to stand as one against any threats from Russia.

If I were advising Putin, I would consider offering a suggestion for a way to declare victory and just get the hell out of Ukraine.


How does Ukraine persist?

When the Russians invaded Ukraine I was skeptical that the Ukrainians would be able to declare victory on the battlefield. The Russian army was numerically and technically superior to Ukraine.

Then the Russians discovered something in real time on the field of battle. The first thing, apparently, was that they weren’t as fearsome a fighting force as they — or many of the rest of us — thought they were. The second thing is that they likely underestimated the Ukrainians’ will to fight to protect their homeland against a foreign invader.

What astounds me is that the Russians’ misjudgment of Ukraine’s will to fight would exist at all, given their own country’s military history.

In June 1941, Adolf Hitler launched the invasion of the Soviet Union. He likely didn’t think the Russians would fight to the death in the manner that they did. The Red Army then turned the tide against Hitler’s forces in a city once known as Stalingrad. Let us not forget that Ukrainians were fighting alongside Russians in their struggle against the Nazi invaders. Oh … the irony.

This is what happens when a nation invades another sovereign state. They learn that their adversary is committed to the struggle to survive and their commitment well could carry them forward against a supposedly superior military force.

We hear now several things are going badly for the Russians. They have lost several field generals in the battle; the Russian troops are suffering from low morale; Russian soldiers aren’t obeying officers’ orders; Ukraine is getting plenty of help from allied nations — such as the United States; the Ukrainians are putting their military hardware to good use.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am not about to declare that Ukraine will declare victory and that Russia is going to skulk off the battlefield. There likely will be much more struggle to take place.

It does make me wonder how much more humiliation Russian despot Vladimir Putin can take. Moreover, I will stand on my belief that Putin is not stupid enough to launch a nuclear strike, given his knowledge of how “mutually assured destruction” would play out.

If there is an exit to be found, my strongest hope is that Putin can look for it and get the hell out of Ukraine. I wouldn’t even mind if he decides to declare victory. Let him crow all he wants. The world will know better.


Yep, Biden took the call

Franklin Foer has smashed a myth about President Biden, that the president is too weak and not up to the myriad tasks that befall a POTUS at any hour of the day … or night.

Foer, writing an essay in The Atlantic, points out quite vividly that Joe Biden “answered the call” that came to him around 3 a.m.

He writes about the time Hillary Clinton sought to exploit 2008 presidential campaign rival Barack Obama’s inexperience with an ad that wondered whether the future president would be able to “answer the call.” Well, he did answer the call, just as Joe Biden is doing now.

Biden Answered the 3 a.m. Call – The Atlantic

As his article in The Atlantic noted about Biden’s response to the Ukraine War: Joe Biden hasn’t received the full credit he deserves for his statecraft during this crisis, because he has pursued a policy of self-effacement. Rather than touting his accomplishments in mobilizing a unified global response to the invasion, he has portrayed the stringent sanctions as the triumph of an alliance. By carefully limiting his own public role—and letting France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Olaf Scholz take turns as the lead faces of NATO—he has left Vladimir Putin with little opportunity to portray the conflict as a standoff with the United States, a narrative that the Russian leader would clearly prefer. He’s shown how to wield American leadership in the face of deep European ambivalence about its exercise.

The Trumpkins among us keep telling us that Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine were The Donald still in the White House. Hmm. Probably not. Likely because The Donald would have looked the other way while Putin sought to bring neighboring states to heel.

Joe Biden has performed masterfully in applying his diplomatic skill and experience to produce a united front throughout Europe against the unprovoked, illegal, immoral invasion of Ukraine.

To suggest that the president of the United States has failed in responding to an urgent world crisis is to talk utter trash.


Rules of war have changed … or have they?

Those of us who can recall earlier conflicts between nations can remember a time when civilians lost their lives when military machines attacked unarmed targets indiscriminately.

Then the rules changed — supposedly — when the Geneva Convention adopted prohibitions against hitting “soft” targets. Nations would (more or less) follow those restrictions.

Now we have the horror unfolding in Ukraine. The carnage and destruction brought by Russian missiles, artillery shells and bombs on apartment complexes, schools, hospitals, houses of worship is beyond the pale.

The scenes being televised around the world of entire neighborhoods in Mariupol leveled by Russian ordnance should fill any of with rage.

Ukrainian forces repelled Russian invaders in their effort to take the capital city of Kyiv. The Russians pulled back, reorganized and have begun an all-out assault on the eastern and southern portions of Ukraine. The armed forces under Vladimir Putin’s command have acted in a throw-back fashion, reminding many of us of the brutality inflicted throughout Europe and Asia during World War II.

In this era of “smart bombs” and precise targeting of military installations, seeing the images from Ukraine should serve as a graphic reminder that Russia is governed by a monster masquerading as a world leader.


Devastation eclipses motive

Our world is aghast at the depravity, depredation and destruction brought to Ukraine by invading Russian armed forces, so much so that we seem to have lost sight of the motive for the unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation.

Whatever the hell it was …

That brings me to my point, which is that the result of the Russians’ cruelty toward Ukrainians has eclipsed whatever motive the Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin might have concocted to “justify” this illegal and inhumane attack.

He said something about protecting Russian “security.” Against what? Or whom? What threat did Ukraine pose to a nation many times larger geographically than itself?

Putin sent his troops into battle. They have retreated from some sites, leaving behind evidence of the abject destruction he has brought to entire cities. He has killed entire families. Putin has subjected people to untold and unthinkable horror.

And for what reason?

President Joe Biden is correct in expressing his moral outrage. There can be no way on God’s good Earth that “this man,” Putin, can “remain in power.”


Trying to understand Putin

I am acutely aware of the difficulty involved with analyzing what goes through the mind of a tyrant, a killer and a despot particularly when this individual is committing war crimes while invading a sovereign nation.

That won’t stop me from seeking to understand what Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is thinking as he wages war against Ukraine.

The Ukraine War has gone badly for Russia, at least in terms of the expected “quick conquest” Putin surely expected when he launched the invasion two months ago. Russian armed forces have suffered tremendous casualties, making me wonder: Does Putin send letters of condolence to parents, siblings and spouses of fallen Russian soldiers, the way U.S. presidents have done? Does he thank them for their sacrifice and for the service of their deceased warriors?

Putin is widely considered a war criminal. President Biden has accused him of committing genocide against Ukrainians. Russian athletes are being banned from international competition. World leaders are walking out of global meetings when Russian government officials stand to speak.

How does someone such as Vladimir Putin justify his actions? How does he explain to the people he governs (with an iron fist) the nature of what is transpiring in Ukraine?

We hear via leaks that Russian oligarchs are rebelling against Putin. They oppose the war, too.

It’s troubling in the extreme for me to assess what must be passing through this individual’s mind and for what tugs at what passes for his heart. I realize it’s an exercise in futility. However, it illustrates the complicated path over which Putin’s adversaries must travel as they deal with the machinations of a madman.


They want this guy back?

Just think: a lot of Americans want to see this guy returned to the office he denigrated, disrespected and devalued damn near each day he occupied it.

I saw this social media meme and wanted to share it here. I don’t know its source; it doesn’t matter. I believe its content, although I need to put a couple of the barbs in some proper context.

The bit about “killing more Americans than Hitler” and losing “5 million jobs” is attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, which wasn’t entirely Donald Trump’s fault. Yes, he did downplay the seriousness of it as the killer virus began its path of death and destruction through the nation and around the world. That helped contribute to the calamity that befell the nation in 2020 and 2021.

And yet, millions of Americans continue to say he “told it like it is.” No, he didn’t. He told it the way he wanted us to believe it to be.

I should add that the 45th POTUS also told an estimated 35,000 lies, put many of our international alliances in jeopardy, mocked people with disabilities and prisoners of war and — this is the best one — became a Vladimir Putin enabler by refusing to admit the Russian tyrant is a killer and by refusing to condemn him for interfering in our electoral process.

Puh-leeeze …


Moskva sunk!

The Moskva — once the pride of the Russian navy — now apparently lies at the bottom of the Black Sea, sent to its watery grave by at least one missile fired from a Ukrainian battery.

The Moskva, a guided-missile cruiser, weighed in at 12,500 tons; it spanned 600 feet in length and carried a crew of 500 sailors.

Then it ran into trouble while Russian armed forces got bogged down in their effort to subdue Ukraine.

Info on Moskva, Russian flagship sank by Ukrainian missile (nypost.com)

What’s at stake now? Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin clearly is shocked that the Ukrainians would be able to inflict this most serious ship-sinking since World War II.

If only the Ukrainians’ stunning battlefield success would persuade Putin to give up his horrendous effort to subdue a sovereign state.

President Biden has labeled Putin a war criminal and accused him of committing genocide against the Ukrainians. Most of the world is reeling in horror at what Ukrainians are discovering on city streets as Russian troops retreat; they are finding corpses of civilians who were shot in the head.

Putin won’t give up the fight easily. That much seems clear. It also lays bare the brutality that lurks in what passes for this individual’s heart.

I am left only to hope that the Ukrainians can continue to inflict as much damage as possible on the invaders to the point that Russians will say “Enough is enough!” … and rid themselves of Vladimir Putin.


Biden calls it ‘genocide’

President Biden has ramped up the rhetoric in his face-off with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin, calling the Russian troops’ conduct in Ukraine an act of “genocide.”

It remains for international courts to make that official determination, but I happen to have no difficulty with our president calling Putin out on with the strong language he is using to apply maximum pressure on a despot who is waging what looks to many of us to be an illegal war against Ukraine.

Putin invaded Ukraine with the stated hope of capturing the capital city of Kyiv within, oh, a few days. It didn’t happen. Russian troops have retreated from the area around Kyiv and are reportedly staging in the eastern part of Ukraine to launch another massive assault.

They have left evidence of enormous destruction and the slaughter of thousands of civilians. Ukrainian forces have discovered thousands of bodies with single gunshot wounds to their heads; the men and women executed by the Russians had their hands tied behind their backs.

Why do this? President Biden labels it “genocide,” which by definition is the planned extermination of people based on their race and/or their ethnicity.

We have known for a long time that Putin is a bad actor. He has demonstrated beyond any possible doubt that he is incapable of being an effective partner at any level with this or any nation that values human decency.

He also has shown that President Biden’s moral outrage, which he expressed during his recent trip to Europe that “for God’s sake this man cannot remain in power,” is spot on.


Impossible to endorse these actions

My ability to comprehend the depravity being brought to Ukrainians is being taxed to the max. Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin invaded a sovereign nation intent on occupying its capital city within three days.

His supposedly vaunted Russian military machine has failed in its mission. That has not stopped Putin from violating what appears to be every standard of decency established by the Geneva Convention in his effort to subdue Ukraine.

He has bombed and shelled hospitals, schools, churches, apartment buildings and has killed thousands of civilians. The scenes of destruction brought against Ukraine belie another truth about this war, which is that Ukraine is putting up one hell of a fight to fend off the invaders. Hence, the failed mission to march into Kyiv.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. The two sides supposedly are “negotiating” a possible end to the hostilities and yet the Russians also are reportedly gathering in eastern Ukraine and preparing for another all-out assault.

What remains arguably the most confusing element in all of this is how Putin can function day to day realizing that virtually the entire planet is aligned against him. The destruction and the visual images of the casualties his troops have left behind have turned this man into an international pariah.

There can be no coming back from the depths to which this individual has taken his nation.