Putin just had to keep his cool. The West was divided on what to do about Ukraine’s future with respect to European Union and NATO membership. Key NATO members were reluctant to end relations with Russia because of their economic priorities. Vladimir Putin’s temper has thrown it all away.
The night was dark in Kyiv. These explosions weakened the Ukrainian defenses by attacking both airbases and command-and-control facilities.
The dawn came in Ukraine as tanks crossed the Belarus border. This was captured live on social media and streamed around the globe. The world’s leaders rushed to their phones and began to communicate with one another. Social media began to show statements. As the morning approached, commuter buses appeared on the streets of Kyiv. The country was still under martial law. Cars were now moving westward to the Polish border. Air raid sirens could also be heard blasting as live TV news reporters did roof talking heads.
As many others, I believe that Valdimir Vladimir Putin is insane. When he said he recognized the Donbas separatists’ independence, two days earlier, he made an angry speech. His invasion of Ukraine was framed by him as a fantasy mission of de-Sovietization. He also made a “mad man” level nuclear threat against the US and NATO in his 5:00am Moscow time speech announcing the beginning of hostilities.
This Soviet strongman, an aging Soviet leader, did his country a huge disservice. This will lead to the country’s eventual systemic decline. Putin has made his country an economic pariah. Russia’s natural resources of oil and minerals will be discarded. Russians will be hurt. It won’t end until they replace him with a new leader. To repair the harm his lies caused, it may be necessary to wage a war that results in a great loss of lives.
Putin is a proud man. Putin has not been able to handle feeling trapped gracefully. It’s always been important to handle him by creating ways to channel him into deciding it’s not the right time to lash out. This case, rising rhetoric closed the door to diplomatic stability.
However, diplomacy alone is unlikely to have prevented this. Because of the exactness and specificity of US attacks, it is not surprising that they were called on.
As I have admitted to RedState commenters, I did not properly factor Putin’s descent to madness in my calculations. Two days ago, I was stunned to read the speech. It was jaw-dropping. Even more troubling was his invasion speech. I honestly have never felt this degree of raw anger in a world leader’s statements. I don’t ever recall feeling it from the leadership of the USSR during the Cold War.
Putin’s methods and motivation remind me more of the insane tyranny of the Axis. His invasion of Ukraine is his own version Adoph Hitler’s Operation Barbarosa. Militarily, the Ukranians are no match for the might of Russia’s military and Mr. Putin will have Kyiv in his hands shortly. Even though this article was published on the morning 24th, I anticipate that the capital will be under attack.ThFebruar.
But there’s no guarantee the Ukranians will lay down and let him have their county passively. Putin knows this and I expect Putin will act ruthlessly, purging Ukraine in ways that haven’t been seen since Joseph Stalin tinkered with the Soviet Union’s population to “engineer” them to his liking.
Putin’s reference to Ukranians not loving Russia as Nazis, is an alarming indication that Putin views his enemies in Ukraine sub-human.
Russia will be weakened if the Ukrainians can survive and fight on. Putin can’t win the long game to bring Russia back to glory in the old Soviet Union. Because of Putin’s brazen mistake, not only will Ukraine be free from Russia but also Georgia, Chechnya and other ex-republicans, as well as possible collapse of Russia itself.
As the Russian President continues to rule, the next period of history will be the most volatile.
This situation is rapidly changing. By the end of the day, the world will be well underway to galvanizing resistance to Mr. Putin’s adventurism. Unknown is how united G7 nations will become. How the front between Russia and NATO turns into a new “wall” and how the balance of forces on each side of that wall will evolve also remains to be seen. There is yet another question about how much Europe will be rearmed by these events. It will all begin within 24 hours, and Vladimir Putin means there’s no way back to the old world order.
For the United States, I believe Mr. Biden must now step beyond giving lip service to trying to prevent a war in Europe to preparing the American people to help Europe survive Mr. Putin’s ambitions. It’s going to be an interesting State of the Union address next week.
In the end, the Sarajevo moment that the entire world wanted to avoid happened. Now, the existential threat of World War III hangs over humanity like a cloud.
Could President Biden be Ronald Reagan, who convinces Russia to sit down and give up its dreams of being hegemon? Joe Biden can be Franklin Roosevelt, who creates an arsenal of democracy that, to quote Winston Churchill, will bring the New World over the Atlantic to rescue the Old.
Regardless, Biden won’t be able to pull this off in a deeply divided America. So, even though the politically most jaded may be tempted to snub each other about the small issues that make America dysfunctional, Putin might have forced us to come to common ground because of necessity.
Biden’s work is not easy. It’s been trust upon him the same way 9/11 was thrust upon President George W. Bush. Joseph Biden speaks when he delivers his prepared remarks at the end of the 24-hour meeting.ThThis February speech will be one the most powerful statements made by a president of the United States since Pearl Harbor.