International, Politics

Bombshell: Putin Threatens Nuclear War

As Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine enters its second week, the Russian autocrat escalates his threats of nuclear war. Some policy commentators say this means we should look for easy “offramps” that Putin can exploit to save his failing régime. They are badly mistaken. There are no offramps for Putin now, and trying to build them for him will only invite far more dangerous aggression.

Putin’s invasion has not gone according to plan. No swift victory came from his opening salvo: murder squads pre-positioned in Kyiv and an airborne attack on Antonov Airfield did not decapitate the democratically elected government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. A week later, the supply train for Putin’s troops is in shambles, and Russian army units are reportedly running out of food and fuel. The Russian air force has not established uncontested control of Ukraine’s airspace. As yet unclear is whether Ukraine’s Bayraktar drones will outdo those Azerbaijan employed in 2020 to devastating effect against Armenia, but they already have had an impact; and Russia is only now encircling Kharkiv and Kyiv with rocket launchers and their supply elements, creating a truly target-rich environment for the defenders’ unmanned systems. Most seriously at variance with Putin’s plan, Ukraine’s army and citizens are resisting with ferocity, and nobody has ousted Ukraine’s leaders as Putin implored unnamed persons in Kyiv. Reports that at least some Russian soldiers are refraining from fighting when they meet Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the east should be as alarming to Putin as drone strikes, Javelins, or the prospect of a drawn out war against a nation with a history of partisan resistance second to none in the world. Meanwhile, with unprecedented speed and strength, international sanctions are starting to throttle the Russian economy. Read more…

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