International, Politics

Will Putin Survive This?

Across the West there is a sense that Vladimir Putin not only must be stopped from colonizing Ukraine but should be punished for his barbarism as well. It is a question of natural justice. But Western leaders also face a second imperative. The frightening reality is that we are closer to nuclear war than at any time since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. And in some ways, the risk of the current crisis spiraling out of control is even greater than that faced by John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev. Unlike in 1962, a hot war is already raging over territory that one side considers important to its national interest, and the other knows is necessary to its national survival. The war, in other words, has become a zero-sum conflict, even though on no reasonable basis can Putin’s belief in Ukraine as a threat to Russia’s security be seen as valid.

What makes this situation even more dangerous is that Ukraine is (legitimately and sensibly) being armed and supplied by the very military alliance Russia most fears, NATO. Meanwhile, Russia is being squeezed by an ever-tightening economic blockade designed to force its defeat. On top of all this are credible claims that if this campaign ends in humiliating defeat for Russia, it will prove terminal for not only the country’s national prestige and power, but Putin’s regime itself. Read more…

You Might Also Like