An evil man (1)
There are four men that I would define as evil affecting our world today: Kim Jong Un, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ebrahim Raisi, and the one I’ll talk about today, Vladimir Putin. A man, unlike the other three, who has gone beyond borders. Attempting to annex another country and, in the process, impact the whole world with his evil depravations. I’d even consider adding Xi Jinping to the list because of his oft-expressed evil intention to annex Taiwan.
This will be a three-part series (I’ve not done a three-part series before). But what the president of Russia—Putin—is doing to destabilize the world, and destroy another nation—Ukraine—is totally unacceptable in a world where the freedom and independence of a people should be absolute. Where one man’s egomaniacal ambitions should not be allowed. So I’ll dwell a little on the situation, and its prognosis as I see it, if you don’t mind.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait each day to learn what other successes the valorous Ukrainians, with their indomitable spirit, have achieved over the immoral, cowardly, egomaniacal Putin, with his discouraged poorly trained soldiers, and his unprovoked, senseless “special military operation.” A war he expected to win in weeks that now, after 12 months, he has lost.
Where Putin went fatally wrong is that he didn’t factor the world and a fearless leader into his calculation. He thought he’d be fighting a simple few days in a special military operation, and then ride triumphantly into his expanded empire. But President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s refusal to flee to safety, as he was urged to do, and instead stay to fight inspired his army and convinced the US and Nato to support Ukraine with increasingly advanced war matériel for as long as it was needed.
Even US chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley predicted at the beginning that Ukraine would fall in 72 hours. And still felt, in April, that Russia would win this war. I disagreed with him then and more so today. Later on, he expected the war in Ukraine to last years and that how the war would end was an “open question.” I see it as possible, albeit difficult, that it could be ended within this year—if Ukraine is provided the weaponry it needs, especially tanks. But I agree how it ends remains an open question. He underrated the indomitable spirit that Ukrainians have in spades that the Russian soldiers have none of. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges (former commanding general of the US army in Europe), on the other hand, has stated that Russia can’t win. That’s a far more authoritative voice than mine. The Ukrainians are determined they won’t be beaten, and the drone attacks on the public and its ability to endure the frost of winter won’t demoralize them into surrender as Putin expects, but will only strengthen that determination to fight to win.
If by some miracle Putin did win this barbarous war, whatever “winning” means, subsequent terrorist action will defeat him. He’ll never absorb Ukraine successfully into a “Russian empire.” A Ukrainian resistance movement will evolve that will ensure he can’t. He’s finished, it’s not just how and when he finally accepts that reality, assuming he even can.
Putin’s soldiers will be kicked out of all the land they have captured in the past 12 months, and there’s a strong possibility he’ll also lose much of the areas annexed in 2014. Crimea is a question mark, a more difficult, but not impossible task if carefully orchestrated. I venture that the Ukrainians, with their newfound confidence and supported with sufficient weaponry (an essential), will recover Crimea. Or, at the very least, whittle away at it over the years to come, making life untenable for Russians to live there. The respect and camaraderie Ukrainians had for Russians have now turned to hatred, as expressed by a survivor of the criminal destruction of a purely civilian apartment block in Dnipro that killed over 45 innocents.
So Russia, whose GDP is only around the size of Italy’s, and, because of this war and the sanctions imposed on it is now shrinking as will become ever more apparent to the populace, faces not only a competent Ukrainian army, but the combined industrial might of the US and its European allies. Putin cannot turn to the conscienceless, heartless leaders of China or India for active, involved support. They have neither joined the world in condemnation of Putin, as any moral leader would, nor have they supported him with the weaponry he’s begged for. Xi and Narendra Modi have bigger concerns with the US that they must give preference to. Both Xi and Modi told him so at Samarkand in September. It’s been those other pariahs on the world stage, Iran and North Korea, that have given him the ability to attack, and kill civilians, and destroy Ukraine’s power and water systems. Ebrahim Raisi, Kim Jong Un, and Putin deserve each other. And deserve to be taken off the world stage.
(More next week)
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