Putin’s Strategy Makes No Sense

As it should be, the Ukraine war with Russia has dominated the news. Nearly every civilized country in the world has publicly criticized the invasion.

I’m confused by several things the Russians have done in the past few weeks. Here’s a short list of my observations.

Ukraine poses no real threat to Russia, whether it becomes a member of NATO or not. For sure, NATO weaponry can be situated close to Russia in Ukraine, but so what? In a serious confrontation that pits NATO against Russia, a few tanks parked in Ukraine and several thousand soldiers should be no real concern. The application of tactical nuclear weapons and long-range cruise missiles, along with fighter jets, will dominate an upscale war.

The incursion by Russia is going to have a huge impact on Ukraine’s infrastructure and its civilian population. Additionally, the Russian attack is creating a humanitarian crisis. Estimates are that refugees from Ukraine could surpass more than 5 million people. These individuals will be dispersed primarily throughout Europe. The whole world is ready to support Ukrainians, especially because of their bravery and love of country. Note: Poland has done the most to accommodate refugees and deserves a lot of credit for its generosity.

The Russians are in the process of completely emasculating Ukraine. Its entire government, police force, legal system and educational structure will need to be rebuilt from scratch.

The Russians are dropping bombs on civilians. This is in direct conflict with generally accepted wartime standards. When possible, military actions are expected to avoid collateral damage involving innocent civilians. News outlets have been relentless in the coverage of these atrocities.

The Russian attack has destroyed its reputation and standing globally. Putin is being compared to Adolf Hitler, including an effort to extinguish an entire race of people. To make matters worse, Russian leaders are lying about their objectives. This strategy bodes poorly for Russian after the conflict ends. It will take many years for Russia to regain its credibility as a member of the international community of nations.

Russia cannot afford to orchestrate a war against Ukraine, much less the US and NATO. Their primary sources of revenues come from sales of oil and gas to the West. Currently, prices are high. But this is an aberration especially considering the world’s efforts to decrease the use of fossil fuels to zero in the not so distant future. Note: Russia has a history of initiating conflicts when oil prices are high and its cash inflows are stronger.

Putin is risking domestic upheaval by using so much of his resources to fight with Ukraine. Also, severe sanctions by the West have devastated the Russian economy and the prospects of thriving Russian companies. Upheaval will ultimately equate to regime change.

The final issue, and the most important, is that Putin keeps reminding his adversaries that he has nuclear weapons and will use them if necessary. Suggesting actions that could end the world, as we know it, are signs of an imbalanced leader with a quick trigger finger. If NATO shoots down a Russian jet, will Putin retaliate with a weapon of mass destruction including nukes and chemical agents? Why is Putin so aloof about starting a nuclear war with the West? One must question Putin’s sanity.

Russia has done a terrible job executing the Ukraine invasion. It is losing thousands of soldiers, many tanks, hundreds of armored carriers and even a few fighter planes. These losses will soon be a heavy load for Russians back home and for the morale of the troops.

Russia is killing thousands of women and children. The invasion is heartless and a crime against humanity. Russia, it citizens and Putin will incur the wrath of the global community. This will be hard to amend in the future.

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