All by myself, I don’t wanna be, all by myself, anymore  Eric Carmen   All by myself

This has not been a day for Putin to put in his hope chest. First, he needs to get to know who his friends are. When he visited Beijing, Xi gave him a warm welcome, and a beautiful friendship was on the way. But today, in the UN Security Council vote to condemn Russia for the Ukraine war, China abstained from voting. Xi has no intention of joining him on that ledge.

Way worse. It has been reported from multiple outlets that Russia’s army in far behind schedule on where most military experts thought they would be by now. Putin miscalculated badly. He only sent in about 60,000 of his 190,000 troops for the initial assault. In other words, he underestimated the will of the Ukrainians, and as a former athlete, I can tell you that the worst thing a superior team can do is to let an underdog hang around, feeling like they have a chance. The Ukrainians aren’t just fighting, they’re fighting like rabid honey badgers.

Even worse yet.

Today Putin asked one of his closest allies, the friendly former USSR province of Kazakhstan to recognize the two breakaway Ukrainian provinces, and kick in some troops to the common cause. And will wonders never cease, the government told him to pound sand on both counts.

This is starting to sound like an old Popeil tv commercial. But wait, there’s more! earlier today Biden joined the United Kingdom and the European Union in slapping personal sanctions on Putin himself, along with his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. This action is incredibly rare, for the simple reason the actual leader, your country is basically saying that the leader is a rogue actor, and no longer worth talking to or negotiating with ever again. Here’s how rare it is. Right now, Putin’s only companions on the list are North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Syria’s Bashar al Assad, and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro. Note that none of them are anything approaching world superpowers.

You’ve all heard the old tale of an animal with its leg caught in a trap chewing the leg off in order to get away and survive. Well, that’s Putin right now. He is totally isolated globally, hell, even in his own country. There have been mass protests nationwide the last two nights, and even his most popular pop stars, and superstar athletes are speaking out against the invasion. Putin is truly a man on an island.

Which makes him incredibly dangerous. Up until now, the hope for diplomacy was that if Putin got his nose bloodied sufficiently in Ukraine, he would re-establish channels and try to negotiate a face saving off ramp for his mistake. But by sanctioning Putin personally, the US and NATO have made it clear there’s no talking. Putin wants an out? Get out of Ukraine, then maybe we’ll talk.

Which should put butterflies in your stomach. Because in a recent speech, Putin went out of his way to darkly refer to his nuclear power, and a veiled threat to use it if he felt personally threatened. And he can’t get much more personally threatened, or isolated than he is right now.

Look, let’s be clear, there is no way that the people of the Ukraine are going to be subjugated by Putin. Ukrainians queued up today in order to donate blood for the expected casualties once the Russian army moves into Kiev. Also it was announced today that the government in Kiev had handed out more than 18,000 weapons to citizens to use to protect the nation. If Russia succeeds, there are two basic ways it can go. They can stage a series of non violent actions, such as protests and national strikes, to make the Putin puppet government basically inoperable. Or they can choose the more activist path, and hold a bloody guerilla insurrection, in which case, Putin now has his own personal Afghanistan.

This can go south in a heartbeat. If things go badly for Putin in the Ukraine, and domestic protests continue and grow. Putin may start to feel cornered. When Trump was President, we had at least the comfort of some adults in the room to pacify his worst tendencies. But if Putin starts to feel trapped, and decides to push the button, the world may be about to find out just how total Putin’s control of the military is.

I want to close with this. Earlier I wrote that while Putin has 190,000 troops massed on the Ukraine, he only used 60,000 or so for his initial invasion. Which means he has about 130,000 troops left. So why ask Kazakhstan to pony up some troops? That makes no sense at all. Except maybe it does. Personally I think that by underestimating the fighting will and power of the Ukrainian forces, Putin sent in too few men. And as a result he is suffering steep losses. And with mass protests already taking place in Russian cities nationwide, the last thing that Putin can afford to do is to start shipping home thousands of body bags to those towns and cities. The solution? Get some Kazak troops in there to take the brunt of the damage, and minimize the casualties he sends back to Russia. Just sayin’.


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  1. If what I’m hearing is true, Murf (and with the signal to noise ratio being uncertain right now, who can say), doesn’t sound like diplomacy is COMPLETELY dead yet. As I recall, there was some chatter via the Guardian on the possibilities of a ceasefire and talks between the two parties. Not enough to stop the conflict, maybe, but you’ve got to figure the bloodying of Putin’s nose has just barely begun for Ukraine.

    And how could you miss the other crazed actions this “suka” (Russian for “female dog slur”) has undertaken today–indiscriminate attacks on neutral ships in the Black Sea, equally indiscriminate threats against Finland and Sweden on the subject of joining NATO? Dude has totally lost the plot if he thinks that’s going to work.

    • I’m sorry Bareshark, but I don’t see a negotiated ceasefire…For the simople reason that Putin doesn’t hold a DINGLE makpr metropolitan area. He’s getting slogged down, and he can’t even think about a ceasefire if it looks like he’s losing…

      • Truthfully, I don’t either, Murf. Like I said, dude has lost too much of the plot. Not that the aggression is paying off in any way. As of this writing, Kiev remains standing with no apparent gains from the Russians, Cyprus (AKA Russia’s offshore money laundering operation) has joined in the “pound sand” coalition apparently and the Netherlands just shipped Ukraine some Stinger missiles.

        Oh and did I mention that Ukraine’s ex-comedian president just turned the offer for a US evac by saying “I need ammunition, not a ride”? By any standard, Putin is losing…which, dangers aside, is far better than him winning.

  2. Putin lives a pampered privileged life. He’s not suicidal. No way he uses nukes. He’s just accustomed to people backing down if he acts like a thug. Remember the Russians starved & killed God knows how many in Ukraine. No way he’s subjugating the people of Ukraine. In the US we won’t even honor the 400,000 dead soliders that fought fascism in ww2. If we did, the GOP would be sent packing. The Ukrainians aren’t as soft as we are. We are the reason he’s emboldened. Hey u 74million idiots…u have the blood on ur hands tonight. Think we’d be here if 2016 wasn’t stolen from Hillary? No way. Our lazy culture that has no memory or honor is responsible for this.

  3. The Soviet army is different from the Russian army. I think the Russian forces are having trouble killing Ukraine people. Putin may think kazaks do not care as much.

    • Well, given how Kazakhstan won’t even recognize the puppet “republics” Putin tried making out of Ukraine, he called that one wrong, didn’t he?

  4. Although Vlad the Invader lined up 190,000 troops, don’t overlook that the ratio of combat to support troops is roughly 3:1. Of the 190,000 about 74% will be cooks, medics, mechanics, clerks, etc. That would account for the ‘request’ for more troops from Kazakhstan (and probably other former member states of the USSR).

    In short – he’s overextended himself and he’s beginning to realise that.

    • Seems like he was counting on a blitzkrieg style victory. That went out the window after the first day and thanks to overextended supply lines, every day they remain in Ukraine is going to cost them material, lives and resolve.

  5. putie will be dangerous until one of the oligarchs currently pulling his strings, decides to prescribe a lead pill for him. Let’s hope those oligarchs are not like our x-tian fundies: thinking nuclear war will bring their jeezus.

    • Doubtful…with those old sukas, it’s “you win nothing if you’re dead.” And with the increasing economic pressures that may soon include being cut off from SWIFT (the major objectors to the move are gradually backing away), it’s looking more and more likely.


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