My many undying thanks to my friend and reader Denis Eliot. In a comment on my recent article on Russia, he replied that he had seen an article that said that Putin had complete control of the special military operation in Ukraine.
If that’s true, then it casts a whole new light on the Ukraine operation, and not a good one for the Russian military or the russian people. I’ll explain.
This is not good news. Adolf Hitler was a corporal in the German army in WW I. Hitler’s job was a runner, he ran messages from the front lines to the field headquarters, and then ran new orders back to the front lines. There is no proof that Hitler ever fired a shot in the war. However, he received the Iron Cross, First Class from being wounded in a mustard gas attack on his position. Keep in mind that Crown Prince Rupprecht used to go down a line of German soldiers, handing out Iron Crosses like candy from a basket held by two aides.
But in Hitler’s mind, this made him a military genius. When Germany went to war in WWII, Hitler took complete control of the German forces. He, and he alone approved all battle plans for the German army’s assaults came directly from him. And we all saw how that turned out.
Putin really had no choice here. This invasion is his baby, and nobody else’s. Reports show that Kremlin insiders, including the military, counseled against going into Ukraine. And now that it’s falling apart, and the rest of the world is lining up against him, he has no choice but to take personal control. This is no longer just his leadership legacy at stake, it may well be his own personal survival.
But now it gets even worse. Teri just found an article on Flipboard that says that Putin is suffering from some type of cancer, as well as early onset of Parkinson’s disease. This would explain why, in his televised conference with his Defense Minister, his right hand never stopped gripping the table. Maybe he was afraid that the hand would tremble, making him look weak to the public? According to the report, Putin has delayed the stomach surgery until after the May 9th celebration.
I cannot overemphasize how dangerous this whole situation is, if the reporting is true. With Putin, we have an aging dotard, possible delusional with a strong desire to recreate the glory of the Soviet Union. There is no one to oppose him in the Kremlin , and he has access to the nuclear codes. With possible Parkinson’s disease.
If only the former is true, then the Ukraine is almost assured of complete victory. Nobody knows the military and battle plans better than career military officers. If the latter is true, then we have a whole new, unexpected risk on our hands. An unstable leader with nuclear codes. Don’t touch that dial.