As Russia’s attack on Ukraine enters its second week, Putin’s war of choice appears to be entering a seriously deadly phase, one that significantly increases the likelihood of global ramifications far beyond Eastern Europe. Despite Ukraine’s better-than-expected defense, Russia’s war with Ukraine appears set to escalate.
Putin’s misbehavior and corruption
It is a precarious place for a man who has long longed to be one of history’s great forces. It appears to him that Putin gambled with Napoleonic arrogance and was proven wrong, says Kori Schake, director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and a pioneering observer of great modern power politics.
The weekend of Western unity and action produced a monumental and unexpected result. Putin’s geopolitical misbehavior and corruption have escalated over the last dozen years, even though there appear to be few meaningful Western sanctions.
According to WIRED, he had already attacked Ukraine twice, destroyed political dissidents, rewritten the nation’s history, tainted political opponents at home and abroad, supported brutal regimes abroad, and attacked and attempted to undermine the US election. He held a toxic stew of criminal organizations that have pillaged Western banks and businesses via ransomware and other forms of cyber-enabled fraud.
Morale is dipping
Russia has launched over 400 missiles since beginning its invasion of Ukraine six days ago. However, according to a senior defense official on Tuesday, its advance on Kyiv has made little progress from the day before.
Aside from logistics, possible explanations for the slow progress include fierce Ukrainian resistance and evidence of specific risk-averse actions by the Russian military. According to Yahoo, the senior defense official stated that the US also has indications that morale is dipping in these units due to unexpected resistance.