With the ruble in freefall, the Russian stock market closed indefinitely, the Russian economy gone, NATO nations arming Ukraine, The Hague holding war crimes hearings, and Biden about to use the SOTU to rally the world, Putin’s derangement is likely to escalate in the coming hours and days.
This doesn’t mean Putin is going to suddenly pull a rabbit out of his hat. This isn’t the movies. In the real world, if you’re losing your leverage and power, desperation moves may make things worse for your enemy, but they also tend to make things much worse for yourself.
Putin’s only two remaining avenues of power:
1) Ratcheting up his verbal threats against the West, which we have to brush off at this point
2) Being more cruel with his attacks in Ukraine, to try to distract from their lack of effectiveness.
Unfortunately we’re already seeing #2 play out, with Putin having reportedly bombed a kindergarten yesterday. But this doesn’t help Putin, as Ukraine isn’t going to back down. And with the U.S. government now saying that some Russian troops are abandoning the fight, Putin’s cruel attacks could accelerate the defection rate.
In other words Putin will likely try to scare, shock, and repulse the world, because he has no other way to try to stop the world from doing what it’s doing to him. Our job is to not cower, and continue supporting Ukraine. There’s no turning back, as the world now has to see this through and finish Putin off.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report