May 24, 2022

How Long Can Putin Stay in the Fight?

Russia is struggling to replace bullets, bombs, hardware losses, and its forces in Ukraine.

One of Vladimir Putin’s UN mission diplomats, Boris Bondarev, became the first high-profile Russian to issue a very public resignation in protest. No, it was not because McDonald’s is pulling its Big Macs and Starbucks its overpriced lattes from the Russian market, finally virtue signaling their objections to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

In fact, in his letter of resignation, Bondarev, an arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation specialist, made clear his objections to Putin’s dictatorial leadership: “For twenty years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns of our foreign policy, but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24 of this year. The aggressive war unleashed by Putin against Ukraine, and in fact against the entire Western world, is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country.”

He added: “Those who conceived this war want only one thing — to remain in power forever, live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian Navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity. … Thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have already died just for this.”

Apparently, Bondarev is not what Putin declared to be a “true patriot” versus “scum and traitors” who oppose him. (Let me just get this out there: Bondarev didn’t hang himself.)

What Bondarev’s protest makes clear is that Putin is losing ground in Ukraine — and losing the support of an increasing number of Russian people.

Joe Biden’s inept “leading from behind” provision of $42 billion in “security assistance” to Ukraine in since the Russian invasion has been an anemic knockoff of Ronald Reagan’s strategy to beat Russia into submission by draining its military, government, and market capital, and by extension, Putin’s political capital.

Biden is hoping for Putin’s retreat before the midterm elections so he can have a victory-lap photo op with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in order to divert attention from the one-year anniversary of his deadly surrender and retreat from Afghanistan. He may get the photo op, though not likely the intended political boost.

Our very reliable (former) American military sources on the ground in Ukraine observed this week that it is increasingly apparent that Putin may not be able to stay in the fight. They tell us that while Ukrainian forces are using their resources and Western military hardware very effectively, Putin is not able to replace his expended hardware and re-equip his forces at a pace to sustain the battlefront — even in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine. What began in March as “supply line problems” appears now to be a problem of actually having supplies — and the possibility of Russia’s military collapse in Ukraine is becoming a reality.

Political and military analyst Charles Lipson concurs with the assessment of our folks on the ground: “There is hard fight to come in the Donbas, where Russia has the advantage of defensive positions, but Ukraine has far better weapons, intelligence, resupply, and motivation. The looming question is how long Russia can stay in this fight as its army continues to lose vast numbers of men and material and its economy struggles — and fails — to replace them. Meanwhile, NATO’s powerful, long-range weapons are now reaching the frontlines. Those weapons, combined with good intelligence and precision targeting, should shift the advantage to Ukraine, whose outnumbered forces are determined to win back their country.”

Further, as Finland and Sweden now press for NATO membership, Putin is backed further into a Ukrainian corner — not a good place for a tyrant with tactical nukes.

Of course, if Russia does further retreat, who will Biden then blame for inflation and fuel prices now besieging Americans nationwide?

Meanwhile, the fastest way to ensure Russia’s retreat and defeat…

There is new evidence that Putin has been the target of assassination attempts since he launched the Ukraine invasion. No question the quickest way to end Putin’s ambitions is “regime change.” As I have written previously, the tidiest way to terminate Putin’s murderous Ukraine invasion — and his tyrannical dictatorship in Russia — is for a member of his security or military detail to put a bullet in his head. The more war- and sanction-related civil unrest that emerges in Russia’s major cities, the more likely a proud and heroic individual may impose that “regime change” — and that individual would qualify for a “Hero of Russia” medal.

Finally, let me be clear: It can’t be stated strongly or often enough that every drop of Ukrainian bloodshed is the direct result of Biden’s abject ineptitude. The most dangerous domestic threat to U.S. national security has been and remains Joe Biden. Anyone who believes that Russian dictator and former KGB thug Vladimir Putin would invade Ukraine if Donald Trump was still president is pathologically delusional. Even some of Trump’s national security critics have conceded this point.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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