Patriots: For over 26 years, your generosity has made it possible to offer The Patriot Post without a subscription fee to military personnel, students, and those with limited means. Please support the 2023 Year-End Campaign today.

July 20, 2023

How Goes It for President Putin?

There is almost no place in Putin’s Russia that is immune to the corruption and incompetence of the present moment.

WASHINGTON — Well, how are things going for Vladimir Putin? He has been showing a KGB sleuth’s cunning at warfare for over a year now, and he has been doing it against an enemy who is outgunned and outnumbered. Oh yes, and by the way, that enemy is also winning the war. All Putin’s forces have been able to win is the battle for Bakhmut, and Putin had to empty out a prison or two to do it. Of late, his finest soldiers have been convicts, and they generally take a bullet in the head to demonstrate their valor. The Russian casualty list has run to roughly 50,000 dead, and God knows how many wounded.

I have been doubtful of Putin’s chances from the start. You might recall that in late February 2022, before his 150,000-man army advanced against the Ukrainians, I wrote that “Military experts in the West say that the Ukrainian defenders are no match for the Russians,” who had at that point yet to fire a shot. I predicted that “things in Ukraine are going to come out much differently than they look now” — "now" being late February 2022. A month later, after the Russian army had had a month in the field and its tanks were running out of gas, I wrote “Whether he (Putin) will win or not is in doubt.” And I compared Putin’s performance to Mussolini’s and his brutality to that of Hitler. As the year progressed, he only got worse.

How did I know, or rather suspect, that the Russian army would perform so badly against the Ukrainian army? Well, it was not because I followed the lead of “military experts in the West.” I followed the lead of Milton Friedman, the free-market economist, who taught that corruption usually followed a nation whose economic system was saddled with the inefficiencies of statism. From top to bottom, there are handouts and subsidies and all the graft that goes with it. Whether you are dealing with the military’s logistics, the government’s disorganization or the private exchange of goods and services, everyone is in on the take eventually in a statist-run society. In this war, the Russian army was hobbled by armor that ran out of gas, guns and artillery that had not been used for years and leadership that was inept when it was not blatantly corrupt.

The rise of Yevgeny Prigozhin, until a few weeks ago head of the Wagner private militia outfit, is a perfect specimen of the weird mediocrity that has filled the ranks of Putin’s government. With Putin’s blessing, Prigozhin rose from being a common prisoner to a hotdog mongerer to the official caterer for Putin’s government. Thence he finally headed the vast private militia that is known as Wagner. Alas, he went too far. His troops rolled up the M-4 highway toward Moscow, which thanks to Putin’s negligence was practically undefended. Had Prigozhin’s militia continued up the M-4 highway, it is possible Prigozhin would be president of Russia today. But it appears that the former hotdog salesman lost his nerve, and where he will end up is anyone’s guess.

Yet the rot introduced by Prigozhin and Putin is continuing to spread. Some weeks ago, I spoke of the rot that had spread to and infected the elites of Russian society. I was speaking of the billionaires and the government grandees. This past week, there was evidence of turbulence at the top of the Russian military. One general was killed in Ukraine: Lt. Gen. Oleg Tsokov. Another simply disappeared: Gen. Sergey Surovikin. And another, Maj. Gen. Ivan Popov — one of the rare successes in the Russian ranks — delivered a four-minute recorded diatribe against his superiors. It went viral. He has been replaced.

There is almost no place in Putin’s Russia that is immune to the corruption and incompetence of the present moment. Moreover, it is going to take a long time to cleanse Russia of it. Even the Orthodox Church is crippled by corruption. With the fall of the Soviet Union, one might have thought that finally the Russian Church would be free of the costs of Godless communism. Yet now I am told that a church that for decades was under the rule of the KGB apparently has continued to be corrupted by the rule of Putin’s thugs. For Mother Russia there is no place to hide.

Glory to Ukraine!


Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.