The extremities of Putin’s miscalculations about Ukraine are swiftly becoming apparent. Not only did his blitzkrieg fail so far, but his home front support doesn’t look like he thought it might.
Even though Russian police arrested some 1,700 protesters yesterday after Putin launched his invasion, their numbers, based on images in news outlets, appear to be far greater than that. This is a sign that his calculus of his domestic support is seriously flawed.
This is similar to what happened to Nixon when he began an expansion of the Vietnam war by bombing neighboring Laos. The US exploded in new anti-war protests. It wasn’t long after that when the revelations of the Pentagon Papers began dropping and thus changing public sentiment against the war even more. Then came Watergate and Nixon became history.
A national leader who operates in a disconnected bubble, thinking his calculations are the only ones that matter is ultimately doomed.
Part of Putin’s pretext for his invasion is the insanely flimsy accusation that he is rescuing Ukraine from Neo-Nazis. If it wasn’t so insane and deadly an idea, it would be laughed at. Apparently he is depending on a highly educated population to forget its own history. After the invasion of the Soviet Union by Hitler in Operation Barbarosa in 1941, Ukraine fell to the Nazis. This was followed by Reinhard Heydrich’s Einsatzgruppen rounding up and murdering the Jewish population and others. One infamous massacre occurred at Babi Yar, on the outskirts of Kviv.
By invoking Nazis as a raison d’etre for his invasion, Putin is displaying a callous cynicism to his own people as well as those of the Ukraine. Guaranteed, only the actual Neo-Nazis he has fostered in other countries to cause division, like ours, will believe this tripe.
Perhaps his largest miscalculation so far is the swift and destructive effect this invasion is having on his own economy. Twenty-two billionaires in Russia lost a combined $39 billion yesterday as the Russian stock market tanked. Thus, the oligarchs who Putin has made wealthy, while stuffing his own pockets with their tributes, are not as wealthy by far only after the first day.
Like the Czars of the past who miscalculated how much idiocy and bloodshed the peasants and serfs would tolerate before they revolted, Putin’s social calculator is not in good shape.
Social personalities always vastly outnumber the anti-social and of course this scares the crap out of anti-socials like Putin. How long will it take for Russia to remember its own power and prosperity is based only on its people and not the Czar in the Kremlin?