From the comments, on Putin and Russia

I shall continue with my bad news from my Russian source. Apparently media in Russia are continuing to spout the brazen lie that US troops are in Ukraine (a few advisers are). I have also heard that apparently he is also ticked at Xi Jinping, apparently having not been met by any Chinese when he landed in Beijing, only the Russian ambassador. David Ignatius reports that Xi is “skeptical of Putin’s overbearing manner and disdain for rules” may be a two-way street.

What worries me is his isolation and egomania. While Xi is rational, Ignatius reports that Putin seems to have some delusions. The worst apparently is the one W. Bush had about iraq before going in, that he will be welcomed as a liberator, at least by the native Russian-speaking minority. it is now pretty clear that even in relatively pro-Russia places like Kharkiv, they do not want him coming in at all. He also has gotten the idea that taking Ukraine is a “sacred” cause, ugh.

I had long been thinking he would not invade, partly following the views of my friends in Kyiv on this, where even now they are probably more complacent than many others. But this latest stuff from Putin has me more seriously worried. I think Xi has him so he will not go while the Winter Olympics are on, but around Feb. 20 looks like a dangerous moment, the end of those and also the supposed end of the war games in Belarus. Officially his troops there are supposed to go home. But they could easily decide to do otherwise about then.

It is a combination of his delusions, isolation, and clearly mounting egomania on the part of Putin that have me the most worried now, and I am.

That is from J. Barkley Rosser, who has longstanding connections with Russia and the USSR.


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