‘Paper Bear‘ Putin accidentally exposed himself for what he truly is when he foolishly decided to invade the sovereign nation of Ukraine. At the same time, he also exposed how incredibly incompetent & weak the entire Russian Military had become (a Treasonous act by any leader, IMHO).
- This report focuses on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cautious approach to risk-taking after having thrown the dice on launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, an act he likely did not see as a risk. Putin’s hesitant wartime decision making demonstrates his desire to avoid risky decisions that could threaten his rule or international escalation—despite the fact his maximalist and unrealistic objective, the full conquest of Ukraine, likely requires the assumption of further risk to have any hope of success.
(Imagine Putin’s shock at the reports he was getting by the end of the invasions first week. ‘Putinism‘ had developed a serious ‘Crack‘ at that point.)
- Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decisions regarding Ukraine since his initial flawed invasion on February 24, 2022, indicate a likely disconnect between his maximalist objectives and his willingness to take the likely high-risk decisions necessary to achieve them. Putin likely operated under the flawed assumption that Russian forces could force Kyiv to capitulate without any significant military sacrifices and saw Russia’s invasion as a limited and acceptable risk. Captured Russian military plans, for example, revealed that the Kremlin expected Russian forces to capture Kyiv in days, Russian intelligence services reportedly expected the Ukrainian military to collapse, and Kremlin propagandists preemptively published a prewritten article extolling Russia’s “victory” on February 26, 2022.
(Putin’s “maximalist objective“ has always been to conquer all of Ukraine ‘n rule it himself.)
- Putin has consistently ignored, delayed, or only partially implemented several likely necessary pragmatic decisions concerning his invasion. Putin was reluctant to order full mobilization following the costly capture of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in June-July 2022 and several unsuccessful offensives that depleted much of his conventional military. Putin ignored repeated calls from the Russian nationalist community in May 2022 to mobilize reservists, declare war on Ukraine, implement martial law in Russia, and modernize the military call-up system.
(Putin was going in circles between May to July of 2022 … his military losses of troops, tanks, personnel carriers, aircraft, etc. were already incredibly high, after *JUST* 5-months. “970 tanks” lost in 2-months+!?! ‘Pussyfootism‘ had already started replacing ‘Putinism‘ at this point.)
- Putin continued to select comparatively less risky options even when faced with spiraling military failures in fall 2022. Putin only began to accept domestically unpopular—and potentially risky—policies such as the declaration of partial mobilization or the expansion of martial law far after the dire situation on the front lines following Ukrainian successes made clear the Kremlin required additional combat power. Putin could have announced a larger mobilization effort than the reported 300,000 servicemen but likely feared that the already unpopular prospect of mobilization would further damage his appeal within Russian society.
(By October of 2022 “mobilization” was definitely unpopular as “approximately 900,000” Russians had already fled Russia.)
- Putin’s reluctance to take risks directly related to his conventional war in Ukraine indicates that he remains highly unlikely to pursue nuclear escalation or war with NATO. ISW previously assessed that Russian conventional war threats against NATO do not correspond with Russia’s capabilities and that Russia uses nuclear threats primarily to intimidate the West. Putin evidently values his domestic status quo and seeks to avoid risky and controversial policies to support his own aims. Putin also continues to demonstrate that he remains a calculated individual who places considerable emphasis on eliminating risks—even while his perception of the situation he faces diverges from reality. Putin has thus repeatedly placed himself in the position of articulating maximalist and unrealistic objectives, calling on his government and military to achieve them—yet refraining from making the costly decisions the large-scale and protracted conventional war he has embarked on likely requires.
In that article’s last paragraph, it brings up a point –”Russia uses nuclear threats primarily to intimidate the West”– that may end up being the only ‘positive‘ outcome of this disastrous War. Iran & North Korea (and others) are getting a free lesson on how useless “nuclear threats” actually are, even when those threats are being issued by the country wid the world’s largest “nuclear arsenal“.
- 1) By invading Ukraine Putin has gone from a fairly respected World Leader to this:
- 2) Almost a year after Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Russia has gone from a fairly respected country to nothing more than a Twitter joke (at best):
“Watch until the end” 😉
Great representation of the russian invasion of Ukraine.
The tree is 🇺🇦
The red guy is 🇷🇺
Watch until the end. pic.twitter.com/6A4DuQnQY4
— Rammstein Fella✙🇺🇦 (@rammstein_fella) February 4, 2023