‘Aloof and pretentious’ Putin has completely misinterpreted Ukrainian society, says the Norwegian political analyst


Baev draws attention to Putin’s telling loneliness during the Orthodox Christmas service at the Kremlin Cathedral, which contrasts with his attempts to demonstrate interaction with his subordinates shortly before the New Year.

The political expert emphasizes that the staged performances of the Russian dictator cannot disguise the image of his extreme self-isolation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s former press secretary, explained that his boss’s health is a matter of state security, so all emergency measures remain in place.

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“However, the Russian president’s fears threaten his ability to manage the affairs of state, as no important decision can be made without his word.”

Baev calls Putin’s leadership style “aloof and pretentious”. According to him, this is reflected, among other things, in “the incompetent and disastrous leadership of the Russian war against Ukraine”.

The political scientist describes the Russian dictator’s current strategy as an attempt to turn the war “into an exhausting stalemate” as all his previous strategies have failed.

Baev also considers Putin’s latest statements to be information errors. He recalls that his New Year’s speech coincided with the Ukrainian missile attack on the mobilized Russians in Makiyivka, after which even “militant ‘patriotic’ bloggers expressed their outrage.”

Read also: Which settlements were shelled during the “Christmas ceasefire”

And Putin’s attempt to declare a Christmas truce fell on so many deaf ears, according to the professor, that Kiev’s refusal did not disappoint even the champion of peace talks, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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“The only real effect of Putin’s initiative was to highlight the deep crisis in the Russian Orthodox Church, led by Patriarch Kirill, who approved the invasion of Ukraine, thus undermining his authority among the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches,” Baev said. .

Also, the fake ceasefire “confirmed that the Russian forces urgently needed a respite and a break from the intense positional warfare, which led not only to heavy casualties, but also to deeper demoralization on the Russian side,” notes the expert on.

Baev calls the new wave of mobilization in Russia “increasingly necessary” due to the need to “restore the ability to hold unstable defense lines and support costly offensive efforts in the battle for Bakhmut.”

Meanwhile, “chauvinist propaganda can no longer reliably and effectively dampen the response of a deeply disaffected society” and the problem of educating hundreds of thousands of mobilized – but war-averse – men becomes increasingly acute.

Putin’s pseudo-strategy is ultimately aimed at breaking the Ukrainians’ will to resist, but this calculation is based on a total misunderstanding of the social force that the Ukrainian state can still mobilize, not to mention the true state of Russian society at the beginning of another year of this senseless war,” Baev said.

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At the same time, he points out that the Ukrainian resistance depends on the continued support of the West.

The astonishing unity and motivation of the US-led coalition is another phenomenon that Putin has not yet fully understood.

“The Russian president counted on the main European countries to build fear and discontent and not want to follow the American example, but instead French president Emmanuel Macron decided to send Ukraine AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles. significantly improve Ukraine’s offensive capabilities.

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Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz waited just a day before announcing the delivery of Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, and President Joe Biden included the M2 Bradley armored vehicle in the new US aid package to Ukraine. Germany also promised to provide the MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft missile system in addition to its planned delivery from the United States.

Baev believed that the next step after the modernization of the Ukrainian air defense will be the delivery of long-range weapon systems, starting with MQ-9 Reaper drones.

Meanwhile, Russia’s new main battle tank, the T-14 Armata, and the entire family of armored vehicles using this platform are currently not on the battlefields of Donbas due to the cessation of production.

As a result, the Ukrainian forces are gradually gaining victory in terms of the quality of all major weapon systems, and this trend is as incomprehensible to the Russian leadership as their inability to ensure the superiority of manpower on the battlefield. political scientist.

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He noted that Putin was trying to “put on a big show” and sent an Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate armed with the newly developed 3M22 Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missile on a long ocean voyage. But even Russian military and patriotic observers were skeptical about the strategic importance of these processes.

“Indeed, neither a miracle weapon nor a tactical breakthrough will help Russia regain the initiative in this war, which it intended to win quickly and brutally,” explained Baev.

“So Putin can only try to close the gaps in his defenses, hoping that the wave coming towards him will suddenly disappear by some miracle.”

The political scientist adds that Putin does not trust his generals, “who know how to hide failures, but don’t know how to learn from their mistakes,” or his ministers, “who are good at manipulating statistics, but don’t know how to do it.” effectively mobilize the corrupt economy for the benefit of the military machine.”

The loyalty of Putin’s henchmen is too showy to be real, and they lack talent, so in the end Putin is left alone in his defeat, and not even his church-turned-tools can comfort him, Baev concludes with some irony.

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine