Kazakh President Refuses to Speak Russia with Putin
The day before, Vladimir Putin hit his head and came up with the “good idea” to invade Ukraine, I was ice skating at a lovely outdoor rink near a repurposed port in St. Petersburg, Russia. With the Gulf of Finland looming vast, icy, and white over my shoulder, each tour around the rink presented me with a magical view of winter at its finest. I love winter. I love snow.
The next day happened, and it will soon be 730 “next days” since. Hundreds of thousands in Ukraine and Russia are dead for no reason whatsoever but to appease the caprice of a sick and greedy old man. When Putin launched what was supposed to be a three-day jaunt into Kyiv, Russia was considered a serious regional power controlling much of the “near abroad,” as the former Soviet Union is called, and a leading power in the world.
Month by month, however, Russia’s military has been proven to be a paper tiger. The officer corps is a mess of incompetency and cowards. Russian soldiers demonstrate little more in the way of professional proficiency than their great-grandfathers did before them in World War II. The most successful military tactic on display by Russia is the meat wave.
With each passing defeat, each sunken ship and shot-down helicopter, Russia has demonstrated itself to be a laughing stock among serious nations. Russia’s strategic defeat has been recorded, but Ukraine does not have the manpower or firepower to complete the task of pushing them out of the occupied territories, so this war of attrition goes on.
Russia has been isolated culturally and socially. Russia is an international pariah, and well over a million have abandoned the country along with most Western businesses. Vladimir Putin has set Russia back 30 years in terms of inclusion with the world, and the isolation will continue for generations more. It is all sad and regrettable.
Yet, some changes make me smile.
The president of close Russian ally…