Putin’s Mistakes in Russo/Ukrainian War Are Serious Foreign Policy Blunders

by | Jun 15, 2022 |

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Nearly everyone thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was playing chess while former US President Barack Obama was playing checkers. We were wrong. They were both playing the stupid child’s game of patty-cake, along with their corrupt friends, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. There was no need for Putin to play a sophisticated game like chess until Trump was elected. And, as it turned out, he was not so good at it. 

And that’s the most important insight you need to have as the rest of this story plays out. Putin’s mind is still that of a KGB Lt. Colonel thug who became Russia’s President, then its dictator, and now its Czar, and the head of a massive criminal enterprise known as the government of Russia. And there are no boundaries to the savagery of Putin or his colleagues.

Recently, we read Rich Kozlovich’s book review of Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder about corruption in Putin’s Russia. This article is based on that review and subsequent communication with foreign relations expert Kozlovich.

For years we all assumed that the only thing stopping the Russians from rushing down the north European Plain all the way to France was American military power. But, we are coming to realize that Russia is far weaker than we thought. The problem is that Russia is not a financial generating nation because its entire economy still operates as a communist central planning nation with corruption so rampant it’s impossible for it to face the upcoming economic disaster that will soon hit them. They are breeding themselves out of existence, with the vital 15 to 50 age group in their demographic pyramid being small, sick with drug-resistant TB and AIDS, and alcohol, thereby impeding any progress.

Russia has many defensive problems with the manpower to defend only some of them. They are facing serious problems internally. Their leaders still think they can push everyone around without consequence. But, clearly, that’s not happening. In the future, their bully boy tactics will come back to haunt them because they’re broke and getting broker by the hour. They cannot fix their problems because Putin and his allies refuse to give up control of the economy and allow private ownership of property.

There has been an attempt by Putin to modernize their current military equipment and systems, which were based on 25-year-old technology. But that takes money, a lot of money, which they simply don’t have.

In addition, once you scratch the surface of Russia’s military, you will find poor workmanship and equipment that doesn’t work as planned. Their special forces are top-notch, but their military overall is ill-equipped, ill-trained, ill-motivated, undermanned, and a demographic pyramid that’s all out of whack. Putin’s plan to reconquer Ukraine was extraordinarily foolish, and not surprisingly, it is failing miserably. Of course, he is blaming everyone except himself. 

He’s now convinced that his military leaders misled him. But he’s surrounded himself with people who are afraid to tell him the truth, and for good reason. In Putin’s efforts to become all-powerful, he methodically got rid of anyone who questioned him, much like Stalin, and surrounded himself with yes-men, sycophants, and flunkies. He demanded loyalty, not truth, and he got what he wanted: loyalty first, competence second, truth in a far distant third place. So practically, no one dared question his vision of conquering Ukraine, which has been a dismal failure so far. 

In his Foreign Affairs article, Putin Unbound, How Repression at Home Presaged Belligerence Abroad, Daniel Treisman writes:

“Before he started massing troops, few expected Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine, and even once he did, few expected him to behave the way he has. In a shocking act of aggression, the Russian leader sent troops to bomb cities such as Kharkiv and Mariupol and to attack schools, hospitals, and apartment buildings throughout the country, killing hundreds—if not thousands—of civilians. His extreme demands—calling for Ukraine to disarm, formally recognize the loss of Crimea, give up large swaths of territory in the eastern part of the country, and renounce any intention to join NATO—have stunned the world, as has his repeated nuclear saber-rattling. Instead of winning over the Ukrainians, Putin has quickly turned the population irrevocably against him. And he has grossly overestimated the strength and speed of his military, which stumbled badly in the early weeks of the war. How could a leader regularly hailed as a skilled tactician, if not a strategic genius, make so many rash and seemingly counterproductive moves?”

We now know that Putin is not the chess master we all thought. His military isn’t the tiger he worked to create either, so it’s clear he would be incapable of successfully marching down the North European Plain even if the US did not defend Europe. And now, all his scheming is backfiring on him internationally, economically, and strategically. 

Putin claims this invasion was predicated on his concern over NATO expansion. But he knows NATO wasn’t formed as an aggressive organization. It is a defensive one, and that was to defend Europe from Soviet aggression, which was a constant threat. And just as there were excusers of Stalinist aggression, we saw it for a while for Putin. The only thing he feared about NATO was that they might interfere with his aggression.

But the invasion of Ukraine was poorly planned with no end game. Putin doesn’t have the manpower to occupy such a large area. How could he not know that? It was because his generals lied to him, and so in his mind, it’s not his fault. That’s what happens when you surround yourself was yes-men, sycophants, and flunkies.

We now know that a few did tell Putin, but he just didn’t listen. We only recently learned that a retired Russian army colonel and now a well-known military analyst, Mikhail Khodaryonok, wrote three weeks before the invasion, warning this was not going to be as easy as they believed because “Ukrainian morale is high, their conscripts are motivated, and well-armed thanks to the west, and Russia’s international isolation is unsustainable.” Khodaryonok, who is also a defense columnist for the gazeta.ru newspaper and a graduate of one of Russia’s elite military academies, was certainly correct. 

On May 16, Khodaryonok gave an important and frank assessment of the situation on the “60 Minutes” talk show on the state-controlled Rossiya-1 TV program. “The situation, frankly speaking, will get worse for us,” he told the astonished program host.” 

In a video clip that was viewed more than 6 million times in the three days that followed, Khodaryonok said:

“You should not swallow informational tranquilizers.

“The desire to defend one’s motherland in the sense that it exists in Ukraine — it really does exist there, and they intend to fight to the last…We need to treat this million Ukrainian soldiers as a reality in the nearest future. 

“The main deficiency of our military-political position is that we are in full geopolitical solitude and — however, we don’t want to admit it — practically the whole world is against us … and we need to get out of this situation.

“The main thing in our business is to have a sense of military-political realism: if you go beyond that, then the reality of history will hit you so hard that you will not know what hit you.” 

Watch Khodaryonok’s exceptional comments here.

But someone must have given the retired Lt. Colonel a serious talking to because, two days later, he was back on air giving a rosier picture of Putin’s war:

Regarding the actions of our supreme commander, there is every reason to believe that the implementation of these plans will in the very near future give Ukraine an unpleasant surprise.”

Watch his mea culpa here.

One wonders if Mikhail Khodaryonok will now simply be disappeared.


To learn more about what’s really happening with Vladimir Putin, tune in to THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY at 11 am and 8 pm Eastern time Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, when foreign affairs expert Rich Kozlovich, who runs the blog, “Paradigms and Demographics, will be our guest.

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Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

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gvillewill
gvillewill
19 days ago

This article is moronic.
Russia is systematically destroying the Ukraine army.
Russia has very little debt and they have almost every natural resource that the world needs.

Biglar
Biglar
19 days ago

Every demographic characterization the author applies to Russia applies also to Ukraine, only more so. And Russia definitely isn’t about to lose this war. Most informed observers believe the Ukrainian army is about to collapse as the Russians have them completely outgunned and the Ukrainians are losing 500-1000 soldiers per day. You should know better than to believe the MSM on this topic. There are a number of prominent retired US generals who have been predicting the Ukrainian defeat from the beginning.

geo
geo
19 days ago

misrepresenting Putin is not what a pro-american conservative news site should do…. a slight stench that shouldn’t be ignored

geo
geo
19 days ago

Russia is a Christian nation progressing in its elimination of western vermin and we can take lessons from them and do the same…. we’ve let the Republic become the evil empire and WE need to change first… remember what Jesus said about having a beam in the eye and a speck in the other fellow’s

Linda L Lown
Linda L Lown
19 days ago

I have been following foreign journalists traveling the entire Ukraine. Speaking with citizens what you get from them and what you get from the big shot western media is miles apart. The globalists have used the Ukraine for decades money laundering plotting revolts all over the world the country is wllingl to deal with any one with a few bucks. Russia is cleaning up a dark secret. The Kazarian mafia the Nazis have homes there operating with immunity after the coup which Obama and company helped instigate in 2014 The Azovs the Ukraine Russian hating militias slaughtered Russians in the Donbass and Donsek areas to the tune of 14,000 people. NOT one report from our media over this because our congressional member the VP all were skimming off aid money we were sending to the Ukraine all these many years. Hunter Biden is only one. John Kerry’s kid, Mitt Romneys kid, Pelousi’s nephew .. billions sent billions filtered back through to many congressionals. Those bio weapon labs apparently not just 13 finally admitted to by the DOD but now over 40! Russia was entitled to all the advances because NATO and the USA literally broke every agreement all these many years. Biden and company do not have the support for their involvement in the Ukraine because people are doing research and learning how manipulated the media is when covering this issue

Andy
Andy
19 days ago

What a joke, complete propaganda. Russia is easily handling Ukraine exactly as planned. This article is nonsense. If Russia busted out the big guns and went full ape the war would be done in days. They are not doing this because they are not interested in destroying all of Ukraine. You need to do some better research on this war, why it started and the end goal of Russia.

Wild Rose Ranch
Wild Rose Ranch
19 days ago

Dr. Jay Lehr needs to look at the US failures before he starts lecturing us on Russia’s failures.

He also needs to admit that he is complacent in the blatant manufacture of the propaganda

NuckFuts
NuckFuts
Reply to  Wild Rose Ranch
19 days ago

(((Lehr))). Not surprising. Pharisees gonna pharisee. 110 coming soon.

Rich Kozlovich
Rich Kozlovich
19 days ago

First off, there’s no misrepresentation of Putin in this article. The KGB was a brutal spy organization and anyone who rose in their ranks was brutal. Do we really believe all those Russian oligarchs who abandoned Putin and recently dropped dead was coincidental? During his rise to power he eliminated oligarchs who didn’t support him and the rest groveled, and made deals with Putin that made him a massively wealthy man, and centered all power in his hands, just like Stalin.  He’s a KGB thug through and through. And it’s also clear he isn’t nearly as smart as we all thought, or he wouldn’t have attacked Ukraine in the first place.

The Demographic numbers for Russia is also problematic for Ukraine as well as the rest of Europe, and whether or not Ukraine can recover after their losses and migration is a issue that time will resolve. It’s also true the Ukraine army is losing hundreds of men, but so is Russia, and none of this is going as planned, and the planning was bad from the very start, and he doesn’t have the demographic potential to occupy an area as large as Ukraine. There’s more to winning a war than what’s being touted.

Russian equipment isn’t all that great, Russian troop morale is in the sewer, Russian leadership is incompetent, Russia’s already used up their best troops, and they weren’t that good, and he’s running out of potential troops, that’s why he’s had to go to outside forces, and many of them have refused to fight. Russian mothers are pounding on doors demanding to know what’s happened to their sons, and Russian troops coming home are telling horror stories turning the people against Putin and this war, and he doesn’t have the economic resources to reproduce all that military hardware he’s already lost. He may end up with areas in Eastern Ukraine when this is over since there’s a large pro-Russian population there, but after it’s all said and done, that’s hardly being victorious.

Russian national debt is quite low compared to America, but their ability to generate capital is terrible compared to America. Putin can’t even finance his pension funds for the retired. Funding this military mess has further weakened their economy possibly beyond repair. They’ve now given up on the expansion of their Black Sea fleet, because they’re broke, and after 2024 when America starts pumping oil again the price of oil will drop and seriously impact his economy, Putin may not be in power then.

Russia has massive natural resources that’s true, and an incompetent government that’s embraced the system of the USSR, a sure loser, so what good are resources that aren’t being developed because of incompetents, stupidity, and corruption, and the level of corruption in Putin’s Russia is beyond the pale, because that corruption is tied to murder.

Ukraine has been a stunningly corrupt for years, but since Putin’s government is even more corrupt and murderous, that’s hardly a convincing argument to justify this invasion. There are no good guys in this, Putin is just the worst of the lot by far, and NATO didn’t break any agreement with Russia. That agreement was with the Soviet Union, and it no longer exists.

My final thought for those who are so supportive of Putin. Subscribe to Geopolitical Futures, Foreign Affairs, Stratfor, Jamestown Foundation, just to name a few I follow, and you may wish to read a book, maybe even two.

geo
geo
19 days ago

yes, Brandon the baby starver, a good meme

Charlie
Charlie
19 days ago

HappyChimp

Kryptos
Kryptos
13 days ago

There is a religious undertone to this war that the West does not get. Putin is Russian Orthodox. Despite Ukraine being mostly Orthodox Christian, Western infulence has engineered things so that Ukraine is now run by anti-christian Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his PM. Ukraine was the birthplace of Orthodoxy in Rus. Putin has compared himself to a Tsar who wants to unite Rus again. Meanwhile, most of the US Gov is now controlled by ‘Chosen people’, with Shabbos Goys like Biden running their errands. Ukraine was being globalized, even a French Co. was managing the Wheat fields, while Ukraine cut the water supply to the Crimea wheat fields. If Russia goes down, who will stop Islamic Fundamentalism sweeping across Europe and the middle East?

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