‘Existential threat’ Putin’s Ukraine miscalculation is ‘draining power out of Russia’

Putin is 'isolating' Russia and threatening its future says expert

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Former special assistant to US President George W. Bush, Dr Mike Green, argues that Vladimir Putin has made a “fatal miscalculation” in launching Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as it had the dual effect of uniting the whole world against him and exhausting Russia from within. He further says that Russia finds itself isolated with only China to turn to amid Western sanctions on Russia’s exports. And while Putin appears to be momentarily winning on the battlefield, Dr Green says, he is losing “geopolitically and strategically” on the international stage.

Speaking to Times Radio, he said: “Strategically and geopolitically, he’s really isolating Russia and threatening Russia’s future in ways that could be almost existential for him if he’s not careful.

“The developing world was not as opposed to Putin’s invasion as NATO, Japan, Australia, Korea, the advanced democracies, developed democracies. But with this very deliberate use of blocking grain exports to make the international community blink, Putin is creating more enemies in the developed world.

“And the ripple effects extend much further. You see now, in the area I mostly covered at the White House, in the Asia-Pacific or Indo-Pacific region, you see a much greater interest from the UK, from NATO countries in the China challenge and in a reciprocal way much greater interest from Japan, Australia, Korea in the Russia challenge.”

Dr Green said: “So, Putin has brought American, European and Asian allies together. And so that geopolitical consequence is going to last. It’s going to hurt Russia. It’s going to hurt Putin. It’s going to hurt China. So, there are many chessboards being played out right now. What we see on the chessboard in Donbas in the east of Ukraine is a tactical advantage for Putin. So, many chess boards are being played at once that we have to watch.

Times Radio’s host Carole Walker then asked: “You mean, you think that Putin has made a fatal miscalculation in thinking that the West will lose the stomach for this fight?”

Dr Green answered: “I think he probably has, and I’m quite certain he did not expect that Japan on the other side of the globe or Singapore, or Korea would impose such tough sanctions on him.”

 

Dr Green continued: “And the Chinese, which gave, you know, Xi Jinping met with Putin for a full day before the Beijing Olympics, issued a joint statement with Putin declaring that the China-Russia relationship has no limits. So, he clearly gave at least a flashing green light to Putin to do this. And China is now paying a geopolitical cost. Whether China pushes Putin to back off or not remains to be seen.

“But what I would argue is the tactical games on the battlefield are in Putin’s advantage for now. But there will be back and forth seesaw fighting. But meanwhile, Putin’s gamble, the international community will blink first, that’s one race underway, will we tire of this.  But the other is will the Russian people, granted they’re under his fist, will they tire of the sanctions which are going to continue to grow?

“And essentially, the elimination of Russia from the international community. If you go to an international sporting event, you do not see Russia. It has been erased from the international community.”

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“And the brain drain of bright and talented technology exports from Russia. All of this is also happening and is draining power out of Putin’s Russia at the same time. Which one of these things, you know, breaks first? We don’t know. But it’s not all about what’s happening on the battlefield.”

Dr Green’s warning comes as the strategic city of Severerodonetsk in the Donbas region could fall under Russian military control with a high death toll among Russian soldiers. An unnamed Western official told BBC that Russian deaths could now be as high as 20,000, according to their estimate.

Petro Kuzyv, a commander of the National Guard, said he hopes the arrival of heavy weapons could “turn the tide” to Ukraine’s advantage.

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