Ukraine War Took Vladimir Putin From Steely-Eyed KGB Man to Military Bumbler

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

The Ukraine War scenes of Russian soldiers crying in shame and main battle tanks abandoned due to lack of fuel tell the story of a war gone seriously wrong for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.


Scenes like these aren’t uncommon:

“Amateurs study strategy,” the old saw goes. “Professionals study logistics.”

The “reformed” Russian Army can’t get its Ukraine War logistics straight, can’t keep their vehicles fueled. What a bunch of amateurs.

This next clip is heart-wrenching. It’s a captured Russian soldier crying after being told by locals that he isn’t welcome in Ukraine.

“Most people get it,” wrote one Twitterer. “He’s just a kid [who] has no idea what he’s doing or why.”


Russia and Ukraine have so much in common, historically and culturally. That’s why it was so sad to read reports of “hundreds of captured soldiers who are here in Ukraine don’t know why they were sent here to kill people or to be killed.”

Currently, the Russian Army has been reduced to terror attacks in Putin’s Ukraine War, launching rockets and ballistic missiles against civilian areas and even tank shells fired into apartment buildings.

There are also scenes of unexploded bombs and rocket warheads that eventually will have to be painstakingly disarmed and removed by bomb disposal teams. People get killed doing that.

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For all of Putin’s Ukraine War propaganda about Ukraine somehow being filled with Nazis, the scenes on the ground tell quite a different story.

ASIDE: I had a reader last week chastise me for calling a Putin a thug and then they insisted that Ukraine isn’t even a real nation, just an imaginary construct. Well, Putin is a thug, as demonstrated time and time again. And for an imaginary construct, Ukraine has shown a strong enough national identity to stand up as one and take the worst Putin could dish out. So please don’t bore me with any more pro-Putin propaganda.

That’s not to say Putin and the Russian military still can’t get a win. A few important successes on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast already complicate Ukraine’s supply and logistical situation, and if Kyiv falls then all bets are off.

Besides, an insurgency — Ukraine’s best hope at national survival in case of a devastating loss — could be hard to maintain with the West’s limited attention span.

This Ukraine War isn’t over yet and Putin still has a couple of aces up his sleeve.

And yet…

Putin had hoped for a quick and decisive win, as the U.S. military did to Iraq in 1991. What he’s getting is more like the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1979: A brutal mess that might go on for a long time. Despite all the Kremlin’s pre-war anti-Ukraine propaganda, about the only Russian who seems interested in winning this war is Putin himself.


The soldiers certainly don’t seem to be that into the Ukraine War. Senior officers clearly didn’t plan well, and junior officer execution has been lacking.

That’s no way to take a country to war, but Putin did it anyway.

Putin didn’t account for Ukraine’s heroic resistance. Putin failed to plan for anything other than a fast and epic win. Putin didn’t count on the West shutting off much of Russia’s economy from the world, nor for our willingness to arm the defenders.

Putin expected to own all of Ukraine by the end of the weekend, with the West still reeling before any kind of response could be mustered.

Vladimir Putin just committed a publicly humiliating self-own — with a serious body count of Ukrainians and Russians alike.

He went from steely-eyed KGB man to flailing Ukraine War leader in the space of three days — and the only person Vlad has to blame is Vlad, himself.

Guess what: All of Russia will blame him, correctly, for their national humiliation.

Watch your back, Vladimir.


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