Staunton, October 19 – Vladimir Putin finds himself “in a mousetrap where the free cheese is already eaten” and where prospects for more put him at risk at home and abroad, Dmitry Oreshkin says, a poetic way of saying that his easy victories are now behind him and that any new ones will be harder or even impossible to achieve.
In an interview with Ukraine’s ONLINE news agency, the Russian commentator argues that “Putin’s Russia is condemned to lose to the West” both because the West’s “’soft power’” is so much greater and because the West now understands Putin and his approach far better now (news.online.ua/756381/putin-popal-v-myshelovku-gde-besplatnyy-syr-uzhe-seli-rossiyskiy-politolog-oreshkin/
What remains for Putin? “Only pathetic rhetoric” and playing the nuclear card. But “this policy is becoming ever more paranoid, less constructive and ever more hysterical. People aren’t idiots,” and they are slowly but surely forgetting their enthusiasm about the annexation of Crimea.
Could Putin attack Latvia? The answer is no. Could he expand the war in Ukraine? Again now because “everyone is ready for this.” What can he do to “raise his rating? Only by using propaganda and buying votes in the West.” But those who must deal with him can hardly be comfortable.
All of Putin’s talk about nuclear war can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, Oreshkin concludes, something extraordinarily “dangerous for all countries and in the first instance for the Russian Federation itself.”