Saturday, January 21, 2023

West Wrong to Assume Putin will Act Rationally and Pragmatically in Response to Racheting Up of Pressure over Ukraine, Skobov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 20 – For most of the last year, Western governments have operated on the assumption that Vladimir Putin, having failed to win a quick victory and faced with ever more punitive Western sanctions, would make the rational and pragmatic choice to find a way out for himself by seeking a compromise, Aleksandr Skobov says.

            But Putin hasn’t done so and appears committed to pursuing his campaign in Ukraine with ever greater intensity instead, the Russian commentator says, the result of two things that give him reason to do so but that many in the West have also failed to take into consideration (

            First of all, Skobov points out, “for a very long time, Western elites refused to recognize that Putin has been waging a war not for some specific things” that might be subject to negotiation but rather for international recognition of his “’right’ to dictate” to others up to and including a right to invade them militarily. That isn’t something that can be negotiated away.

            And second, and again the West has been reluctant to acknowledge it, “Putin has something he can count on, the transformation of Russian society into one of the Nazi type, a process that has now been completed and in which a significant part of the population believe in their own superiority, impunity and right to dominate,” also not subject to negotiation.

            Moreover, Skobov says, Putin believes he can proceed because by threatening to use nuclear weapons, he will keep the West in a box because of the fears of Western leaders of a nuclear war. But it is becoming increasingly obvious, the analyst suggests, that the danger of a nuclear war will increase not decrease if Putin isn’t stopped and defeated now.


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