An Aging Vladimir Putin Hopes War Can Make a Sagging Empire Rise Again
There are few things more dangerous than the nostalgia of old men. We see the consequences of their longing for time gone by wherever we look around the globe today. In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro seems to yearn for a country more like that of his youth, when he was a freshly-minted artillery officer and a military junta ruled without the slightest concern for the will of the people. India’s 71-year-old prime minister Narendra Modi spent his youth as a member of a right wing Hindu nationalist paramilitary organization that drew its inspiration from the Italian Fascist Party and its imprint can be seen clearly as Modi has led the country throughout his tenure toward n
© Sergey Pivovarov many Russian armed means are posted not far from Ukrainian borders (illustration). Reuters / Sergey Pivovarov
The tension seems to rise again a notch in this war of declarations
between Russia and the United States. "We are at a stage where Russia can launch an attack in Ukraine at any time," said the White House spokesperson on Tuesday, speaking of an "extremely dangerous situation". "No options are excluded" American side to respond to such an attack, "said Psaki, interviewed in particular on an exclusion from Russia" SWIFT ", a secure circuit of international bank transfers. Widely unknown to the general public, SWIFT is a key rolling of global finance: this company, without real competitor, provides banks with a standardized language to communicate, but also a secure, automated and fast network to circulate these messages. A manager of the US State Department alerted of Russian troop movements Tuesday at Belarus
, near Ukraine. "The fact that we observed these movements in Belarus clearly gives Russians a new approach, if they decided to undertake military actions further against Ukraine," she detailed. The United States is thus worried about a project of constitutional reform in Belarus which would allow a roll-up of Russian nuclear weapons in this border country of Ukraine and Poland. The Russo-Belarus military exercises announced Tuesday by the Belarus "go well beyond the normal" and could announce a permanent military presence of Russia in this former Soviet Republic remained one of the closest allies of Moscow, said the press this responsible for requiring anonymity. At the end of last weekend, Washington had already accused Moscow for sending themselves to Ukraine to conduct "sabotage" operations to create a "pretext" for an invasion. "Serious consequences" in case of invasion of Ukraine that always more alarmist from the United States coincides with the launch of a new attempt to dialogue with Russia. The leader of American diplomacy Antony Blinken will meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, Friday in Geneva, to try to seek "an exit door". Prior to this, Antony Blinken is expected Wednesday in Kiev in an explosive context, Russia having deployed tens of thousands of military on the Ukrainian border. The US Secretary will then visit Berlin for discussions with the United Kingdom, France and Germany on Ukraine, Westerners who have warned Russia that it would expose themselves to serious consequences for invasion of Ukrainian territory. Another sanction regularly mentioned against Russia would be to hit the North Stream 2
gas pipeline, which opens in Germany. Jen Psaki repeated Tuesday that aimed at this infrastructure, which does not yet work, would constitute a "credible" lever against Russia, while Berlin expressed reluctance to this idea. While Ukraine and its allies fear a Russian invasion, negotiations last week in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna have only allowed the gap between Moscow and Westerners.
Putin Is So Dangerous Now Because This Is His Last Chance to Seize Ukraine .
Russia’s sudden escalation around Ukraine has taken some by surprise, but the logic behind it may be deceptively simple: This winter could be Russia’s last chance to attack Ukraine. Russian military forces are amassed to Ukraine’s east, north, and south, and Ukraine’s leadership is making preparations for war. The Biden administration believes that an invasion is imminent, evacuating the U.S. embassy and readying forces to be deployed. The greatest logistical barrier to Russia’s advance is mud, and that may be frozen over before long.If Putin acts he will be inviting a cavalcade of sanctions and even military resistance from the West.