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Putin’s War Will Get Uglier
A view of the square outside the damaged local city hall of Kharkiv on March 1, 2022, destroyed as a result of Russian troop shelling. (Photo by Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)
A view of the square outside the damaged local city hall of Kharkiv on March 1, 2022, destroyed as a result of Russian troop shelling. (Photo by Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)

Putin’s War Will Get Uglier

Walter Russell Mead

Vladimir Putin is beginning to understand the immense difficulty of the war he cavalierly launched in Ukraine. He knows now that his corrupt and time-serving generals lied to him about the effectiveness of the military machine they had built. He knows that the flattering “experts” who reinforced his prejudices about the weakness of Ukrainian national identity were talking through their hats. He knows that even German fecklessness has limits and that Americans still know how to fight cold wars. He has no illusions now about the power of Western economic sanctions, and he knows that families all over Russia will soon be mourning their sons as the death toll mounts in Ukraine.

He is no doubt dismayed by the cascade of bad news but appears determined to fight on. This should not surprise us. Mr. Putin also knows that his future in power, his freedom and quite possibly his life depend on the outcome of this war.

And there is something else he knows, or thinks he knows, that many in the West discount. Westerners and especially Americans believe that freedom always wins in the end. That implies Mr. Putin will fail in Ukraine and Putinism will ultimately fail in Russia because that is the way history works.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal

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