Categories
Selected Articles Review

RUSSIAN REQUIEM: Putin’s crumbling mafia state worse than USSR


BREZHNEV-e1666371327509.jpg?quality=100&

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

COME BACK, LEONID, ALL IS FORGIVEN: A new study says things are now worse in Russia than during the Cold War. Former Soviet pooh bah, Leonid Brezhnev. COME BACK, LEONID, ALL IS FORGIVEN: A new study says things are now worse in Russia than during the Cold War. Former Soviet pooh bah, Leonid Brezhnev.

Come back, Leonid Brezhnev, all is forgiven.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Security experts say in a new report, Vladimir Putin’s Russian World Turned Upside Down, that things are now much worse in Russia than during the implosion of the Soviet Union.

opening envelope

From our newsroom to your inbox at noon, the latest headlines, stories, opinion and photos from the Toronto Sun.

By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

We encountered an issue signing you up. Please try again

Russia’s ill-starred invasion of Ukraine — destined to make Vladimir Putin’s country an international pariah for generations — has only exposed its shambolic demise.

Professor David Gioe, from King College London, and former British defence official, Dr. William Styles, argue Russia is going down the drain.

TRUST ME: Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address in Manezh in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 1, 2018.

TRUST ME: Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address in Manezh in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 1, 2018.

Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko

/

AP

THE WAR IN UKRAINE 1.0

The paper argues that the bloodbath in Ukraine — which has seen Putin’s military slaughtered by the thousands — was a “strategic blunder of such magnitude” the country is in its worst shape in a generation.

“Putin’s miscalculation in Ukraine has weakened Russia at an elemental level, setting it back decades across all measurable and intangible axes of political, military, and economic power, hobbling Russian statecraft and strategic action for decades,” the new study said.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Russian Foreign Ministry is seen behind a social advertisement billboard showing Z letters — a tactical insignia of Russian troops in Ukraine and reading “Victory is being Forged in Fire” in Moscow on Oct. 13, 2022.

Russian Foreign Ministry is seen behind a social advertisement billboard showing Z letters — a tactical insignia of Russian troops in Ukraine and reading “Victory is being Forged in Fire” in Moscow on Oct. 13, 2022.

Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV

/

AFP via Getty Images

WAR DEAD

Putin’s disastrous invasion has seen a staggering number of casualties and is being compared to Hitler’s 1941 invasion of Russia in terms of military folly. The study estimates at least 65,000 casualties so far, but Kyiv has put the death toll around 80,000. Thousands of tanks and helicopters have also been lost. It notes: “Russia has irredeemably failed.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a screen set at Red Square as he addresses a rally and a concert marking the annexation of four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy — Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, in central Moscow on Sept. 30, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a screen set at Red Square as he addresses a rally and a concert marking the annexation of four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy — Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, in central Moscow on Sept. 30, 2022.

Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV

/

AFP via Getty Images

IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID

Russia’s humiliation hasn’t just been just on the battlefield. Western sanctions that kicked off soon after Putin slammed Ukraine have pulverized the Russian economy. The warlord can’t even access key components to make weapons of war.

Recommended video

In short: “Put simply, there is no military, economic, intelligence, diplomatic dimension, and no aspect of Russian civil society, that will not be negatively impacted, if only indirectly, by Putin’s misjudgment in Ukraine.”

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Russian soldiers stand on Red Square in central Moscow on Sept. 29, 2022, as the square is sealed prior to a ceremony of the incorporation of the new territories into Russia.

Russian soldiers stand on Red Square in central Moscow on Sept. 29, 2022, as the square is sealed prior to a ceremony of the incorporation of the new territories into Russia.

Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV

/

AFP via Getty Images

PARIAH 2.0

Russia’s stature on the diplomatic front is also at low ebb because of the attack on Ukraine. “[Putin’s] blunder has caused catastrophic harm to Russia across every facet of statecraft in the short term, and, moreover, has imperilled Russian development and prosperity for the future,” the report said.

“The ever-larger accounting of crimes and atrocities has further damaged the legitimacy of Russia as a state in the international system, cementing its pariah status.”

INTELLIGENCE FAILURE: Natasha, Boris and Fearless Leader. JAY WARD

INTELLIGENCE FAILURE: Natasha, Boris and Fearless Leader. JAY WARD

SPY VS. SPY

Experts have pointed to lousy intelligence for Russia’s quagmire. “Typically Putin’s favourite tool on the international stage, internal squabbling and blame shifting has severely damaged Russian intelligence capabilities,” the report said. “It has also faced considerable crises in the way of cyberattacks exposing vast swathes of data on the Kremlin’s security apparatus.”

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Plus: Ukraine decapitated Russian intelligence operations before the invasion.

CORRUPT? WHO? US? The alleged head of the Russian mafia, Semyon Mogilevich, who is currently under investigation by the FBI and Interpol. That is if he’s alive.

CORRUPT? WHO? US? The alleged head of the Russian mafia, Semyon Mogilevich, who is currently under investigation by the FBI and Interpol. That is if he’s alive.

McMAFIA

Russia as a country is “fundamentally kleptocratic and corrupt.” This thievery has left Putin’s forces underequipped, with little food and triggered a slew of other logistical nightmares. His vaunted but “totally chaotic” conscription drive has left the newbies using Cold War-era equipment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin watches a test launch of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile at Plesetsk cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region, via video link in Moscow, Russia, April 20, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin watches a test launch of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile at Plesetsk cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region, via video link in Moscow, Russia, April 20, 2022.

Photo by Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev

/

Kremlin via REUTERS

VLAD ALONE

Increasingly isolated, Putin’s decisions are said to be “uninformed” because of obsequious cronies telling the aspiring czar only what he wants to hear. “The [Russian] morale has gone,” the report said.

“You’ve got soldiers who simply don’t want to fight — these guys were told they would be welcomed with open arms by cheering crowds and the so-called ‘Ukrainian Nazis’ would collapse. Why should they die for Putin’s adventure?”

WINTER IS COMING: Russia will find the going hard this winter, as the Night Watch did in Game of Thrones. HBO

WINTER IS COMING: Russia will find the going hard this winter, as the Night Watch did in Game of Thrones. HBO

WINTER IS COMING

“If the winter is cold enough for the ground to freeze, then the Ukrainians will keep motoring,” Sir Richard told The UK Sun Online, adding that the famous “rasputitsa” rains will turn battlefields into a muddy nightmare.

“The Ukrainians are well-prepared, they’ve got the clothing, they’ve got the kit, and they’ve got the morale and the motivation — they are not going to stop.”

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun