Vladimir Putin

The Inexorable Logic of Dictators

Featured image Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its rapid stall out from effective Ukrainian resistance, there has been a lot of talk, backed up with appropriate quotes from Sun Tzu and other classic authors on strategy, that we need to contrive some kind of graceful “offramp” for Putin. This seems like unpromising advice. Time to recall once again the counsel of Churchill, made for a foolishly hopeful American »

“Never mind”

Featured image In a nearby post John documented President Biden’s call at the Royal Castle in Warsaw for Vladimir Putin’s removal from power. John’s post includes the video. The White House has posted the transcript here. At the conclusion of what must have seemed an eternity — video of the speech runs 25 minutes — Biden pronounced: “For God’s sake, this man [i.e., Putin] cannot remain in power.” Those who work for »

Trump on Ukraine, Oil Prices, China, and the Rest

Featured image Remember how everyone said Trump was Putin’s poodle, and an isolationist to boot? Worth taking in his interview this morning with Stuart Varney on Fox Business: So much for the “Trump as isolationist Russian stooge.” You get a good sense here why Putin didn’t invade Ukraine on Trump’s watch. »

The madness of Vlad the inhaler

Featured image Vladimir Putin is willing to destroy Ukraine to express his love of the Russian people. He spoke on Wednesday at a “Meeting on socioeconomic support for regions” via videoconference, on socioeconomic support for the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. He spoke for some 37 minutes and took up a variety of issues bearing on his war on Ukraine. At the moment video of the full speech with inadequate translation »

Zelensky speaks

Featured image Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a press conference under dire circumstances yesterday speaking in Russian, Ukrainian, and English. He fielded questions for 55 minutes. I would like to post the whole thing for your information, but have only been able to find clips such as the 90-second highlight reel below. As the fate of Ukraine hangs in the balance Zelensky is the man of the hour. He harks back to »

Has Putin Botched the War?

Featured image Here’s an interesting Twitter thread from someone named Riho Terras, a member of the European Parliament, posted a few hours ago. Obviously we’re not in any position to vouch for the accuracy of this thread (and some of it seems dubious), but pass it along in the interest of broad coverage: THREAD 1/7 Intel from a Ukrainian officer about a meeting in Putin’s lair in Urals. Oligarchs convened there so »

Media Closing Ranks Around Biden on Ukraine

Featured image Scott noted here that it has taken over 80 years, but Hollywood finally got round to exonerating Neville Chamberlain for his malfeasance in Munich in 1938. Today’s media isn’t even waiting 80 hours to exonerate President Biden. They are already declaring this to be Biden’s finest hour. Behold the Washington Post just three days ago: With or without war, Ukraine gives Biden a new lease on leadership Six months ago, »

How Biden abets Putin’s power play against Europe

Featured image With winter approaching, Europe is facing an energy crisis. To a significant degree, Vladimir Putin is orchestrating it. Josh Rogin observes that Putin has been refusing to respond swiftly to requests by Europeans for more gas. He is also probably behind the migrant crisis along the Belarus-Poland border. As a result of that crisis, as John noted yesterday, the Belarus president has threatened to close down a key gas pipeline »

And now, the Putin factor

Featured image Axios’s Jonathan Swan reports that Tucker Carlson was talking to U.S.-based Kremlin intermediaries about setting up an interview with Vladimir Putin shortly before Tucker accused the National Security Agency of monitoring his electronic communications for nefarious purposes — according to “sources familiar with the conversations.” Draw your own conclusions from this: The NSA’s public statement didn’t directly deny that any Carlson communications had been swept up by the agency. • »

Washington Post confesses error on the Russia collusion story

Featured image It’s not an explicit confession of error, of course, but consider this line that appears well into a report about Joe Biden’s meeting with Vladimir Putin: “Putin’s high hopes for Trump delivered little for Moscow.” How can that be? The Post, the Democrats, and more than a few Never Trumpers told us that Trump colluded with Putin. Had that been true, Trump would have delivered for Moscow or else been »

Those 16 sectors

Featured image Whatever President Biden had to say at his press conference after his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Geneva yesterday, it wasn’t worth the price. The price, that is, of giving Putin a stage on which to disparage the United States with a variety of left-wing talking points. Moreover, if Biden said to Putin what he said he said — the White House has posted the text of Biden’s comments here »

Navalny speaks

Featured image I wrote about Vladimir Putin’s poisoning of Alex Navalny in “Inside Putin’s underpants op.” It’s an incredible story. For background I recommend Leonid Bershidsky’s January 18 Bloomberg column “Navalny vs. Putin is an epic existential battle.” Perhaps even more incredible is Navalny’s subsequent return to Russia. Bershidsky’s column on Navalny’s return is here. Having returned to Russia, Navalny has now been sentenced to prison for three and a half years. »

Inside Putin’s underpants op

Featured image I don’t recall reading anything like Paul Roderick Gregory’s Hill column — “The Kremlin, FSB, and the ‘Berlin patient’s’ underpants” — and related news stories. The Coen Brothers could turn it to good use in a film like Burn After Reading. Gregory tells how Vladimir Putin’s would-be assassination victim Aleksei Navalny extracted an account of the operation from the failed FSB assassin Konstantin Kudryavtsev himself. In a four-hour December 17 »

Notice this (2)

Featured image It is simply false to assert that we rely on Bill Browder’s word for the facts related to the torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky. We have Magnitsky’s own account preserved in diary and court records, among other things and we have the witnesses who can be heard in Justice for Sergei, the documentary film I have embedded below. Several versions of the film can be viewed free of charge »

Trump’s incredible take on Putin’s “incredible offer”

Featured image I’ve commented on two appalling aspects of Trump’s Helsinki news conference — his placing equal blame on the United States for the problematic state of Russian–American relations and his refusal to side with his own intelligence appointees on the matter of Russia’s cyberespionage. Andy McCarthy finds it even more mind-boggling that Trump touted Putin’s “incredible offer” to have Robert Mueller’s team come to Russia to work with Russian investigators regarding »

What Putin was up to

Featured image In this Wall Street Journal op-ed, Michael Mukasey questioned the timing of Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians on the eve of the Helsinki summit. I discussed the matter here. In the same op-ed, Mukasey made another important point, one that has influenced my thinking on Russian interference since January 2017, when an experienced intelligence hand articulated it to me: If we know the Russians hacked the Democrats, it’s probably »

Putin does Fox News

Featured image Vladimir Putin sat down for a 30-minute interview with Chris Wallace for broadcast on FOX News yesterday. Putin is of course an extraordinarily cold-blooded liar and murderer. See, for example, David Satter’s The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep. I thought that Putin’s qualities of character emerged with some clarity in the course of the interview. Putin’s treatment of responsibility for Russian interference in the 2016 election is of »