A Foreign Relations Expert Said Vladimir Putin Is Living A “Nightmare” As Reports Claimed That Russian Soldiers Possibly Revolting, Surrendering, Even “Sabotaging Their Own Vehicles Rather Than Fighting”

It's clear that this is not going according to his plan.

697 points

I think it’s pretty safe to say that the war waged against the country of Ukraine by Russian dictatorial President Vladimir Putin is not going down quite the way anyone expected. To put it frankly, the Ukrainian people are showing more fire, resilience, willpower, pride, and determination than we ever knew to be possible from any human being. You add that to the fact that many reports have indicated that Russian soldiers evidently aren’t nearly as gung-ho to participate in this violent invasion and attack, and it seems pretty damn clear that this war isn’t going down the way Putin expected either.

In an appearance on MSNBC’s Way Too Early, foreign relations expert Richard Haass analyzed some of the reports that are currently coming out of Ukraine, claiming that Russian soldiers are going so far as to sabotage their own vehicles rather than fight this war on their dictator’s behalf, and he believes it’s turning into an absolute “nightmare” for Vladimir Putin.

Haass, who currently serves as the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, spoke with MSNBC host Jonathan Lemire and did admit that the Russian invasion of Ukraine may very well be unstoppable, but that doesn’t mean it will turn out well for Putin in the end.

“If you believe Vladimir Putin, his invasion of Ukraine is going according to plan,” Lemire began, adding, “That’s a dubious assessment, but still what he said during a virtual meeting of his security council yesterday. Putin continued to push false claims that Nazis are in control of the Ukrainian government.”

“The speech was intended to push back against reports of logistical problems slowing down the Russian army as well as intelligence from the Pentagon that some Russian troops are surrendering or sabotaging their own vehicles rather than fighting,” Lemire stated before turning over to Haass for his analysis.

“I don’t think there’s any way, Jonathan, he can get his original plan back on track because that ship has sailed,” Haass stated. “He was counting on very little resistance from Ukraine, he had no respect for Zelenskyy, he thought the United States after Afghanistan had no stomach.”

“Europe he also had contempt for, particularly Germany,” the foreign relations expert went on to explain. “So he underestimated his opposition, overestimated the capability of his own forces. So now we are clearly on Plan B. Now he is basically turning to quantity, if you will, more than quality to essentially level big parts of Ukraine. But because he is who he is, because he is an autocrat, he has to be infallible. He can never admit that he made a mistake, so that’s what you had yesterday. I don’t know what the word is in Russian, but it must be something like spinsky.”

Haass went on to directly react to reports indicating that Russian soldiers have been actively sabotaging their own missions, stating, “Clearly they have more troubles. The Russians aren’t used to fighting this kind of war. This isn’t what they did in Syria — it is at a scale they’re not used to. The equipment looks old, the troops don’t look well-trained, they’re not motivated, they don’t seem to understand what it is they’re doing and why, so I think this is of a larger piece. The idea that there might be some troops sabotaging is really interesting. It doesn’t seem to be happening at scale, but this has got to be Putin’s nightmare because essentially he depends upon his security forces, not just the soldiers but obviously inside the country. That’s any autocrat’s nightmare, that as protests begin to mount that the security forces either get overwhelmed or show sympathy with the protesters.”

Will the state of the world ever truly be the same after this? I don’t know. But I can almost guarantee you that Vladimir Putin certainly will not.

Watch the MSNBC clip here:

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/The Presidential Press and Information Office, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license

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