Ukraine invasion is a 'religious event' for Putin says Colonel
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The Putin administration now faces unprecedented pressure, both from within Ukrainian territory and at home, to end its invasion. A determined local population and army have successfully stemmed the tide of invading Russians, with their military campaign stalling en route to Kyiv. Western sanctions have collapsed the ruble, a fact that might have deterred any other leader, but Putin is uniquely dangerous, experts claim.
Not only is the Russian premier unlikely to call off his forces, but he also poses a threat to the world’s nuclear failsafe.
During mass proliferation in the 20th century, the US and USSR built the bulk of their respective warhead supplies to the point that, if launched simultaneously, they could destroy the world several times over.
The risk of this became a deterrent of war known as “mutually assured destruction”, or MAD for short.
Although they have ceased proliferating and started decreasing warhead stocks, the threat of MAD remains, now undermined by Putin.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Erika Simpson, an associate professor at Western University Canada’s department of political science, said the Russian President is the “biggest risk” in the current crisis.
He is “irrational”, Professor Simpson said, a quality that endangers the mechanisms that underpin MAD.
The policy, she added, is “undergirded by the assumption that decision-makers at the apex of command and control are able to reason rationally”.
World leaders have drawn similar conclusions, according to officials in Europe and the US.
Emmanuel Macron, who has become Putin’s go-to within the EU, was among those who noticed a change in his Russian counterpart.
He described the tone of his invasion announcement as “rigid and paranoid” while he appeared increasingly isolated.
And French EU Parliament lawmaker Bernard Guetta noticed a similar change.
He claimed Putin has “lost touch” with realities in the US, Western Europe, Ukraine and his native Russia.
That narrative has also drifted further west, where US officials are picking up on Putin’s changing frame of mind.
Ex-CIA chief Robert Gates claimed he has “gone off the rails”, while Condoleezza Rice told Fox News he appeared “erratic”.
Experts have proffered a clutch of explanations for his changing mental state, most of which suggest he has become isolated.
They believe the pandemic has kept him separated from the general public, which American intelligence has confirmed.
Reports suggest Russian state intelligence built a Covid-free bubble around the President, who has held most of his meetings online.
Even now, he retains a degree of separation during in-person meetings, entertaining guests at his behemoth 20-foot long table.
US officials have provided a brief to Congress and the White House that explains his career as a KGB agent helped focus much of his paranoia.
This, in turn, has led him to “double down” when he feels trapped, causing his recent heightened rhetoric and threats issued to the west.
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