Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 349

Putin’s three key mistakes in Ukraine

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 28 febbraio 2022

Making predictions in the heat of war is usually a fool’s errand—something that may be dawning on Vladimir Putin. The first few days of fighting have not gone as the Russian autocrat would have forecast. Especially in their cities, Ukrainians have mounted a brave defence. The leadership of Volodymyr Zelensky, somewhat unexpectedly, has proved inspiring. We are more sure than ever that Mr Putin has blundered, both in launching a murderous—and unprovoked—attack on a democratic neighbour, but also in his misconduct of the war so far. Russian control of Ukrainian airspace is still not achieved. One measure of Mr Putin’s lack of confidence and shock at Western opposition: the announcement on February 27th that Russia’s nuclear forces have been put on a heightened level of alertness. Nonetheless, given Russia’s overwhelming forces and Mr Putin’s ruthless nature, expect the invaders to make gains in the coming days. The attacks on Kyiv will grow fiercer. One consequence of that? Growing anger in the West—among ordinary people as well as national leaders. More military gear, including, remarkably, anti-tank rockets and Stinger missiles from Germany, is heading to Ukraine. Sanctions on Russia are becoming more severe. Beyond the exclusion of some Russian banks from the SWIFT system, more serious are the efforts by Europe and America to stop Russia’s central bank accessing much of its $600bn-plus in foreign reserves. Watch on Monday how markets react to that. It’s unlikely to be pretty for Russia, especially the rouble. Some sort of Russian retaliation towards the West should be expected. The price of oil and gas could yet surge.The war in Ukraine may leave little time for other stories. But I’ll note one thing we got right recently: Ketanji Brown Jackson is indeed Mr Biden’s pick for the Supreme Court, as we had suggested was likely.Thanks again for all of your kind feedback. Quite a few of you argued that it is wrong to put all the blame for this war on Mr Putin. David Hillstrom points to NATO’s eastward expansion as somehow the cause of Russia’s “bunker mentality”. I respectfully disagree. Invading a sovereign country because you don’t like its elected government is entirely unjustified. Professor Jan Maciejowski, from Cambridge, suggests Mr Putin is only guided by fellow military and security officials and fails to realise how big a mistake he has made. And James F. Strother tells us of how he has enjoyed our coverage of the Middle East, in particular, since he was an American naval intelligence officer in the early 1960s. And you’re welcome to follow me on Twitter, at @ARobertsjourno. Adam Roberts Digital editor The Economist

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