When Dictators Die

Rumors of impending death… and rumors of expedited death. Either way, if a man believes he is likely to die anyway, he is less likely to be concerned about any number of deaths that may occur incidental to his own. Nuclear war? No skin off his teeth!

Russian Veterans of Ukraine Invasion Will Return to Russia in Darknesss

Suppressing the anger of families who lost sons in a foreign war does not end well, as Russia learned in the 1980s when the Soviet Union still existed and there were similar laws regarding notification of families and criticism of the war in Afghanistan. Russia lost 15,000 dead during the eight years of Afghan fighting back then and it is common knowledge that more than that have been lost during two months in Ukraine.

The Russian government no longer speaks of “liberating” all of Ukraine but a senior Russian general has announced that Donbas and the Ukrainian Black Sea coast will be taken. That better happen soon because more and more veterans of the Ukrainian war are returning home. Many of them were badly wounded and released from service with warnings to keep quiet about what happened. For most veterans silence is not an option and the strict Soviet-era rules and all-powerful KGB no longer exist. These veterans were born after the Soviet Union collapsed and have no nostalgia for the lost empire, especially after facing those “fascist” Ukrainians and discovering that the Russian liberators were considered the Nazi invaders by Ukrainians who were not fighting for NATO but to maintain their independence. Not all the Russian veterans agreed with that but they could not deny what they encountered and it was news that finds more and more believers inside Russia.

Chickens Come Home to Roost

Every direction Russia looks, trouble looms. Economically, politically, demographically, militarily, and especially morally, Russia is on a rapid decline thanks to the choices that have been made by an ailing Putin.

We should not be surprised to see Russian soldiers looting everything of value they can find inside Ukraine. Looting is better than raping, murdering, arson, and wholesale destruction. Besides, looting and thieving can be considered cultural traits in Russia. If you criticize this behavior, you are being a racist.

Russia’s top leadership is all Soviet-era born and raised. Their thinking was shaped by a Soviet miasma that left a permanent warping. But the younger generations have no such shapings. Instinctively, they have no loyalty to the fever dreams of former KGB agents who temporarily rule Russia today. When given a chance, they will mutiny If forced to do so, they will actively rebel. They will not be thinking the consequences through to the end, but while the insurrection lasts it will be sufficiently hot to burn the established order.

Perhaps Putin knows he is dying, and is grasping at a last chance for some grand legacy he imagines can last through the inevitable devastation that Russia faces. He is old, yes. He is ill, yes. He may even be somewhat demented by now. The misery he brings in his wake is just as real.

Weak minds grasp onto the megalomaniacs in public view, as a strong anchor for their world views. Putin attracts a wide range of weaklings in his coterie and his fan clubs around the world. By latching onto the dictator they can imagine themselves as strong somehow. Just like fans of Hitler imagined. But dictators die. And weaklings remain weak, as they always were.

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