The West is in the midst of high-stakes hostage negotiations with a trillionaire who has the third-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons on the planet. The West has naively defined the terms of the debate, believing that Putin is attempting to rebuild the former USSR.
The West has waged an economic war and is winning a media war and a proxy war. It will shortly have poured $1 trillion into Ukraine with aid and weapons, believing it can also win the proxy war as it did in Afghanistan, an effort that helped to dismantle the former Soviet Union in humiliation.
The only problem is, the West is playing Russian roulette with a trapped rat that can attack its throat with nuclear weapons. Western leaders do not comprehend why Putin is doing what he is doing in Ukraine. It may end up being the biggest mistake of the 21st century.
Russia has lost 81 planes, 95 helicopters, 404 tanks, 150 artillery and 1,279 armored vehicles. A total of 13,500 troops have been killed in Ukraine. The media is seeing this as a tremendous victory for the Ukrainians. But it could be just the opposite.
It could cause Putin to accelerate the devastation. Remember, Putin thinks he's fighting for Mother Russia and its very existence. That's where the employment of nuclear weapons comes into the picture, and Putin may not have any conscience about using them.
The war in Ukraine is only in its fourth week. It took the Nazis longer than that to conquer Poland. The media suggests that Putin has already lost the war and can't possibly win it.
Putin is not going to be insulted or humiliated into submission. He will double down. Putin believes he is fighting for the survival of the motherland. There is no question that he'll go to whatever extreme is necessary to survive, including using nuclear weapons.
Russia's president is fighting for the survival of Russia and believes he alone is able to save her. In his mind, he is not the aggressor, but the defender of the motherland. He believes he is defending the true values of the Orthodox faith and social values. The Ukrainians are Slavic first cousins, but everything they're modeling out is infecting the Russian people like COVID.
Putin sees the entire world as waging a war against Russia to annihilate it. The Russians have seen Ukrainians with prosperity, driving fancy cars, wearing fashionable clothes, taking vacations all over the world, living in lovely homes, and Putin knows the Russians want the same thing. In his view, the nationalism of Ukrainians is Naziism. He is referring to the time in World War II when Ukrainians aligned with the Nazis.
He sees his holy cause as the only way Russia will survive. In his mind, President Zelenskyy is a Jewish gypsy who is not even Ukrainian. The fall of the Soviet Union put Russia on ice. Their cultural values were over. A psychological depression infected the nation. The country punched into revolutionary remorse, shutting down all its symbols.
The Soviet red flag was replaced with a white, blue and red flag. The state seal was replaced with a two-headed eagle. The national anthem was scrapped in favor of a patriotic song. In Putin's mind, he's staring at the grave of Mother Russia, and he and he alone must save her.
Putin really believes he is the savior of the Orthodox Church of the world. He also believes he's the savior of the world and that Ukraine is an existential threat to Russia. Since the Orange Revolution of 2004, Putin sees the European Union and America as backers of a pro-democracy movement.
He saw the West successfully bring Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland into NATO in 1999. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were added in 2004 and in 2008. NATO even considered admitting Georgia and Ukraine.
George W. Bush supported this, but France and Germany opposed it. One Russian newspaper reported that Putin while speaking with Bush hinted that if Ukraine was accepted into NATO, it would cease to exist. In the last decade, the U.S. has invested close to $10 billion in Ukraine to promote democracy, funding more than 60 projects. Putin believes the objective is quite clear: to bury Mother Russia.
He sees what's transpired in Ukraine with its nationalism movement as 100 times more serious a crisis for Russia than America's Cuban Missile Crisis. Putin is a trapped rat in a corner believing that he and he alone can save Russia. He will, in fact, use nuclear weapons if he believes that it's the only alternative.
Putin has put his nuclear weapons on heightened alert, and he has almost half the nuclear weapons of the entire world. That's over 6,255 of the 13,080 in the world, and America has 5,550.
Mike Evans is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and No. 1 New York Times bestselling author with 108 published books. He is the founder of the Friends of Zion Heritage Center in Jerusalem, the Ten Boom Holocaust Museum in Haarlem, Holland, and the Jerusalem Prayer Team, the largest religious Facebook page in the world.
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