‘Putin’s Bloody Folly in Ukraine’

David Remnick, writing for The New Yorker:

Like many aging autocrats, Putin has, over time, remained himself, only more so: more resentful, more isolated, more repressive, more ruthless. He operates in an airless political environment, free of contrary counsel. His stagecraft — seating foreign visitors at the opposite end of a twenty-foot-long table, humiliating security chiefs in front of television cameras — is a blend of “Triumph of the Will” and “The Great Dictator.” But there is nothing comic in the performance of his office. As Putin spills blood across Ukraine and threatens to destabilize Europe, Russians themselves stand to lose immeasurably. The ruble and the Russian stock market have cratered. But Putin does not care. His eyes are fixed on matters far grander than the well-being of his people. He is in full command of the largest army in Europe, and, as he has reminded the world, of an immense arsenal of nuclear weapons. In his mind, this is his moment, his triumphal historical drama, and damn the cost.

See (and hear) also: Shumita Basu, co-host of Apple News Today, talked to Remnick about the Ukraine crisis in a short, sharp, insightful interview. “It’s madness,” said Remnick, of the logic behind Putin’s invasion.

Sunday, 27 February 2022