Maddow: Putin A ‘Kleptocratic Dictator’

February 25, 2022

Entering the third day of the crazed, maladjusted invasion of Ukraine, Rachel Maddow set the standard in revealing the real asshole, piece of shit that’s Vlad Putin — a whine-fest way-anti-democratic and dangerous turd:

Rachel back in full form last night after a six-week hiatus with a precise sizing-up of Vlad and the object of the Ukraine invasion — top points via RawStory:

If you are the kleptocratic dictator sitting on top of a country that you were keeping poor and backward with no plans to do more than that for another few decades, how would you feel about a vague and culturally similar neighboring country where your population and your country had lots of family ties, lots of reason to identify with one another,” she said, adding, “And in that large, culturally similar neighboring country, they recently threw out the pro-Russia puppet later that you had installed there.”

“How does that look to you if you are Vladimir Putin?” Maddow asked. “From the corner that Vladimir Putin has painted himself into, in the country he has ruined, the threat posed by a free, democratic, western minded and modern Ukraine, that is like a skeleton hand that might grab you by the ankles if you let your foot drift too far off the edge of the bed at night.”

She added, “And yes, it is true, Russia — Russian President Vladimir Putin has delusions about being a new czar and remaking the Russian empire and reconstituting the USSR. Fine. But also, outside of the fairytale books, he also just cannot let any country near him work. Work in a way that may indicate to the Russian people that they too ought to expect their country and their government to work for them. He needs his neighboring countries to be dependent on him, to be corrupt, and to be fundamentally disappointing to their people.”

And forecasts a way-utterly horrific immediate future with a scared strongman frothing in his own mind, but has hands-on ultimate weapons — from an op/ed in the Guardian this afternoon:

Mr. Putin is acting like a thug. He is threatening the international system by taking what he wants, irrespective of the human cost.
A humanitarian crisis looms as tens of thousands of refugees cross into eastern Europe. The images beamed from the streets of Ukraine have rekindled memories of the wars of the 20th century — of a kind that once seemed unimaginable in 2022.
Many have been left to wonder: is this a new cold war? Or the beginning of a third world war? Of the two, the former is unwanted but preferable to a global conflagration.

This explains why Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s pleas for help from the west have gone unanswered. Mr Zelenskiy may get more weapons. There is also diplomatic condemnation against Russian aggression. But Ukraine will not receive any military assistance — such as a Nato-enforced no–fly zone –– that would shift the odds decisively in Ukraine’s favour.
Mr Putin’s threat to those who try to intervene with nuclear retaliation is dangerous and reckless. Only someone prepared for a war of extinction would utter such a warning.

Further with a possible nuclear dustup via Vox, also this afternoon:

When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, he also made a more nebulous threat: “No matter who tries to stand in our way or … create threats for our country and our people, they must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history.”

Another part of his speech seemed to make his meaning clear.
“Today’s Russia remains one of the most powerful nuclear states,” Putin said. As justification for the invasion, Putin also made unfounded claims that Ukraine was on a path to build its own nuclear arsenal.
“There’s no evidence of that at all,” said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

The Russian invasion has relied entirely on conventional weapons — tanks rattling down highways, bombers flying overhead, ships landing in the port city of Odesa — and experts told Vox that in the absence of a shocking escalation, that isn’t likely to change.

Still, said Kristensen, “I’m more worried than I was a week ago.”
He pointed out that NATO increased its readiness levels for “all contingencies” in response to Putin’s speech, and with increased military buildup comes increased uncertainty.
“That’s the fog of war, so to speak,” Kristensen said.
“Out of that can come twists and turns that take you down a path that you couldn’t predict a week ago.”

Russia’s roughly 5,977 warheads make it the country with the largest nuclear arsenal.
Kristensen said most of those warheads are in reserves, with only about 1,600 deployed as land, sea, and air-based weapons, such as missile silos or bombs dropped by planes. (When the USSR fell apart at the end of the Cold War, there were nuclear weapons left behind on Ukrainian soil, but Ukraine returned them to Russia.)

Despite some faint academic leanings toward non-nuclear war, this entire scenario with an unhinged monster pushing against the entire planet with everything, but apparently noting (in his mind) to lose, what could go wrong?

Vlad forecasting or what in this 2017 interview with Oliver Stone discussing the “Dr. Strangelove” film:

Yet here we are once again…

(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Agonizing Horse,’ found here)

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