Updated: Mar 14, 2022
About a week ago, I stopped writing about the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. My writing couldn't keep up in real time with the events that were happening on the ground. I am still quite frankly stunned that the invasion is now encircling Kyiv. Some maps spell out that 10% of Ukraine is already under Russian Control. Why am I still stunned? Because what do you, the reader, want out of life?
I have stated this on many occasions, I write the blog on my couch in the Midwest and read, read, read. I try to weed myself through news vs. propaganda and I have a theory as to why Russia is in Ukraine, right now, right this very instant.
All of my speculation is funneled through the prism of one man and one man alone: Vladimir Putin.
Back in 1932-1933, the Holodomor, or Death by Hunger, was inflicted upon Ukraine by Joseph Stalin as he installed policies that stripped Ukrainians of their basic human rights, like the right to exist or to eat. One man in Moscow decided that 4 million Ukrainians would starve to death.
Fast forward to the 2018 World Cup, which was the most watched World Cup in history with over 3 billion viewers across the globe. Due to bad soccer on the field by both the United States and China, Russia had the spotlight all to itself and put on a great show. Their soccer team played inspired matches including a dismantling of an overmatched Saudi Arabia squad. More importantly, though, the stadiums were filled at 98% capacity with spectators from across Europe and Asia. Russia put on a textbook World Cup and showcased the country to the rest of the world in, arguably, the most positive light Russia has ever held in modern human history.
How did Russia get that 2018 World Cup? That's where our story begins. Through a little bribery and corruption, Russia obtained that World Cup way back in 2010. Now since Putin took office in the year 2000, charges of corruption have dogged Putin wherever he goes, but Russia is not the United States, it's an oligarchy, a system of government run by a handful of the rich. Corruption or no corruption, Putin wasn't going anywhere as long as his group of rich friends were in power with him.
If you asked me, back in the year 2010, who would deserve to host the World Cup, Russia wouldn't be my first answer, but they'd be in the Top 20 of answers. Putin used money as a bully pulpit for promoting Russian interests, but Russia hosting the World Cup was not egregious.
But here's my point. Just last year I wrote: Putin is Not Stalin, Putin is Bezos. Now what information do I have now that I didn't have then? I still believe that Putin was happy to simply sit on his piles and piles of money and stir up trouble in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. But something changed in Putin, something during the pandemic.....
At the beginning of the pandemic, Putin was on the front lines of the Covid battle. He challenged his scientists to attack the virus and the Sputnik vaccine was the first to actually work fairly well.
But about 6 months into the pandemic, strange things started happening in Russia: Why are Russian Coronavirus Doctors Mysteriously Falling Out of Windows? A year and a half into the pandemic: Thanks to Covid 19, Vladimir Putin has Become Nearly Invisible.
What happened to Putin as the pandemic raged on? Simple, 69 year old Vladimir Putin retreated into his Billion Dollar Bunker. Nearly everyone I know over 50 in the United States changed their lifestyles during the pandemic. Vladimir Putin decided to do the same thing in Russia.
The problem with seniors here, on a smaller level, and on a much larger level with a near 70 Putin, is that there's a mental health price tag attached to locking yourself off from the world. What are the effects of Social Isolation? According to Tulane University:
"Mental and physical health are interconnected. Social isolation’s adverse health consequences range from sleeplessness to reduced immune function. Loneliness is associated with higher anxiety, depression, and suicide rates."
Could the Ukrainian Invasion be as simple as Putin is aggravated that there's a Democracy on his doorstep and it's in, of all places, Ukraine? In Putin's mind, when he says jump, the Ukrainians should respond "how high?" Instead what Putin gets, in his head, is insolence.
Which returns us to the core question, what does Putin want out of life? I think in 2020, he was mostly satisfied with his life of being a multi-billionaire and one of the three most powerful people on the planet. During isolation, I speculate that he is now being pushed by the shadows of history. Maybe the Satanic Ghost of Stalin floats around Putin whispering in his ear.
And after reading about Putin's history rants, that's not as outlandish as I once thought. That's why Putin has arrested thousands of anti-war protesters inside Russia and that's why he arrested the head of the FSB's Foreign Service yesterday. You may not be familiar with the Holodomor, but certainly Putin is.
There is a theory that Putin is being pushed, not by the Devil, but by God to invade Ukraine. That is absurd. Watch out for people who believe that.
As a writer, I still have some self-doubts, maybe my points aren't valid or maybe I didn't do enough homework. Just last week, I wrote "but right now, Ukraine has no real path to victory."
I want Ukraine to win. I want them to push the invaders out and march to Rostov-on-Don and demand that Putin surrenders or else they're comin' to Moscow. That is a pipe dream. Even if Putin is assassinated, Ukraine still doesn't "win" unless Russia gives back Crimea and the newly formed republics. Putin's successor isn't giving back Crimea either.
So imagine my surprise when I saw this headline at CNN: This is How Ukrainians Win the Long War. I was genuinely excited, the professionals at CNN saw a path to victory that I missed. Well, that's why I'm a blogger and they're a multi-million dollar company.
I read the article by Catarina Buchatskly and she said the Ukrainians win by.....
Wait for it......
"Let's start bringing Ukrainian culture and history out of the centuries-long imperial shadow. This is how we win the long war against Russia."
You know what? I'm starting to think that I'm OVER-qualified to work at CNN.
According to Pravda, their resident warmonger, Alexander Shtorm, has praised "Russia's Special Military Operation." According to Shtorm, Putin has already ended America's Supremacy by conducting operations in Ukraine.
Listen, Poland is Poland. It is not the 51st state. Poland's future is, and should be, dictated by the Polish people. Poland didn't join NATO in 1999 due to any allegiance to America, they joined NATO because they were afraid of being invaded by their neighbor Russia.
And if Poland didn't join NATO, there would be tanks in their backyard today. (And if WWIII breaks out, Russian Tanks will be in their backyard tomorrow.)