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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin with No Good Choices Left on Ukraine will Simply Keep Raising the Stakes, Okun Says

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Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 19 – For Putin and his regime who have been driven into a corner in Ukraine, “there do not remain any good choices, Andrey Okun says. And in their absence, he will simply keep raising the stakes, even though none of the steps he is likely to take will “lead to a clear victory for Russia in its war with Ukraine.”

            The St. Petersburg commentator says he will do this because he sees no other way than acting in that way in the misplaced hope that by doing so, something will turn up and that his aggression against Ukraine will thus somehow be vindicated (

            While Putin himself may still believe that victory is possible, Okun says, ever more of those around him doubt that will happen. But they will continue to support escalation for the same reason that Putin does, out of a belief that China or Iran or someone else will do something that will allow Russia to pull out a victory or at least something that looks like that.

            The series of strategic mistakes the Kremlin has made have left it “with no other escape routes,” the commentator continues. “After eight months of war, they have nothing to offer the population as a victory trophy or any real proof that this entire war was anything but meaningless” and more than that disastrous.

            Russia is no longer in a position to dictate the results or control the situation. The fact that Putin had to declare mobilization after promising not to shows how far things have gone. Putin and his regime cannot agree on a truce because Ukraine won’t agree to yield territories, and so he will continue to fight despite the costs.

            According to Okun, “Russia is slowly being squeezed to the point where it will likely go for broke and throw all its cards on the table? What’s next in that event? Sending an army of a million toward Kyiv? But that won’t guarantee a victory but only massive losses for the Rusisan side.

            Or will Putin use nuclear weapons? That will put an end to things, but it won’t give him a victory. Instead, he, his regime, and his country will be “wiped off the face of the earth” as a result of Western retaliation.

Window on Eurasia — New Series

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