IPOs move to China.
1. Edward Luttwak:
Russia's ruler can do many things with impunity. He can spend hugely to satisfy his whims, to enrich friends, to build extravagantly and more. The one thing he cannot do is to lose wars, as Putin has been doing since Feb 24. Now it is either mobilization or resignation. (Sources: amazon.com, @ELuttwak, twitter.com. Via andrewsullivan.substack.com)
2. Ivan Krastev:
“Special operations” are conflicts which can be lost without a population really noticing. But when you lose a war you risk losing your country. The lesson many Russians drew from the end of the cold war, for example, was that even if you are a nuclear power you should not take your survival for granted.
Predicting what happens in Moscow after Russian troops have been humiliated in Ukraine is not easy. But it is safe to say that while Putin is not in danger of losing power, he has lost his room for maneuver. The Kremlin fears that mass mobilization could reveal the internal weakness of the regime.
It could also expose the selfishness of Russian elites. In the event of mobilization, the sons of Putin’s praetorian guard would either flee the country or end up in hospital to avoid the draft. Corruption would paralyze the system. And while, at least initially, it is unlikely that people will revolt, they will do what Russians do best: drag their feet.
Putin has resisted any effort at mass mobilization for the same reason that he was reluctant to impose mandatory vaccination during the Covid pandemic: the fear that such a move would expose his lack of control. (Sources: iwm.at, ft.com)
3. Timothy Snyder.
Russia, an aging tyranny, seeks to destroy Ukraine, a defiant democracy. A Ukrainian victory would confirm the principle of self-rule, allow the integration of Europe to proceed, and empower people of goodwill to return reinvigorated to other global challenges. A Russian victory, by contrast, would extend genocidal policies in Ukraine, subordinate Europeans, and render any vision of a geopolitical European Union obsolete. Should Russia continue its illegal blockade of the Black Sea, it could starve Africans and Asians, who depend on Ukrainian grain, precipitating a durable international crisis that will make it all but impossible to deal with common threats such as climate change. A Russian victory would strengthen fascists and other tyrants, as well as nihilists who see politics as nothing more than a spectacle designed by oligarchs to distract ordinary citizens from the destruction of the world. This war, in other words, is about establishing principles for the twenty-first century. It is about policies of mass death and about the meaning of life in politics. It is about the possibility of a democratic future. (Sources: timothysnyder.org, foreignaffairs.com)
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to News Items to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.