Just How Strong Is Putin?

Timestamp: mid-Tuesday morning.

I saw it first from the Wall Street Journal although I’m not certain that’s where it broke. As with most breaking news reality may differ a bit from the initial reports but it is certainly verified that metro-Moscow suffered an albeit limited drone attack upon civilian targets. I want to speculate/explore two questions: who and more importantly why.

The who is most likely Ukraine in one form or fashion. The Ukrainian government either did it directly, “agents” aligned with them did it or a foreign power(s) allied with them did. Whichever really doesn’t make much difference. Deniability may be preserved with the latter two options but in the greater scheme of things that is more subterfuge than substance.

Why, now that is the real question!

My first thought was a flashback to Jimmy Doolittle’s raid over Tokyo memorialized, among other places, in the book Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. History does tend to repeat itself. That flight, more than anything else, helped boost American moral back home. Ukrainians are certainly in need of such a boost. It could be that simple. If initial reports are to be believed the drone raid did little real damage to Russia other than perhaps a bruised ego and some property damage.

If you couple this with some other recent events you have to wonder just how secure Russian President Vladimir Putin is. It appears that the United States had someone in or very close to Putin’s inner circle until Trump outed him in one of his “ego shows”. You can’t exactly order those on Amazon and we may very well have not replaced that asset. Therefore, we are operating relatively in the dark compared to in the past. If some of the “big boys” are ready to topple him a popular uprising might be the nudge they need to push them over the brink.

It appears the Russians have been trying to downplay the casualties they are suffering in Ukraine but after a while when your son, brother, father, uncle isn’t heard from the truth becomes more and more apparent. If Putin were riding a tidal wave of popular support he wouldn’t be cracking down on protest as hard as he is.

I can’t provide you with a definitive answer but I can justify asking the question: Just how strong is Putin?

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