Although Putin has been doing a fine job of destroying himself as well as the wealth, power, and relative security of his closest assigns and associations, he has still advanced weapons systems in submarines, hypersonic missiles, and “tactical” nuclear warheads, and he knows he may destabilize and destroy with impunity whatever he wishes for fear of his lunacy.
No mass death or destruction have yet come to Moscow or St. Petersburg.
The imposing of western sanctions has been but a matter of adjustment in relationships elsewhere.
The “Fragile Empire” has been proving surrounding polities, not only the “demo” made of Ukraine, more fragile in their development and heightened sensitivity to threats–or now imposed–disruptions.
How would you like to be hit by an enemy you’re not allowed to hit back?
What if it was your friend’s enemy enjoying that impunity, and you knew that you and yours would be next to be beaten, bribed, intimidated, robbed?
What if you knew that your forces were blocking 90 percent of airborne attacks but the ten percent getting through was destroying basic civilian power infrastructure?
What does “winning” mean when your losing enemy forces are nonetheless freezing and displacing your people?
Of course, Putin and his Russia are losing too, but he is only losing the better–the more good–of his human resources, and his state is only losing money and international stature. That’s not enough for stopping him. As the Malignant Narcissist (#MaligNarc) that he has been, he and his circle needs must be deprived of power and stopped cold, for in his own delusional mind, he cannot lose, and his enablers, sycophants, and fellow thugs are all in too deep for leaving him. War criminals themselves for what they have abetted, they, and exactly like the Nazis before them, may find no refuge elsewhere–or sadly find it through some realpolitik involving occult cash reserves that may land an obscure outpost or two for living (very well, thank you) on the lowdown.