Putin’s ‘peace operation’ in the heart of Europe is doing a good job of trying to smash Ukraine into submission while ensuring the Russian economy never recovers.
The KGB’s least illustrious officer now has his name in radioactive lights as the mad man who re-drew the map of Europe into Middle Earth.
Presumably, what he thought would be a cavalry charge to oust the ‘Nazi government’ in Kyiv has turned into a slugfest of human misery and war crimes.
Russia’s heroic struggle to liberate free Ukrainians to become prisoners of Moscow’s labour camps isn’t going as smoothly as the state-controlled media would have the Russian people believe.
Undoubtedly, some believe the Russian army is on a special operation to ‘denazify’ Ukraine, stop the West from invading and prevent genocide in Crimea.
This Cold War playbook is classic Putin trying to justify the insanely unjustifiable bombing of civilians in an unprovoked invasion of its Russian-speaking neighbour.
Moscow is so firmly entrenched on the moral high ground that anyone mentioning the events in Ukraine as a ‘war’ will be thrown in prison.
Anti-war protests are sniffed out in seconds to ensure the Russian people are scared into submission and off the streets where the world is watching.
If Putin and his inner circle are convinced that what they are doing is right and the rest of the world ‘hysterical’, why shy away from public scrutiny?
Maybe they have to believe the illusion that Russia is countering a viable threat without a shot being fired against it.
There is no other plausible explanation for the callous bombing of civilian targets, firing missiles at shopping malls and apartment blocks.
These are not surgical strikes against military targets but calculated attacks on the Ukrainian psyche to instil fear and panic.
Russia is fighting a mediaeval war with the most sophisticated weapons a modern army could wish for.
It is pounding cities into surrendering, relentless, indiscriminate bombing at civilian targets, then laying siege to them, so there is no escape.
To put the squeeze on residents, power and water supplies are cut off, with the intention to starve the people until their determination to resist evaporates.
But this is not the victory parade that Putin expected; the Ukrainians are putting up a brave fight even though they lack the weapons to even the one-sided odds.
Ukraine is not going to lie on its back and play dead.
Ukrainians are determined to repel the invader at any cost; their lives, country, and cultural identity depend on it.
Putin has emboldened the Ukrainian spirit to preserve their right to exist in his determination to wipe Ukraine from history.
Jackboot diplomacy has given Ukraine no choice but to defend their country or die trying because the alternative is worse.
Deep in the Kremlin, the paranoid Putin had not calculated such stern resistance or the fury of the world (minus China, Turkey, and a few others) against his personal land-grabbing expedition.
Nobody thought he would be so reckless to engage in such an endeavour; it is still difficult to comprehend the sheer scale of the folly and destruction.
The international community has grown a backbone to exhibit a united front against naked aggression for its own sake.
And with Putin firing rockets at nuclear power plants opposing the Ukraine invasion must become a hurdle so big there is no going over or around it.
Global corporations have stood up to Putin with energy giants, big tech and the sporting world showing Russia the back door.
Unprecedented sanctions will hurt and cut deep, but the million refugee women and children and those being bombardment need more practical help.
It’s all very well giving the Ukrainians a pat on the back and sending humanitarian aid, but they want their country back.
NATO doesn’t want to intervene to prevent the conflict from escalating into a third world war, but would we stand by and watch animals bludgeoned to death for no reason.
Countries are sending weapons to Ukraine, but it’s rather late in the day; without a no-fly zone, how will equipment get to the front line.
Where are the anti-aircraft systems to stop the bombing and anti-tank missiles?
Ukrainians don’t want their Russian brethren to suffer from sanctions, but they do want Putin to stop killing them for fun.
Solidarity with Ukraine is just words if there is no practical way to stop the bloodshed.