My title tonight comes from this interview between The Atlantic's Tom Nichols and Russia expert Thane Gustafson, talking about the unpredictability of Putin's war.
...This is one of those moments when history suddenly goes into overdrive and outcomes become unpredictable, mainly because at such times they are driven by the actions of individuals. I rather like the metaphor once used by former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González, who said that history seems to be “galloping riderless across the landscape.”
... it’s not too hard to reconstruct at this point what was likely going through Putin’s mind as he gave the order to attack.First, he thought he could make a lightning strike at Kyiv and install a puppet.Second, he thought he could seize what he calls “Novorossiya” as far as Odesa and absorb Kharkiv, Dnipro, and Mariupol.Third, he thought that in those places, which are largely Russian-speaking, he would be welcomed.Fourth, he knew that he could not conquer western Ukraine, and he never intended to try....In sum, he counted on a quick, easy operation: strategic objectives achieved, equilibrium restored, done and dusted....on this reasoning, Putin was not nuts, not deranged, not isolated, etcetera. It was all a reasonable bet—by his strange lights—except that every one of the premises turned out to be wrong.
...War is like an infection: A bacterial attack causes inflammation (damaging in itself), and the mounting immune responses can escalate out of control if the infection is not defeated. The flow of volunteers and weapons into Ukraine, the mounting frustration and fury in the Kremlin, the calls for no-fly zones - I don’t know how this ends.
One area where I’ve been regularly wrong is in trying to find a rationality behind Russian policy. Done with that for now. https://t.co/I14xqZSyZy— Phillips P. OBrien (@PhillipsPOBrien) April 4, 2022
I found this statistic to be a little grim -- almost all of the millions who have left Ukraine want to return, but there has been so much destruction that I don't think there will be anything for many to return to, not for years.
Russia’s apparent retreat from Kyiv and retrenchment into Ukraine’s easternmost regions marks the latest sign that the war is at an inflection point — one that U.S. officials believe could portend even uglier fighting to come. https://t.co/KQIYxdgwaP— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 5, 2022
I think Canada and all the other nations accepting Ukrainian refugees are going to have to help them build new lives here.
According to the #UN, as of April 4, 4.2 million people left #Ukraine.— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) April 5, 2022
However, it is worth noting that 79% of refugees want to return to Ukraine after the war. This is evidenced by the results of a survey by the #Ukrainian Razumkov Center. pic.twitter.com/xsttrIutF3