Hoping to provide a least a momentary break by sharing images of where I've sought solace while ruminating about Putin and his evil and destructive arc.
Longtime readers may recall the December 2013 post "A Bullet for Putin?" It was another of the "tells" that I saw in his emerging philosophy and world view. He has been signaling his messianic intentions to change the world map and elevate himself to that of a czar and hero of the fatherland.
So how do we live in a world with Putin? How do we behave, upholding human civility and the sanctity of law, while a thug with no regard for life or territorial integrity invades and attacks, committing war crimes?
To a straightforward mind it seems wrong not to be more aggressive and to intervene to stop the invasion and brutality. That has been the plea of the Ukrainian people and President Zelensky. However from the safety of not being bombed and invaded, the world's response has been to leverage war without escalating the violence, which could quickly lead to a World War. That is made more frightening by Putin's irrationality and his stance on nuclear weapons.
The sanctions and diplomacy are important and have already begun to have a cratering impact on Russia. But if you are a Ukrainian it seems to be not enough.
There are larger issues here. Putin must be stopped and must be made to pay a high price. If not, he will continue with his messianic vision and mad agenda.
If the west were to respond militarily, they could stop the invasion where it is and if inclined could seriously damage Russian military infrastructure. Punishing strikes on Russian bases might seem an effective response to such lawless and blatant aggression. But that takes the war to Russia and there would be dire consequences.
The draconian sanctions are a way to degrade Russian power and perhaps force and incentivize the Russian military to stop Putin.
The Russian economy is in free fall. Increasingly Russia is being cut off from the world. The millions of Russian citizens are unwitting victims of Putin's war. He has moved the nation backwards. The war crimes being committed are being catalogued and investigated already. This will reach into the military and the bureaucracy. Sources in the West are communicating with sources in Russia with the objective of giving doubting Russians a path to depose Putin, or to circumvent his war plans.