It’s hard to say when all of Vladimir Putin’s war crimes will land him in jail. It’s hard to say what his what his sentence will be. In any case this much is certain — it’s only a matter of time until he falls from the mountain top.
I am not talking about his bombing Ukrainian maternity hospitals, terrorizing nuclear power plant employees he is holding hostage on nonstop shifts, poisoning his political opponents — even the kleptomania that has supposedly made him the richest man in the world. The fact that Russia is on the verge of bankruptcy has merely inflamed this KGB psychopath who has taken the lives of far too many innocent civilians.
It is only a matter of time until he steps over the line one way or another via biological warfare, encroachment of NATO territory or some kind of “accident,” such as a misfire that sends an off-course missile into a European metropolis. Any of these missteps will have dire consequences for Vladimir Putin.
The end for Putin — like his role models Adolph Hitler and the last Tsar — is inevitable.
Here’s why. As the brave Ukrainian people are showing every day, it is one thing to attack a country. It’s something quite different to occupy it.
Those who have chosen to stay are confirming every day the depth of Putin’s madness — his lies, his antisemitism, his bizarre version of history and his passion for the kind of genocide that he brought to Syria.
He is clearly the most hated man in the world. No matter how isolated he becomes or how many innocents he kills, it is only a matter of time until the Russian people decide that they don’t want to live behind a nuclear curtain.
His attempts to shut down protests and arrest anyone who stands in his way are no substitute for common sense. The Kremlin is going broke spiritually and financially and no one — not North Korea, not China, not Belorussia or any other nation — is in a position to perpetually bail him out.
As the Russian oligarchs watch their holdings crater, it’s inevitable that his inner circle is going to be asking the same question posed in capitals from Washington to Beijing: How much longer can this assassin survive, especially as Russian generals continue being killed in battle.
By isolating himself and his country he is setting himself up for a supply-chain crisis that will make it harder and harder for Russia to operate at the granular level. Given the international army of cyber talent arrayed against him, it won’t take much to disable and exploit the very systems that have been used to corrupt our electoral process, spread his blizzard of lies and shut down our hospitals via ransomware.
If he continues down the current path, Russia could eventually be struggling to keep up with North Korea. Shutting down stock markets, trying to prop up the crashing ruble, attempting to find spare parts to keep hospitals and airlines running portends Russia’s economic collapse.
Clearly he doesn’t have the money to run the Ukraine he has broken, much less the troops critical to battling resistance comparable to what brought the Russian military down in Afghanistan. It’s not easy to run a war when you are likely to run out of military inventory due to sanctions.
Worst of all, the entire international banking system central to Russia’s economy is essentially shut down. By backing himself into a corner, Putin has no way to get out of the penal colony he is building around the Kremlin. His only hope is that a foreign power bigger than Russia will bail him out. Doing that would be akin to climbing into bed with an ax murderer high on oxycontin.
Like the Nuremberg trials, the evidence against Putin is so overwhelming that he won’t have a prayer of plea bargaining his way out of a guilty war crimes verdict. When he is convicted many of us will doubtless take the day off to celebrate his extinction from the world stage. I can hardly wait.