Andrei Soldatov, one of the world’s leading experts on Russia’s politics and intelligence services, in discussion with Livia Ponzio and Monique Camarra on the LiberiOltre (Beyond Freedom) videocast:

The discussion is in English, followed by a conversation in Italian between Ponzio, Camarra, and other LiberiOltre analysts.

Soldatov begins with a review of the Soviet roots of Russia’s intelligence services, including weaknesses and tensions with politicians which continued into the Vladimir Putin era. He then moves to Ukraine, explaining how Putin’s attempt to micro-manage his Ukraine invasion has led to his sweeping aside of intelligence, with the resulting failure to move quickly into Kyiv and overthrow the Zelenskiy Government.

And now? Soldatov explains:

Putin’s way out is further escalation. The problem is it looks like he does not have enough troops to make progress.