Vladimir Putin walks to his “inauguration” in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, May 7, 2024

EA-Times Radio Special: Will US Aid Help Turn Tide in Ukraine v. Russia’s Invasion?


I spoke further with RTE’s Radio 1 on Thursday about Putin’s spectacle to maintain power in Russia and to cover up his failure in his invasion of Ukraine.

It’s essential. As long as his quest to conquer Ukraine is unfulfilled, the show must go on in Russia.


The conversation follows commentary by James Waterhouse, the BBC’s correspondent in Ukraine.

Listen to Discussion from 7:10

ORIGINAL ENTRY, MAY 8: A day after Vladimir Putin’s “inauguration”, I joined Times Radio on Tuesday for an 11-minute analysis of the reality and illusion of his power at home and in his invasion of Ukraine.

I evaluate how Putin is likely to maintain his leadership — despite economic, political, and military tensions — by manipulating the combination of autocracy and oligarchy in Russia.

But far from complementing “victory” in Ukraine, Putin’s spectacle is covering up his failure to conquer a neighboring country. While Russia may make marginal gains in the east of Ukraine, the window is closing before US and European aid reaches the frontline. And behind that frontline, Ukraine is hitting Putin’s forces hard with its missile and drone strikes.

What Putin wants to project is “I’m in charge here, I’m in control”.

To the extent that he has triumphed inside Russia against anyone who wanted to take his authority, he has succeeded.

But is he triumpant in Ukraine? That is far more problematic.