Why we’re so clueless about Putin

Source: Nonzero Newsletter
by Robert Wright

“Over the weekend, while processing the Ukrainian army’s big breakthrough and the Russian army’s headlong retreat, I came across a tweet that said this: ‘On Russian state TV, Moscow State University professor Vitaly Tretyakov said (and I’m paraphrasing): ‘The West thinks there will be social unrest in Russia in order to make the war stop. In reality, there will be social unrest if we don’t become more active in this war.” Is Tretyakov right? Is there more political pressure on Putin to ratchet up his military campaign in Ukraine than to ratchet it down? … How Putin reacts to Russia’s humiliating battlefield setbacks is a question of such obvious importance that his political incentive structure is starting to get some attention in US media. Will the result be illuminating?” (09/12/22)