Is Putin Crazy? His actions lead people to believe he has gone mad.
As Russia wages war on Ukraine, with countless civilian casualties, people are raising questions about what Putin is trying to achieve. And they are also questioning his mental health.
While speaking to Al Jazeera, Cristian Nitoiu, a lecturer in Diplomacy and International Governance at Loughborough University London said, “The long-term goals of Russia following the end of the Cold War have been to recover the great power status of Soviet Union, to be seen as equal by the West and to be able to influence political developments in its smaller neighbors like Ukraine, Moldova or Kazakhstan.”
But, with Putin’s actions condemned in Ukraine and the rest of the world, how would such a scenario work?
Graeme Gill, Professor Emeritus of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney stated that if Kyiv is captured, then Putin might place an interim administration. Since there is less likelihood of being accepted by the Ukrainians, Putin might remove a few members of the parliament from the current government and still retain Volodymyr Zelensky in office. “Such negotiations would be likely seen as taking place under duress, and therefore any outcome may not stick. There are no easy options for Putin, and it would certainly not be easy for any interim government installed by force of Russian arms.”, said Gill.
Meanwhile, with discussions on what Putin’s real motives are, US senators and formal generals have been questioning Putin’s mental health after the 2 years of pandemic isolation. White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, told ABC’s This Week, “The speech he gave last week … was somebody who was not only justifying the invasion of a sovereign country but clearly had ambitions beyond that. He’s obviously been quite isolated during Covid. But I will tell you, certainly the rhetoric, the actions, the justification that he’s making for his actions are certainly deeply concerning to us.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, after holding five hours’ talk with Putin at opposite ends of a 15-meter table, told the reporters that “the tension was palpable”. Macron said this is not the same Putin he met at the Elysee Palace in December 2019. According to him, Putin seemed more “rigid, more isolated” and was on an “ideological and security drift”.
Senator Rubio, vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, “But most telling is this is a man who has long prided himself on emotional control. His recent flashes of anger is very uncharacteristic and show an erosion in impulse control.”
One European diplomat also said, “All our Russia-watchers, watching his press conferences, think that he’s descending even more into a despotic mindset.” A leader of a country with approximately 5,977 nuclear warheads, becoming derailed is something of concern. He even ever so slightly mentioned the use of the warheads during his speech the day he announced his invasion of Ukraine. Even the Russians’ military strategy is being questioned at this point.