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Putin won’t – can’t back down now. Only two scenarios left.

Putin won’t – can’t back down now. Only two scenarios left.

I see multiple commentators talking about international pressure to cause Russia to back down. This is foolish.

First of all that is the wrong question. It’s not Russia. It is Putin. Much easier to analyze that way.

Putin has committed Russian forces to attack Ukraine, to implement his plan and to get certain rewards. He is well into that plan and has a good shot at victory (within military parameters). Everything that we have predicted as far as his strategy is concerned, has come true.

In marketing psychology, we have a principle called “Commitment and Consistency.” It simply means that if you commit to something small, you tend to continue to commit as that something becomes larger. It is extremely difficult to change someone’s mind once they have traveled down the commitment path a ways.

There is no scenario where Putin withdraws his forces, gives everything back, says “I’m sorry” and goes home.

Ukraine does not have the ability to resist, the West cannot assist too much without being dragged into the war. The West is unwilling to commit its own troops, and at this stage, such actions would be a disaster. It would be a bloody war, and Europe would lose most of its supply of gas and oil. Putin cannot back down, he will attack. Putin must be consistent in his own mind.

As of today, Russian and Ukraine are back at the negotiating table, having failed (as expected) in the last round a few days ago. Russia has intensified its attacks, and Ukraine is under greater stress and pain.

So we are left with two closing scenarios.

1. Putin squeezes Ukraine, makes them suffer until they submit to his demands. Putin will attempt to give back the parts he doesn’t want in exchange for relief of sanctions. He may or may not be successful. Putin brings victory to Russia and stays in power.

Do we have the heart to let the Ukrainian people suffer while we negotiate? The trade off is that if this is too easy for Putin, then we appear weak, and Taiwan is in danger. This could be crucial, it is imperative that the West continue the sanctions even if Ukraine tells us to stop. If we give Russia and China time to re-align the world to bypass potential sanctions, then a new and more dangerous cold war is afoot.

2. Someone in Russia deposes Putin, likely with deadly force, removes him from the picture. Russia backs away, apologizes and the world becomes a friendlier place. Xi backs off and puts conquering Taiwan in a later phase of his 50 year plan.

And for those commentators who think we can reset Ukraine to the way it was before?

Ukraine has happened, it is spilled milk. It will never be the same. Move on.

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  1. Austin

    Putin would have never started the invasion if the election wasn’t stolen

  2. Lyudmila Loseva

    If the West cannot help too much without being embroiled in a war, believing such action would be a disaster because Europe will lose most of its gas and oil reserves, in which case, what should Putin be afraid of? The road to victory is open to him, he knows that he has already won. He will go through Ukraine along the same path that Hitler walked , but with a nuclear bomb.

  3. Rich

    Someone like a Gates ,Bezos , Zuckerberg or any other big money guy to put a bounty say $10,000,000 in Bitcoins for Putins head . Also how about giving $1,000,000,000 in arms NOW ( without all the BS red tape ).

  4. Tony Bell

    Putin is enforcing the upholding of an agreement made between Russia and the UN when the Soviet Union fell. No UN nations bordering Russian territory, only neutral nations. Crimea and Ukraine, both heavily influences by the west, attempted UN addition, UN agreed to consider them. Putin has a legitimate grievance.

  5. John Hewett

    Putin can’t back down because he has committed to this cause and come hell or high water, he’s going to get it done even if he is a pariah in the world’s eyes for the rest of his life. Putin is like a liar who has been caught in a lie but can’t admit they’re lying because of ego. Wait a minute, Putin is actually jussie smollett.

    • Ben

      No wonder Trump likes him so much.

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