Weingarten: Latest on Putin’s fascism


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mobilization leaves Russian civillians worried.

Caleb Weingarten, Columnist

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday that he would be calling up roughly 300,000 reservists, a partial mobilization, to help combat the western forces as the race for Ukraine continues. 

This comes after Russia took humiliating losses in the northeastern region of Ukraine. He accused high-ranking politicians and representatives in the west of “nuclear blackmail” and “crossing the lines” by providing high-level weapons to Ukraine, enabling them to fend Russia from its territory. 

In Putin’s address, he reminded everyone of Russia’s war capabilities and that they were not afraid to use them.

“I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have,” Putin said. “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.”

President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also took the world stage, denouncing Putin’s actions. Zelensky claimed that Russia needs to face a “just punishment,” and Biden doubled his criticism of the Kremlin, saying Russia is “Extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist.” 

Roughly 1,300 protesters in Moscow, St. Petersburg and 38 other cities around Russia were detained and arrested for standing against the partial mobilization, and now a mass wave of citizens are leaving Russia, driving up airline ticket costs as people try to escape the country.

So what can we make of all of the political warfare and smokescreens? Putin’s words echoed that of times past, reminding us of the complicated relationship between American and Russian politics. However, this particular war is an unprecedented event. 

Western forces and their NATO allies have their work cut out for them, managing Russia’s assault and keeping China at bay from an invasion of Taiwan. I believe, in the end, this war has the potential to wreak havoc that humanity has never faced. 

Putin’s suggestion of using sophisticated weaponry to continue his geopolitical agenda should be unsettling to every country in the world. We have no reason to believe that Putin will stop unless met with a force he cannot defeat. 

We should not expect him to surrender. The fractured world economy and incredibly high inflation work to Putin’s advantage as he hopes it will corner the NATO countries into an attempt to work out a deal as we get into the winter months when higher energy levels are needed.

Thomas Friedman, an international relations expert says, “if electricity blackouts from energy shortages become widespread, there’s a good chance that European NATO members will start pressuring President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to cut a deal with Russia — any deal — to stop the fighting. So Putin must surely be telling his own exhausted troops and generals: ‘Just get me to Christmas. Winter is our friend.’”