Over 10,000 Russian soliders killed in action….
Sanctions that has Russian’s lined up at their banks to take out money….
Protests by RUSSIANS in the streets….
Quietly Russians getting on planes to LEAVE their home country….
Collateral damage for the Russian leader on a front away from the Ukraine at home….
- Cracked down on what Russians can share via social media. Facebook and Instagram are banned. You can’t post to TikTok from inside Russia. Government-approved services like VK or Telegram still operate.
- Criminalized news coverage that accurately characterizes the invasion as an invasion, with the prospect violators could get 15 years in prison. That has led major Western news outlets to pare back, or suspend, their operations in Russia.
- Squelched some of the last independent news outlets in Russia.
- Suppressed official numbers of Russians casualties in Ukraine. The last official tally, from March 2, included 498 dead and 1,597 wounded. American estimates range in the thousands.
- Deployed riot police in the streets and arrested thousands of antiwar protesters.
- Directed state-run news media to celebrate what Putin calls a “special military operation” and serve its audience a buffet of aggressive (and frequently false) propaganda.
In an escalation of his threats against domestic critics, Putin warned last week he would wipe out “scum and traitors” he accused of secretly working with the United States and its allies and undermining the war effort.
“Any people, and particularly the Russian people, will always be able to tell the patriots from the scum and traitors and spit them out like a midge that accidentally flew into their mouths,” Putin said. “I am convinced that this natural and necessary self-cleansing of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion and readiness to meet any challenge.”
“Now Putin’s back is against the wall,” President Biden said Monday. “He wasn’t anticipating the extent or the strength of our unity. And the more his back is against the wall, the greater the severity of the tactics he may employ.”
Biden was talking about Russia’s tactics inside Ukraine. But one longtime student of Putin’s thinking told The Daily 202 that the former KGB officer worries — as he always has in his two decades in power — about popular or palace uprisings.
“He remains, as he should be now, very concerned about whether there will be a popular revolt,” former intelligence officer Angela Stent, the author of the prizewinning “Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest,” said in an interview.
The answer to whether Putin is acting on authoritarian instinct or because he’s worried about fissures in his power is “yes.” You can’t separate one from the other.
“It’s an authoritarian instinct that’s been there all along. But it’s certainly been exacerbated. The war isn’t going well,” said Stent, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “He has to be concerned about the possibility of a palace coup.”….