March 18, 2022

Here is the link to today’s breaking news bulletins on the Russia-Ukraine war:

The top story from the last 24 hours: Vladimir Putin gave a speech that suggested he’s not thinking about any ceasefire or peace agreements so much as doubling down on the bogus claims of Ukraine’s threat to Russia and cracking down on his own people who don’t support his attack. 

In an ominous echo of the old paranoid Stalin days, he’s already ordered the arrests of some of his own top military officers who’ve shown insufficient loyalty and made it clear there’s more purging to come. He both attempted to rally Russian support for his invasion and threatened Russian oligarchs, or anyone else, who doesn’t support him fully, referring to them as “scum and traitors.”

The question is whether this projects the iron fisted control that Putin thinks it does or signals that he’s secretly terrified that he’s made a big mistake and has to bluster his way out of it to survive. has a good analysis of the speech, plus video and a full transcript. Fair warning, it’s via Google Translate, so maybe don’t take every word literally.