'Putin is getting desperate': National security experts warns that Russia’s leader won’t give up easily

'Putin is getting desperate': National security experts warns that Russia’s leader won’t give up easily

Economically and militarily as well as politically, the invasion of Ukraine has not served Russia well — and a recent series of Ukrainian military victories has only added to the Kremlin’s humiliation. President Vladimir Putin was hoping to inflict harm on the West; instead, the invasion inspired Sweden and Finland to apply for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). And now, Ukraine is applying for NATO membership as well.

In an op-ed published by the Daily Beast on October 4, journalist Dennis Murphy (who is known for covering national security matters) has a warning about Putin: the more “desperate” he feels in the weeks ahead, the more dangerous he will be.

“After a series of military failures and the near complete abandonment of Kharkiv,” Murphy explains, “Vladimir Putin announced last week a partial mobilization that will raise 300,000 soldiers…. Regardless of how badly the war turned out for Putin, his fundamental choice — to escalate or back down — remained the same.”

READ MORE: 'A cornered weakling' — Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats are an act of total desperation: conservative

Murphy adds, “Putin placed himself in a position where he could not afford to back down, or else, he might lose everything. That left him with only one option: escalate when the war goes badly. All else follows. Since defeat is not an option for the Russian leader, the main strategic problem for NATO and Ukraine to solve must be how to prepare for, manage, and secure a Ukrainian victory.”

Murphy stresses that it’s important to “be careful when it looks like Russia is about to be defeated.”

“It may well be a precursor to further escalation,” Murphy warns. “There is no point trying to see the end of this war when there are still ways Putin could make it worse…. Fresh and plentiful manpower from the mobilization, however reluctant they are, will give Putin some leverage in the conflict. The questions to ask now are what the mobilization will look like and how quickly it can be realized.”

The threat to use nuclear weapons, according to Murphy, reflects Putin’s “desperation.”

READ MORE: Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons 'not impossible': Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

“Putin wants all of us to believe that the territory his armies seized will be under his nuclear umbrella,” Murphy warns. “Not everyone is going to believe him. Putin says he is not bluffing. Perhaps that is true and his statements are just as deadly as he intends, but even so, Putin’s words and actions give off the impression of a cornered animal.”

Murphy continues, “In short, Ukraine is winning, and Putin is getting desperate. Now, we can only speculate at what his desperation will mean for the future of the war.”

READ MORE: Russian consulate in NYC vandalized as Ukraine applies for 'accelerated' NATO membership

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