Putin Won’t Back Down

Russia’s missile test fuels U.S. fears of an isolated Putin

The Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile launches at Plesetsk testing field in Russia on Wednesday. | RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY / VIA AFP-JIJI

by David E. Sanger/The New York Times

WASHINGTON – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calculated move Wednesday to test-launch a new intercontinental ballistic missile, declaring it a warning to those in the West who “try to threaten our country,” fed into a growing concern inside the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden: that Russia is now so isolated from the rest of the world that Putin sees little downside to provocative actions.

In private, U.S. officials have been more direct about the potential for an isolated Russian leader to lash out in further destabilizing ways. “We have been so successful in disconnecting Putin from the global system that he has even more incentive to disrupt it beyond Ukraine,” one senior intelligence official said in a recent conversation, insisting on anonymity to discuss intelligence assessments. “And if he grows increasingly desperate, he may try things that don’t seem rational.”

Mad Vlad Putin https://www.drudgereport.com/

Putin, assessments delivered to the White House have concluded, believes he is winning, according to a senior U.S. official who asked for anonymity to discuss intelligence findings.

It is hardly surprising that Putin has not backed down in the face of economic sanctions and measures to cut off his country from technology needed for new weapons and now some consumer goods. He has often shrugged off Western sanctions, arguing he can easily manage around them.

“We can already confidently say that this policy toward Russia has failed,” Putin said Monday. “The strategy of an economic blitzkrieg has failed.” (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/04/21/world/russia-missile-test-fuels-us-fears/)

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