Konstantin SONIN: “The sooner the maniac is removed from power, the better”

Russian troops have struck residential neighborhoods in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities. We can repeat again that war crimes are part of the criminal war that Putin started by attacking Ukraine.

But again: what is striking is the sheer lunacy of it. There doesn’t seem to have been a single case in recent history where large-scale terror against civilians has resulted in a military victory. Even if you completely forget about morality, it’s a strategy that doesn’t work.

Hitler waged a Putin-like terror campaign against London and other English cities in 1940. Entire neighborhoods and cities were destroyed, but it didn’t bring Hitler any closer to victory.

Hitler waged a similar campaign of terror against civilians in the USSR in 1941-43, for example, against Leningrad, but it did not help him win.

Likewise, the large-scale bombing of German cities by Allied aircraft in 1943-45, when entire cities were destroyed overnight with destroyed air defense, did nothing to hasten Hitler’s end. It is clear that by the end of the war the Germans dreamed of ending the war, but its end was the result of victories of the USSR, USA and England on the battlefield.

The point of the nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was NOT at all to “lower support for the Hirohito regime” (and it did not fall). The point was to demonstrate a weapon capable of destroying whatever military power Japan had. This (and the defeat of the Kwantung Army by the Soviets) showed the Japanese military the pointlessness of resistance.

In Vietnam, American bombing was aimed at “reducing support for the insurgency” – and was just as fruitless. Support did not decline. In the end, the US defeat in Vietnam was the result of the failure to defeat the North Vietnamese army, but terrorizing civilians did not help in any way.

It is clear that Putin and his entourage have in their minds something like the NATO operation in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, but at that time there were no strikes on residential neighborhoods. And the infrastructure strikes were NOT aimed at reducing support for Milosevic. As soon as Milosevic did what was required of him, withdrew from Kosovo and Russian peacekeepers entered, the strikes stopped.

Terror against civilians did not help the Russian campaigns either. The Russian army destroyed Grozny twice in the fight against Chechen separatists, but this did not reduce their support among the population. Putin’s “victory” in Chechnya came at the expense of something else entirely ‐ the military’s victory over the militants and “buying” some of the elite.

Putin and his military order strikes on residential neighborhoods in Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Kryvyj Rih in front of the whole world, because he is already a maniac living in his own special world. He cannot stop the war and repression, because without war he will be gone immediately. But what he is doing does not help Russia in any way, not in any sense. The sooner the maniac is removed from power, the better.

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