Allegedly, Putin was convinced that his invading army would be welcomed with flowers by Ukrainian citizens (eg, DailyMail, Yahoo News). Perhaps, some people wanted him to believe that nonsense – deliberately. Some people argue that Putin already lost the war on day 1, like historian Yuval Noah Harari in the Guardian.
Why continue something (eg, a war) that you cannot win and possibly even lose?
Putin’s choices are simple: accept, deny, or delay. Accepting the outcome (ie, defeat, (Pyrrhic) victory) is far too early. Denial of the outcome (ie, defeat, lack of victory) would make it an unwelcome news topic. Delaying the outcome (ie, defeat, (Pyrrhic) victory) is buying him the time that he needs right now.
All our (conscious) decisions in life are based on elementary risk management considerations, and in particular the risk-reward balance. Before we make a choice, we consider the consequences of our actions. Often, we avoid – or delay – consequences that involve guilt & shame. We prefer buying time.
There’s more – unfortunately. In my view, Putin hates Ukraine (for whatever reason) and he is indifferent about the suffering of its citizens. Please see my 2021 blog: The opposite of love is indifference, not hate.
Perhaps, Putin sees himself as a martyr. In that case, he would be willing to sacrifice his own life for his beliefs. This is also my 2015 criterion for defining a belief system. In subsequent blogs, I added: and the willingness to kill others for your own belief. This would make Putin an extremely dangerous man.
As a (self-proclaimed) martyr, it would make perfect sense to continue a war you cannot win. Winning is not even the purpose and thus irrelevant. Destruction (a.k.a. “purification“) is the purpose. To some extent, history professor Beatrice de Graaf also mentioned this in her recent Dutch newspaper article.
As I have argued before, only Russia can stop Putin from destroying Russia. Betrayal of trust is nothing new. Even Jesus was betrayed by his own disciple, Judas Iscariot.
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.