Why Putin Lost His War Before it Began


Credit: CNN


Putin has a very unique worldview. Unfortunately for him, he is very, very wrong. 


Putin does not believe that Ukraine is a real country. In his distorted worldview, he fails to acknowledge that the Ukrainian national identity and culture is much older than Russia’s. Kiev, Ukraine’s capital and historical cultural center for the Ukrainian people, is believed to have been founded in 482 C.E. This makes it almost seven-hundred years older than Moscow, the Russian equivalent, which was first mentioned in historical records in 1147 C.E. 


Putin also believes that the Ukrainian government is controlled by neo-Nazis, something he has also attempted to convince the Russian people of as a way to increase support – connecting Ukraine to the devastation Russia endured in the Second World War at the hands of the Third Reich. While it is true that a fringe group of neo-Nazi militants began a fight against Russian seperatists in eastern Ukraine after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, the political party connected to the militant group only garnered two percent of the vote in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections in 2019, making their influence in Ukrainian politics virtually non-existent. Not to mention, the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelesky, is Jewish and had lost his family in the Holocaust. 


So when Vladimir Putin began his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, what came next was quite a shock to the brutal dictator. 


Ukraine did not surrender. Ukraine’s people did not meet their “liberators” with open arms. Ukraine met this invading army with molotov cocktails, an act showing the true courage and patriotism of the Ukrainian people. In his invasion, Putin alienated any Ukrainian who may have supported the Russian cause, uniting a people against him.  


Putin has also incited anger within his own populace. 11 million Russians have Ukrainian relatives. They do not support war that will slaughter their own brothers and sisters, tearing down their democratically elected government and conquering their land. Tens of thousands of Russian protesters took to the streets across the country, and as of March 10, an estimated thirteen-thousand of them have been arrested. This number does not accurately reflect the objections to this war in Russia, however, as these figures have likely been underreported due to the challenges of accurately reporting on the regime in the Kremlin, as well as the illegality of protesting in Russia.  


So, in his efforts to conquer a democratic nation, Vladimir Putin has turned both the Russian and Ukraine people against him. The longer the war goes on, the more his economy will be hurt by sanctions, the stiffer the resistance he will see from the Ukrainian people, and the more political dissent he will see at home.

At this point, it does not matter whether or not Putin controls every inch of Ukrainian land. He will be forced to station thousands of Russian soldiers across Ukraine just to retain some amount of control over the nation, all the while, the Ukrainian people will continue their resistance. And when the resources run dry and the cracks begin to spread, the Ukrainian people will emerge more united than ever. 


No matter the results, which are quite unclear at the moment, he cannot emerge from this war better off than he was prior to the invasion. Putin lost the war before a single Russian missile entered Ukrainian airspace, and he has only himself to blame.