It has not been a good week for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
This week, aside from the progress Ukraine has made in the Kharkiv region, Putin met with Kyrgystan President Sadyr Japarov, and a video of him waiting on Japarov circulated like crazy. In the video, Putin arrived 30 seconds before Japarov, obviously feeling awkward as he pulled some cards from the table, looking out to the crowd. However, when Japarov arrived, Putin was all smiles, an unusual demeanor from the “hardcore” hubris manner he had in the past.
Putin is known for having other world leaders wait for him at press conferences, but Russia’s continued losses in Ukraine have left him on the other side, where he is the one who needs favors from other nations.
Putin was publicly humiliated again.
Previously Kremlin head used to make world leaders wait for him.
Now president of Kyrgyzstan allows himself to be late for a meeting with Putin. pic.twitter.com/Pcn6azv3nm
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) September 15, 2022
“Oh boy. When the president of Kyrgyzstan makes you wait, things are not well in paradise,” wrote one commenter.
Aside from this incident, experts are now saying that because of the massive miscalculation of Russian intelligence in Ukraine, Putin’s influence is not as impactful as before. Simon Miles, an assistant professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and a historian of the Soviet Union and US-Soviet relations, said the Russian’s preparation for the battle gave an edge to Ukrainians who had been watching Russians for months before.
“The last thing I want to do is take anything away from the pretty extraordinary heroism of the Ukrainians on the ground who are using those tools. But the preparation of that battle space and the un-leveling of the playing field in the Ukrainian’s favor is in big part of a story of the weapons they’ve been getting from the US and other NATO allies and then using to extraordinary effect,” Miles said.
Miles added that the sanctions placed on Russia, along with NATO and other nations seeing the “mighty” KGB vet put in place, had left Putin in a dire situation.
Ukrainian warriors are humiliating Putin and his generals.
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) September 11, 2022
“Absolutely Putin is aware of this,” the professor told Insider. “This is, I’m sure, frustrating and humiliating to him because I think he genuinely didn’t believe this would happen.”
Putin’s overconfidence in their military abilities and the West’s inclination to assist Ukraine prevented him from looking at the overall picture.
“He misjudged the resilience of the West. He misjudged the willingness of western governments and firms to take a hit to punish Russia, and certainly the willingness of Europe to imperil their supply of gas.”
And now, even though the northern defenses are holding still, the majority of the Russian forces on the frontlines have either surrendered or have returned to Moscow.
“I think this is driving him nuts. I think he’s totally miserable right now.”
“All of this is pretty humiliating for Putin, as it should be. This is legitimate humiliation on the world stage.”
Meanwhile, there is a slight possibility for Russia and Ukraine to open their channels for a peace deal. Though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his spokesman have said they are not open to any kind of talks, SOFREP previously reported Ukraine agreeing to a version of a peace deal before the invasion happened. It is just that at the time, Putin had a change of heart.
But now that the tides have turned, Putin is ready to talk but is blaming his Ukrainian counterpart on why the deal has not been made.
“The first condition [for the meeting to take place] is that they [Ukraine] agree. But they refuse! Zelensky has announced this! He said publicly – I don’t know where, but publicly – that he is not ready and does not want to talk to Russia.”
After Kharkiv was reclaimed, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs Servey Lavrov said Moscow was not opposed to negotiating with Ukraine.
“We are not opposed to negotiations, but those who are must realize that the longer they delay this process, the more difficult it would be fore them to reach an agreement with us.”
Russia’s standing proposal is to have Crimea, including Kherson and Kharkiv, as part of their nation. Some of the regions on their list have already been liberated by Ukrainian forces, so it is understandable why Ukraine is standing firm on its announcement that the only time they would open their channels for negotiations is only when “Russia withdraws from the Ukrainian land.”