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David Derbes

I can’t speak for the rest of the world, Jim, but I’m grateful for your insights. I think your read on Putin is excellent. The catch is that the plutocrats who have at least tacitly supported him, and the generals on whom he depends, will be none too pleased to watch their billions and their armies gobbled up by Western banks and Ukrainian courage and resolve.

The Ukrainians are saying they’ve killed 9000 Russian soldiers. That’s almost certainly an overestimate, but it might become accurate in 48 hours or so. That represents a loss rate of roughly 200 times what they experienced in Afghanistan: 15K in 10 years versus 9K in 10 days. The first is 1.5K per annum, the second is 9K in let’s say 1/25 of a year, 240K p.a. I think that is unsustainable. And if the oligarchs’ fortunes are not merely frozen but seized, I think Gospodin Putin may receive the intracranial nine grams of lead transfusion sooner rather than later. A man may hope.

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