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Oh boy, a troll question. I detect a pattern in this guy’s recent questions. BTW – my opinion is that Russia is the aggressor, not the victim and that Ukraine is not attacking Russia, but is defending itself from unmerited aggression. My other answer is below. Smart” is a problematic term because it’s very hard to quantify. Putin has had certain advantages: he was educated in law, worked in the KGB, worked in East Germany, was exposed to ideas outside of the USSR, and then took a doctoral degree in law before embarking on his political career. So, a better question may be, “of Russians of Putin’s era and having equal education, do many seem to have his intellect and acumen?”.

I would say no. Plenty may be as “book-smart” as Putin, sure. But something funny happened after the fall of the Soviet Union in terms of the new economy. The government expected when businesses formerly held by the state were put up for private ownership, the baker would buy his bakery, the auto mechanic buys his garage, and so forth. They did not foresee what really happened, which was often sly businessmen buying up, selling, and trading various businesses as investments. Basically, somehow all of Gosplan failed to see how a free market actually functions. But plenty of Russians with some knowledge of Western business models and economics or simply a spirit of the enterprise did see that and acted on it. Some became oligarchs. Putin was similar, except he worked in the political sphere. He took notice of what people didn’t have, what they wanted, and how they expected the government to respond. Then, he responded above and beyond that. He promised—and early on at least—to provide far more than expected. There were plenty of other former KGB colonels, plenty of former mayors, and plenty of people with a candidate’s degree in law who did not see such opportunities. So, there are Russians who have an as good education and/or intelligence probably as Putin but have been far less savvy in understanding society. If there is genius in Putin, that is it. He understands Russia. He understands when to speak like a common factory worker, he understands when to reference the church and faith, and he understands when to invoke fear. And a lot of that, for the Russian, educated, approach runs contra to what was explicitly taught to the highly educated of Putin’s time and a good part of why Gosplan’s star economists could not see beyond their own noses.

The draft offices even turned back many volunteers who wanted to go to fight against the Nazis. Yes, Western media, at the suggestion of Ukrainian propaganda, are broadcasting about large numbers of Russian losses, and here a Westerner needs to turn on his head – if the losses are so terrible, and they have been going on for five months, but the Russian army does not end and continues to win, and all this without mobilization in Russia – are the losses of the Russian army really that big? And is it worth it to blindly trust Western, that is, Ukrainian propaganda? This is despite the fact that in Ukraine itself there is not enough not only volunteers, but there also are even not enough forcibly mobilized people – people are caught at gas stations, in shops, and in churches in order to hand them a summons and send them to the front. A game of cat and mouse is going on all over the cities. A death game, because being sent to the front is a high probability of dying. But what did you hear about the numerous losses of the Ukrainian army? That’s it. You probably haven’t heard anything about several waves of mobilization there either. Now the Kyiv regime has agreed with Poland that it will return male refugees, the same roundups will soon take place throughout Europe – as in the days of Nazi Germany they caught Jews – so now Ukrainians will be caught. Europe, again and again, slides into genocide, despite all its slogans about democracy.

Finns are now part of NATO, so an attack on it by Russia would bring out the weapons of all in the alliance — possibly including HIMARS Finland has a very neutral streak in terms of political alliances. Until Putin’s Great Idiotic War on Ukraine, they were perfectly happy to be unaligned. They have no designs on any Russian territory. Any military action on the Finnish — Russian border will be the Finns and their NATO partners kicking out the Russian in what, I would guess, be the second front of the Great Idiotic War. Highly unlikely since Russia is now losing territory, men, and materiel on the first. As long as Russia stays on its side of the line, nothing will happen. Why would there be rocket strikes on St Petersburg? Bombing civilian targets are something that the Russians have been doing in a stupidly vain attempt to demoralize the Ukrainian population. The result: even more determination by Ukrainians to kick Vlad’s ass out of Donbas and Crimea.

No. Putin did not believe the war would be this difficult and blamed a bunch of generals and advisers for telling him what he wanted to hear. More importantly, Putin and his generals want nothing to do with the US and NATO and have a genuine fear of NATO. While the apparent weakness of NATO delighted him, he wants nothing to do with a war with NATO, he just wants to be a “great power” like the US. He sees Russia as and the US as equal. However, he has not felt they could catch the US economically anytime soon, and in fact, is a little insecure about it, but feels through military might they can go toe to toe with the US. In a contrast, China has felt economic dominance is part of being a world power. Also very authoritarian, they want economic power as well as a military power. Putin is just interested in dominance. Both of these approaches are doomed to failure because part of the plan is authoritarianism. However, the US has done plenty of imperialism and anti-democratic acts throughout history, as these governments often remind us. So democratic-led governments with a lot of economic and military power do not always work toward democratic goals in foreign policy. In general, Russia wants nothing to do with NATO, despite any bravado that might imply otherwise. Russia seeking power without economic development will fail ordinary Russians, and most likely Putin himself over the long term. However, it will not be an immediate failure, because he has a strong grip on power. China, because of its attempt to dominate the world economy is a larger threat, but it remains to be seen how much of a force it can be without a democratic structure of some kind. Still, Putin is not to be trifled with, just because of his expansionist ideals, and his willingness to use war as a tool to accomplish those ideals. The US must remain strong and let Putin know that we will not tolerate any encroachment on Europe, and Putin needs to fear this. This is one of the real problems of Trumpism. It leads its adherents into believing we can get away with isolationism. We fought two world wars over such tendencies. We will fight an extremely dangerous third if we do not stop Putin here. The world we live in will not work in an America-alone philosophy. We do need real team players in Europe, but I think many there are starting to realize this. Though there are some countries such as Hungary and Turkey who are willing to ignore the threat. Though Turkey has turned out to be more opportunist, increasing its importance in NATO. In the end, there is a lot to fear about a Third World War or a US-Russian conflict. No one wants it, least of all Russia.

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Putin was a KGB agent, so he probably would have had some basic hand-to-hand training but, aside from the fact that the hand to hand skills of soldiers (even special forces soldiers) is enormously exaggerated (almost all of a soldier’s training tends to involve weapons because that’s what almost all modern combat involves), he was never a martial arts specialist aside from judo competitions. Chuck Norris is not only a career martial artist, he was a world class martial artist. With high ranks in a number of martial arts. Chuck Norris is probably better at Judo than Putin is. So no, Putin has not surpassed Chuck Norris in martial arts. He probably hasn’t even surpassed any who’s been studying judo for a similar length of time.
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