Putin to Mother: Be Happy Your Son Died in War, Not From Vodka

'New York Times' has an in-depth look at how Russia's war has gone so wrong
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2022 6:45 AM CST
Putin to Mother: Be Happy Your Son Died in War, Not From Vodka
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in Moscow on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.   (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The New York Times is out with a damning, in-depth account of how Vladmir Putin and Russia have botched the Ukraine war. Based on "secret battle plans, intercepts and interviews with Russian soldiers and Kremlin confidants," the account finds that an isolated Putin "spiraled into self-aggrandizement" and failed to consult experts within his country who foresaw disaster before launching his invasion. In an epic understatement, Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in March that the Ukrainians are "tougher than I was told," per the story. “This will probably be much more difficult than we thought," he added. "But the war is on their territory, not ours. We are a big country and we have patience.”

The story details an astonishing lack of training, food, and gear that have hamstrung Russian forces, as well as the military strategy that has left its forces overstretched and vulnerable to attack. One notable part: Putin met with mothers of slain Russian soldiers but showed no remorse or regret. Per the story, he pointed out to one mother that many young Russian men die of alcohol abuse anyway and that she should be happy her son died for a reason. “Some people, are they even living or not living? It’s unclear. And how they die, from vodka or something else, it’s also unclear,” Putin said. “But your son lived, you understand? He reached his goal.” (Dig in to the full story here.)

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