Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Cracks in the Facade

5/17/22 Reuters:

LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) - One military analyst had a brutally frank message for viewers of Russian state television: The war in Ukraine will get much worse for Russia, which is facing a mass mobilisation supported by the United States while Russia is almost totally isolated.

Since President Vladimir Putin ordered the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russia state media - and especially state television - have supported the Kremlin's position. Few dissenting voices have been given air time.

That appeared to have changed on Monday night when one well-known military analyst gave a blunt assessment to Russia's main state television channel of what Putin casts as the "special military operation".

"You should not swallow informational tranquilizers," Mikhail Khodaryonok, a retired colonel, told the "60 Minutes" talk show on Rossiya-1 hosted by Olga Skabeyeva, one of the most pro-Kremlin journalists on television.

"The situation, frankly speaking, will get worse for us," said Khodaryonok, a regular guest on state TV who gives often candid assessments of the situation.

He said that Ukraine could mobilise 1 armed million men.

Khodaryonok, a military columnist for the gazeta.ru newspaper and a graduate of one of Russia's elite military academies, cautioned before the invasion that such a step would not be in Russia's national interests.

That is a gutsy thing for a Russian to say, and for state television to report.  Is Putin losing his cheerleaders as the tragedy gets worse?  To quote Eisenhower:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

Russia is destroying its economy, and to prevent a worse war, we are spending hospitals, power plants, electric vehicles, and labor stopping Hitler 2.0. 

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