Putin Alone, Frustrated; Zelenskyy With Friends, Supporters
Vladimir Putin approached his fateful decision to invade Ukraine mostly on his own. It was a surprise to elites in the capitals of Europe and even to many around the Kremlin and Moscow. He has, as most observers point out, become increasingly isolated. Putin is now pictured alone at the end of the long table, repeating lists of historic grievances in discussions with world leaders and giving manic-style lectures to Russians over state-controlled media claiming the West is trying to destroy Russia, but all is going according to his plan.
The decision to invade was based on a host of assumptions that turned out to be wrong, dangerously wrong for Putin’s invasion plan.
- The attack would move very quickly to Kyiv
- Ukraine would welcome it, or at least not resist
- The Ukrainian government would fall and Russian control established quickly
- Europe and the U.S. would move slowly and sanctions be limited by economic self-interest of EU members
Whereas Volodymyr Zelenskyy has remained in the field with his army and on Zoom with world leaders. As of April 6, Ukraine is beating the odds in a very difficult circumstance.
American public opinion remains divided on partisan issues, but united on the Ukraine war. Zelenskyy has a 72 percent level of confidence among Americans “to do the right thing regarding world affairs” and Putin has 6 percent. President Biden gets an average of 48 percent.