Thursday, December 8, 2022

Will Ukraine become Moscow’s second Afghanistan?

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Bloated and stumpy, Russian wartime President Vladimir Putin (69) is becoming more and more reminiscent of old Kremlin leaders in their final days. Leonid Brezhnev (1906-1982) suffered a stroke in 1976 from which he never recovered. A sick man ruled the Soviet Union and led the huge empire into the 1979 war in Afghanistan. Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007), Russia’s first president, also seemed a shadow of himself towards the end.

Brezhnev’s invasion of Afghanistan would later contribute to the fall of the Soviet empire. Yeltsin could not withstand the pressure in power. Marked by palace revolts and intrigues, on the last day of the last millennium Yeltsin handed power to his successor: the then 47-year-old prime minister and rising star Vladimir Putin.

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