Headline RoundupMarch 5th, 2022

Perspectives: Putin's Questionable State of Mind

AllSides Summary

World leaders and political analysts are starting to raise concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin's state of mind as he continues to escalate his country's invasion of Ukraine. 

U.S. intelligence agencies are reportedly keeping a close eye on Putin for "any significant behavioral changes" after being directly sanctioned. Some experts have labeled some of Putin's recent decisions as "irrational" and "out of character," including his move to put Russia's nuclear forces on alert and labeling declarations of a no-fly zone over Ukraine as a "participation" of war. Previous intelligence reports suggest that Putin's prolonged period of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to his "increasingly isolated and paranoid world view." Putin biographer Mark Galeotti echoed this sentiment on Good Morning Britain last week, emphasizing how Putin has shifted from being a "very cautious and risk-averse" leader to seemingly "an old man in a hurry." Galeotti and other academics have highlighted how Putin is "obsessed with his historical legacy" and doesn't "feel confident of his hold on power" having democratic states on his country’s border.

The vast majority of voices across the political spectrum have been highly critical of Putin's actions and his state of mind. The Daily Beast (Left bias) suggested that Russians should "take action and stop their leader" as they don't face the same penalty of death as "those who lived under Stalin and Hitler" did. The New York Post editorial board (Right bias) affirmed that Putin "has offered no rational justification for invading Ukraine."

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