Putin is incurring major losses on the battlefield. The strategic and symbolic Kerch Bridge connecting mainland Russia to Crimea was hit a few hours after Putin turned 70; Russian citizens are increasingly unhappy with their leadership; the Ukrainian counter-offensive is resilient and capitalizing on Russia’s many military vulnerabilities. Putin has ramped up threats of nuclear escalation, prompting Joe Biden to warn of impending Armageddon at a recent Democratic fundraiser. Is nuclear escalation a legitimate fear? If so, how do we deter Russia from escalating without offering Putin a compromise or offramp?
Fred Kagan on these questions and more in today’s episode. Kagan is the director of AEI’s Critical Threats Project. He, together with the Institute for the Study of War, release a live Ukraine-Russia war tracker.