The GuardianThe Guardian

Putin is trapped and desperate. Will his friends in the west rescue him?

By Simon Tisdall

28 Aug 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

A Guardian columnist reminds us that Putin still has many cards left to play in Europe, and can call on sympathizers from Italy to Hungary to help get his way.

‘The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” So wrote American author Henry David Thoreau in 1854. It’s a fate that is rapidly overtaking Vladimir Putin as he struggles to escape the disastrous trap he set for himself in Ukraine.

Russia’s president keeps understandably schtum about his “special military operation”. But indefinite stalemate is not what he expected. He didn’t expect car bombs in Moscow and humiliating attacks on fortress Crimea, either.

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