The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Putin, unaccustomed to losing, is increasingly isolated as war falters

By Catherine Belton

30 Dec 2022 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

Today is the 23rd anniversary of Putin's appointment as acting Russian president in 1999. The Washington Post reports that he has likely never been more isolated than now.

When Vladimir Putin visited Minsk last week to discuss deepening cooperation, a sarcastic joke by his host, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, seemed to ring all too true. "The two of us are co-aggressors, the most harmful and toxic people on this planet. We have only one dispute: Who is the bigger one? That's all," Lukashenko said.

As Putin approaches New Year's Eve, the 23rd anniversary of his appointment in 1999 as acting Russian president, he appears more isolated than ever.

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