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We Are Nearing Lieutenant Kizh Time

The disaster in Ukraine caused by an unstable Russian leader reminds me of the Russian film Поручик Киж (Lieutenant Kizh) [on YouTube with subtitles].

It is most notable for the music by Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev, but is a relevant satire on the reign of Цар Павл I (Tsar Paul I). Paul and Putin have a lot in common, and, at this point, I can almost suggest that Putin’s underlings are just as incompetent as Paul’s.

In the end Russia was rid of Paul by “an attack of apoplexy” according to the court physician, whose definition of the term includes a physical attack by a group senior officers 😈

Paul was the only child of Katherine the Great, and suffered from a lack of his mother’s competence.


1 Badtux { 05.05.22 at 11:19 pm }

Putin is thus far protecting himself from an attack of apoplexy by not allowing more than three senior officers at a time into his presence, and they’re required to sit at the opposite end of a very long table from Putin and his bodyguards. Presumably so his bodyguards have plenty of time to shoot them if they try to rush Putin.

I don’t know if it’s that Putin’s underlings are incompetent insomuch as their core competence was never supposed to be military in the first place. Their core competence is grifting, or the enabling of grifting of military budget money into oligarchs’ pockets. The problem is, that’s not a core competence that helps win wars. Rather the opposite, in fact. There are Russian military vehicles disabled because they have 40 year old tires that shredded. I saw a picture of tires on one of those vehicles that had a “Made in USSR” on them! (They were export tires intended for India, obviously, but which somehow ended up on a Russian BMP). Corruption at work, huzzah!

Surprisingly, Peter III, Katherine the Great’s husband, supposedly died of “an attack of apoplexy” too. Common disease in the Russian court, lol. Maybe Vlad the Invader needs to think about that. Or maybe he *is* thinking about that, thus the very, very, very long table.

2 Bryan { 05.06.22 at 10:10 pm }

From seeing Volodya on the media lately he may be experiencing Stalin’s problem “a stroke” instead of “apoplexy”. He doesn’t look at all like the young KGB officer who was buying computers in East Germany when I was stationed at Rhein-Main. He was being “mentioned in dispatches” for his work which indicated a powerful patron.

He is at the point where he doesn’t really trust anyone and the distrust is affecting everyone in his circle. No one wants to make any decisions for fear of being wrong. The officers don’t trust the troops to follow orders and are not certain the orders are right.

This is definitely not the military I was “watching” in the 1960s & 70s.

3 Badtux { 05.06.22 at 10:55 pm }

I’m still trying to figure out what Russia’s end game is supposed to be. They supposedly wanted to seize the steel mill and industries of Mariupol, but have reduced it all to rubble now, as well as killed or removed 3/4ths of the people. Is this Russia’s victory? To reign over ruins?

If Ukraine was attacking Russia, turning it into ruins like the Soviets did to Berlin in 1945 would be justified. But all Russia does is trot out nonsense about Jewish Nazis and weaponized Pigeons of Mass Destruction to justify their invasion. Clearly they initially wanted to annex Ukraine by installing a puppet regime when they started out, thus their attempted thunder run at Kyiv which got stopped so abruptly with up to a third of the personnel and equipment captured or destroyed. But that’s also clearly not in the cards now with all of the Western assistance reaching the Ukrainians who have proven surprisingly competent plus the huge morale advantage of the Ukrainians (who view their loss of Mariupol as akin to Texan’s loss of the Alamo during the Texas War of Independence, “Remember Mariupol” is their “Remember the Alamo”), so what is the Russian end game?

Vlad the Invader has gotten himself into a jam, and how he gets himself out of that jam is going to make these interesting times, indeed.

4 Bryan { 05.07.22 at 4:07 pm }

My guess(I was intel analyst, not a shrink) is that he is/was attempting to reconstruct the Russian empire and make Russia relevant in the modern world. He was taught that force & fear were all you need, so those are the only policies he tries. He has allowed “his alligator mouth get him into something his canary butt can’t handle”, i.e. he no longer has a credible military. He has gone for flashy uniforms and weapons, while ignoring maintenance, supply, and basic logistics.

Emily Latella had a graceful exit line, but I don’t think it will work for Putin….

5 Kryten42 { 05.08.22 at 7:11 pm }

Yes. I agree with the above Bryan & Badtux. The only Nation Putin is destroying, is Russia. It’s only a matter of time until he pays for his arrogance & stupidity. In the traditional Russian way, of course.

6 Kryten42 { 05.09.22 at 9:42 pm }
7 Bryan { 05.21.22 at 7:56 am }

Next time do you think someone could convince your major parties to select leaders who didn’t look like brothers? Remembering the color of eyeglass frames was most the ID I had to go on.

I hope Labor can do something for you while they have a chance.