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Opinion: Ukraine will never stop fighting Russia

And the war goes on and on, no matter how advanced technology is, the strength of a commander or head of state in combat depends on the training given to soldiers on the ground who form the foundation of the defense of a country. Airstrikes have played a huge role in global conflicts over the past century and still do today. War claims victims on both sides of the barricades.

One feels compassion for the old babushas who did not start this war, and for the parents who recover from the battle their adult children and grandchildren, once left to be soldiers and now sent home in body bags. Meanwhile, Putin ignorantly and recklessly shoveling his infantry into a glow-in-the-dark nuclear wood chipper and bombing a dangerous power plant is a new low. No medals will be awarded…but there will be a count at the end, if the story serves as an instruction.

In the Kremlin, heads have already rolled. Nearly 80,000 wounded and dead men are now crowded into the casualty statistics kept by NATO. Many were running in the other direction. Reminiscent of braver times, the western world is very lucky that we are not fighting General Patton’s sworn enemy and Eisenhower’s friend, Marshal Zhukov. Zhukov and his superb field staff and snipers outmaneuvered Hitler’s best strategists and dug into Stalingrad like vengeful grizzly bears to win the Eastern Front for the Allies in World War II and lead Hitler to the suicide.

There was a time, albeit short, when Russia was our friend. Alas, these true Russian heroes are no longer with us, and their fighting skills and common sense that helped create the new peace after WWII seem completely gone from the crazy strategy Putin dictates from the safety of his shelter. Kremlin anti-bombs.

That he’s smarter than the last butcher, Stalin, is a coincidence, and a bet I wouldn’t take, because evil comes in many forms and claims the sanity of many people, sometimes all at once. Stalin caused mass starvation, mainly in Ukraine, during his brutal tenure. Putin instead likes to stealthily eliminate those who disagree with him with poison, or – even funnier – the incandescent blast of rocket attacks on hospitals and apartment buildings. He likes a good show.

Putin is still adored in Russia, even as the economy there draws its last breath, although he is not sane by any psychiatric standard; one of the basic diagnoses for serious mental illness is “I believe that only I am right, and the whole world is wrong.” Putin fits the diagnosis. The same goes for some westerners, but we are not running a huge country, killing children and parents and torturing prisoners for sport. In all of this, just ask him: Putin is absolutely, why of course, “absolutely right”: another characteristic of the true madman. But there are some cracks in his certainty. “Understand your enemy” is a primary rule of war. He incredibly misjudged true Ukrainian patriotism and the condemnation of much of the world as well.

Sensing disaster, the fearless, shifty-eyed Russian leader, on secret information, began to panic, and with good reason. He is 40 years older than when he emerged from obscurity in the collapsed Communist Party, rose through the ranks of Russian Federation spies, stopping to gloat and see the strange victims of his cruelty, without any remorse. With the consent of the Russian people (with the exception of the 300,000+ who immediately left Russia this spring), Putin has made – and quietly murdered – too many enemies in this ascent and he knows it. The body count is large and several members of his entourage are quietly plotting to get off the ship. His good friend (!) Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich fell victim to Team Putin’s wrath when he tried to broker peace and get his yachts back. He was rewarded with a near-death experience from the poisonous tea – a reminder that no one surpasses their boss. Too bad he drank the tea.

This is what happens when a career secret agent gets his hands on levers of power over a geographically huge and heavy nation, despite having never served in the Duma, the diplomatic corps, the army Russian or any sort of semi-honorable surface combat. I believe if he were ever tasked with carrying a rifle into a pitched battle, it would be the tails disappearing over the horizon, and he would hardly be missed. Meanwhile………….

The Russian military is losing a war and its economy is collapsing, and the Russian public, despite empty grocery store shelves, has continued to swallow fantasy and lies. In fact, no one in the Russian military machine seriously thinks that the mythical greatness promised to the enlisted soldiers of all the Russias will materialize from their debacle in Ukraine.

One explanation for why Putin and his group of yes men seriously think they can destroy the Ukrainian nation’s existence stems from a deep and deeply chilling awareness of their own vulnerability. True cowards are often tyrants, whether in the schoolyard or the Winter Palace. Putin obviously needed a dramatic public restoration of his manhood, and Ukraine came into his sights. Bad fight to choose. Ukrainians, knowing true freedom, will never give it up; they will certainly survive the short and obnoxious Kremlin gnome.

Linda Berry is a Northsider.