If Putin 'Mans Up,' His Regime Will Crumble
By Paul Gregory (Hoover Institution and University of Houston)
California Senator Dianne Feinstein has demanded that Vladimir Putin “man up” and admit that pro-Russian separatists downed MH17, mistaking it for a Ukrainian transport plane. That this is true is obvious to all except Putin’s propaganda machine that is frantically churning out absurd conspiracy theories, while Putin lies low and limits himself to vague claims of Ukrainian guilt.
Feinstein may not understand that Putin’s “manning up” could spell the end of his regime and he can’t admit the truth. Instead, Putin will ramp up his appeals for peace (with the very thugs who shot down MH17, it is now clear), pledge full cooperation with international investigations, and then stonewall like crazy. Meanwhile, he will not let Ukraine go. As a Russian analyst notes Putin has “never admitted a single error” and “never made a single step backward” in his 15 year rule. His KGB training requires him to double down, fight his way out, turn up the pressure, never admit, never retreat. He will continue his support of his proxies in east Ukraine and hope that the West’s attention span will be short.