Will Putin Seize Ukraine, And If So When?

27 01 2022

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Russia’s killer Vladimir Putin is expected to attend Xi Jinping’s Winter Olympics in Beijing[2], and then all bets are off.  As I wrote in 2015:

The world must never forget that Putin left the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing to launch his aggression against Georgia.  Then, he left the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and launched his aggression against Crimea and the rest of Ukraine.  Also, the world must never forget that in addition to downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17—and killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board—Putin killed Alexander Litvinenko and countless others.[3]

Exploiting America’s humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, both Putin and Xi are “chess masters” who may move simultaneously to inflict heavy losses—both psychologically and militarily—against the United States and the American people.  In short, the “axis of evil” may strike on multiple fronts before our elections occur later this year.

Larry Kudlow—the Director of the National Economic Council during the Trump Administration from 2018 to 2021[4]—has written an article entitled “A Perfect Storm Engulfs Biden Over Economy, Europe, and Asia,” which is worth reading:

Almost immediately following President Biden’s blundering news conference on Wednesday, a near-perfect storm has descended.  Stock markets are selling off with their worst performance in many years.  Interest rates and oil prices are rising.  High inflation is embedded in the economy, and the Federal Reserve is about to launch a monetary tightening cycle.

Russia shows absolutely no signs of de-escalating in the Ukraine. If anything, it has gotten more aggressive by moving troops into Belarus and ships into the Black Sea, effectively surrounding Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Mr. Biden’s domestic agenda has collapsed, and the very essence of his presidency is hanging by a thread.  He has never recovered from the catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal.

Nor has he recovered from his launch of a radical left big-government socialist domestic policy.

Polls unanimously show the public is simply not buying the product Mr. Biden is selling.  He doubled down on his failed woke product last Wednesday, another huge mistake.

Now, in a futile attempt to recoup his failed diplomacy with Russia, Mr. Biden’s Administration is suddenly saber-rattling an increase of American GIs into Eastern Europe under the NATO flag.  This after telling the country he would not deploy American troops.

Right now, I am completely unconvinced and uncomfortable with putting another 8,500 Yanks into Eastern Europe.

For one thing, Putin couldn’t care less. He’s got about a couple hundred [thousand] troops around the area—8,500 is an ankle bite.

For another thing, President Biden and his team have been so far behind the curve on this Ukraine story that it looks as if they can never catch up.  Our own diplomats, intel people and even Defense Department sources, expect Russia to invade Ukraine.

Look, I’m no isolationist and I’m always America First in international relations, but the way to deal with Mr. Putin is by closing down his Nord Stream pipeline and shutting Russia out of the dollar-based international banking system.

These kinds of brute economic sanctions are something that would surely get Mr. Putin’s attention and do great damage to his economy.  Close down the Russian central bank and their larger commercial banks from using the SWIFT electronic funds transfer system.

The dollar is the world’s reserve currency. About 90% of foreign exchange transactions are denominated in dollars. Take Russia out of that system and their economy is literally sunk. S-u-n-k. They can fiddle around with some Chinese banks, but China and its capital controls are a small sideshow digression in world finance.

Say to Mr. Putin: No oil, no natural gas, no dollars, no banking. Then pour a larger and larger weapons arsenal into Ukraine. That’s a tough policy. That’s what Mr. Biden should have done the minute he learned of the Russian troop buildup.

Many weeks have been wasted.  America has been reacting to Mr. Putin, not defending its own agenda.  And now, the Bidens are digging a deeper hole by putting in more American soldiers, which will prove to be extremely unpopular and ineffectual.

By the way, I hate to say it, but the current Pentagon and national security group in this Administration has not earned any spurs after the Afghanistan fiasco.  At the moment, I don’t think we want them to expand their military horizon.

I don’t know if we are appeasing Mr. Putin. That’s such a toxic word. I do know that we have been enabling Mr. Putin.  The former KGB officer now turned presidential autocrat understands this full well.  We are playing his game, on his turf, with his narrative.

Instead of talking about NATO flags, backed by the unreliable Germany, I wish we were talking about American flags and American interests in freedom, democracy, and free-enterprise capitalism.

One final thought.  This is just in, and it blows my mind.  Apparently, the Biden Administration has arranged for the payment of Iran’s dues at the United Nations.

Can you believe this?  The Bidens have arranged to release $18 million of blocked Iranian funds, to be released to the Iranians so they can pay their dues, and—get this—have a vote in the United Nations, so that John Kerry and the State Department could once again bypass Congress and make a new deal with Iran.  Like I said, a perfect storm.[5]

Kudlow’s advocacy for the use of stringent economic sanctions is consistent with my earlier articles.[6]

© 2022, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6  and https://naegeleknol.wordpress.com/accomplishments/  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/ and https://naegeleknol.wordpress.com/articles/), and studied photography with Ansel Adams.  He can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See, e.g., https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-59663827 (“Beijing 2022: Putin tells Xi he will attend Winter Olympics”)

[3]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War”)

[4]  See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Kudlow (“Larry Kudlow”)

[5]  See https://www.nysun.com/national/a-perfect-storm-engulfs-biden-over-economy-europe/91975/ (“A Perfect Storm Engulfs Biden Over Economy, Europe, and Asia”); see also https://www.gingrich360.com/2022/01/25/ukraine-taiwan-and-a-weak-commander-in-chief/ (“Ukraine, Taiwan, and a Weak Commander in Chief”) and https://theloudobbsshow.libsyn.com/president-trump-on-bidens-blunders-rinos-winning (“The Great America Show with Lou Dobbs: PRESIDENT TRUMP ON BIDEN’S BLUNDERS, RINOS & WINNING”)

[6]  See, e.g., supra n.3.

Unspoken in all of these discussions, but hanging like a dark cloud over all of the world today, is China’s Coronavirus pandemic.  Perhaps its impact is described best in an article by Meghan McCain, the former Senator and presidential contender’s daughter, which is worth reading.

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10443695/MEGHAN-MCCAIN-got-Covid-doubt-America-recover-not-Biden.html (“MEGHAN MCCAIN: I finally got Covid and it was so horrible it made me doubt if America will ever recover from this pandemic. It WILL but not with moronic Biden in charge”)

I was not a fan of her father, but I voted for him.  I know little or nothing about her, except she was anti-Trump.  The latest Coronavirus mutation, Omicron, is overriding the vaccines and boosters.



5 responses

27 01 2022
H. Craig Bradley


President Biden has been playing the appeasement game with China and Russia. He offers little deterrence to either nation nor reassurance towards our allies. Putin could easily invade and occupy all of Ukraine if that was his goal- to fight an old fashioned war reminiscent of the 1930’s. However, I do not believe that is what he will ultimately do.

Luckily, Russia’s economy and currency is far too weak to sustain any kind of prolonged “shooting war”. China’s economy is in a cyclical decline, as well. As a matter-of-fact, its not just the U.S. which has become politically weak, but most of Europe, as well. Putin could actually invade all of Europe and control it if he wanted to pay the price. Its doubtful he is that ambitious. I think Putin is content to make the West and especially the United States look disunited and weak, which is in-fact already the case. Putin can instead negotiate for more concessions from President Biden.

Will President Xi order the Chinese Military to initiate a naval blockade of Taiwan and slowly grind them into submission to Mainland China sometime following the Beijing Olympics? Would China directly challenge the West with an old fashioned “attack” on Taiwan? I do not think China is yet militarily ready for a shooting war but equally, neither is the U.S.

We could sure use a deal-maker as President instead of a Tired Old Man who has difficulty reading his script. The odds of war will increase over time if the global economy continues to decline and global stock markets keep going lower. I worry about what our circumstances would be in ten more years.

The Western nations better wake-up before this decade passes or our political independence won’t survive our home grown socialists. Chinese-style socialism is way more pragmatic than American Wokism or European Socialism.


27 01 2022
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Craig, for your comments as always.

As indicated in the article above, I believe the time frames of both Putin and Xi are much shorter than a decade.

If the past is a prelude to the future, Putin will act soon after Xi Jinping’s Winter Olympics conclude. The only event stopping him would be to deny Russia access to the SWIFT payments system, which would crush his economy.

If we have learned anything about him over the years, it is that he is a shrewd poker player and/or a “chess master.” But he is not suicidal.

Xi Jinping has a longer horizon, but he too may act before our elections later this year. Both foresee a change of power with the Democrats losing the Congress (e.g., too many Democrats are opting for early retirement).

Also, Biden may appoint Kamala Harris to the Supreme Court to “get rid of her,” hoping to revive his failing presidency.

If I am correct, all of this would occur prior to the end of this year. Any miscalculations might send us into a two-front war with the “axis of evil.”

American mothers may be deserting the Democrats already. Imagine if the draft and mandatory military service are instituted.


27 01 2022
Richard Schultz

Tim, Interesting symmetry comparing Putin’s military adventures to the timing of the Olympics. RCS


27 01 2022
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, the Great Schultz. Yes, indeed.

My sense is that Putin will not “steal the thunder” from Xi Jinping’s Winter Olympics, but will act as he did twice before: (1) after the Summer Olympics in Beijing; and (2) after the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

In many ways, this might be a “tempest in a teapot”: Putin is not suicidal.

We can stop him in his tracks by putting him on notice right now that the United States will act unilaterally and decisively to shut down Russia’s access to the SWIFT banking system, which in turn will cripple if not sink the Russian economy.

China must be given similar warnings about Taiwan.

See also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10451273/Biden-warns-Ukraines-President-distinct-possibility-Russia-invade-February.html (“Russia warns NATO it will not let its ‘interests be rudely trampled on’ after Biden told Ukraine’s President Zelensky to brace for invasion amid fears Putin will be ready for a complete take-over in TWO WEEKS”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10455045/Putin-agrees-hold-talks-Germany-France-Ukraine-NATO-squabbles.html (“Putin splits NATO and cuts out Biden: Russian president agrees to hold talks with Germany, France and Ukraine as squabbling NATO countries fail to decide joint troop deployment and Joe says he’ll go it alone”) and https://www.npr.org/2022/01/28/1076246311/chinas-ambassador-to-the-u-s-warns-of-military-conflict-over-taiwan (“China’s ambassador to the U.S. warns of ‘military conflict’ over Taiwan”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10460017/Biden-plans-sanctions-against-Putins-inner-circle-DC-Moscow-prepare-face-UN.html (“Russia accuses US of ‘whipping up hysteria’ over Ukraine and wanting to make ‘heroes out of people who fought on Hitler’s side’ at UN showdown: Biden threatens ‘swift and severe’ response against Putin as Kiev claims 112,000 troops are on the border”) and https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/cord-cutting-russian-style-could-the-kremlin-sever-global-internet-cables/ (“Cord-cutting, Russian style: Could the Kremlin sever global internet cables?”)


5 02 2022
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10478725/Putin-Xi-new-axis-evil-aiming-shatter-Wests-power-writes-MARK-ALMOND.html (“Putin and Xi… a new axis of evil: China and Russia are fielding a joint team at the Winter Olympics and aiming to shatter the West’s power”)

This article accurately describes the new “axis of evil,” and its designs for the West.


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