Putin Is a Serial Decision-Making Procrastinator, and Russia Is Paying the Price

Price that will haunt Russia for centuries

I heard such a great summary of Putin recently, I couldn’t have put it better myself:

I see him fundamentally as a phenomenal procrastinator in terms of decision making. And usually waiting until the very end when all the best options are gone and he is forced into a decision, and he is only able to pick between poor options and worse options. And he takes the risk, he takes the action, but the efficacy is much lower than if he had done it much sooner.

This is precisely right. In the end, Putin still always takes the escalation road, but because he leaves it so late the efficacy is much lower than if he had done it sooner.

The way he acts is the way you would operate if you wanted your escalatory moves to fail as much as possible, and have as little effect as possible.

He procrastinates on things past any reasonable date, allowing the situation to turn way against Russia before he will do anything, and even then he will only take the most minimal step that he can get away with.

The time to start giving the military the men it needs wasn’t 7 months into the war. It was on day one of the war.

Now that Ukraine has had 7 months to expand forces, gain experience, build confidence and assimilate NATO hardware, the 300K reinforcements are going to have a far lower impact than they could have had when Russia was still advancing against a weaker opponent. (And before the Russian professional army had exhausted itself.)

Whereas if you’re going to be conducting a wanna-be police operation the time for that was 2014, not February 2022. (Bizzare!!!)

Kofman is actually talking here about his handling of Syria, but the description applies just as well to his handling of Ukraine and the NATO/West situation.

In fact, Putin’s indecision in Syria (— he only intervened after the Syrian army had already all but disintegrated and there was very little left to save —) is much easier to defend because Moscow doesn’t have a big stake in Syria.

How much of Syria survives isn’t really a critical question for Moscow, but Ukraine-Little Russia can’t possibly be treated with the same lack of ownership. A Russo-Ukrainian war is a bell you can not unring. Ringing that bell is going to have consequences for inter-East Slavic relations that are going to reverberate for centuries. If that is something you’re going to do (and it’s questionable that you should) then you absolutely owe it to pour enormous resources and planning into it from the start to make it as overwhelming and as brief as possible. To maximize the benefits of a violent resolution as possible, and limit the immense fallout from it as much as possible.

What is being done now is the exact opposite. It is what you would do if you wanted to build up anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalism as much as possible, thus cementing Ukraine’s separation and hostility as much as possible, while also trying to make Russia’s direct territorial gains vs Ukraine as meager as possible. — It is the worst of both worlds.

Kofman then moves onto Ukraine 2014:

So my view of it is that Crimea worked out rather well for Putin, but the rest of the campaign in Donbass ended up being a fitfull messy escalation that ultimately didn’t get Russia what they wanted and ended up showing the limitations of the utility of force that they were trying to achieve, and that throughout he had been trying to pursue the most minimal [inaudible] he could, and he ended up in a situation where he was chipping in, chipping in, and chipping in, and getting pot committed into it and still not being able to attain his political objectives.

And again:

Briefly going back to 2014, that was another demonstration of Putin the Procrastinator when the initial plan fails, when he has attempted to conduct an operation, doesn’t go through and he spent entire summer on his hands, fitfully escalating, until eventually he had to yank Girkin and Borodai out of there, and conduct a conventional military intervention leading to the Minsk-1 agreement — and that didn’t achieve their objectives.

And then they conducted another campaign in the winter, in the Battle of Debaltsevo that led to the second Minsk agreement — and that also in the long run didn’t achieve their political objectives either.

And the reason I raise that is that I saw it very much replicated in what over the course of this year. Where the initial campaign was unsuccessful and then Putin decided to proceed with fitfull escalation and basically sat on his hand, pursued piecemeal solutions, all of which were basically kicking the can down the road, and is now looking like he is steadily running out of road. He has been procrastinating this whole time in making any of the hard political decisions.

It’s quite damning when your own enemies have you figured out as indecisive, and a wimp.

Here is a Kiev-born American, Kofman, as pro-Empire as they come, and even he can’t wrap his mind around why Putin can’t make a single decision when it would be actually appropriate but has to sabotage each and every one of them by leaving them way past their best before date.

  1. Blackledge says

    The Americans seemed quite timid about throwing their full logistical and financial weight behind Kiev at the start. But after repeated Kremlin threats coming to nothing of substance at all, neither the Departments of State or Defense or the US Congress – nor Poland, nor the Baltic clowns, have any compunctions about pursuing a full court press against Russia in the Ukraine. To the contrary, all of these players have become emboldened to “push the envelope” as far and as hard as possible. In their mind, victory is seemingly now within their grasp, making further western escalation is highly likely.

  2. Panos says

    He didn’t procastrinate on 2008 though,neither in the Kazakhstan crisis.And the second Chenchen war was conducted with extreme prejudice.

    1. Abraham Lincoln says

      Russia is a democracy unlike the USSA which is a racist supremacist global Jewish Judeo nazi slave empire dictatorship so the Russian government can’t just do as they please.

      Putin has massive public support as the Russian people are angry he is not moving faster, which is much better then the Russian people being dragged by the government against. Russia mobilized 300 k soldiers and now has another 200 k volunteers to fight against Ukraine so Russia now has 500k soldiers to take on NATO.

    2. Oscar Peterson says

      Yeah, I tend to agree with you.

      He was seen as cautious but decisive up until this operation. But of course Ukraine is of a wholly different order of magnitude than Chechnya, Georgia and Syria.

      One difference is that Putin and the Kremlin leadership always wanted Ukraine to want to be associated with Russia in a fraternal and cultural way. That didn’t apply to the other cases (well, maybe to a degree with Georgia) and it led Putin to soften the approach.

      Secondly, Ukraine is simply much more complex a problem. Putin inherited the bungling of Gorbachev and Yeltsin which really put the emerging Russian state in a strategic bind. Gorbachev created an aura of incompetence and drift in Moscow while devolving power to the republics even while trying to hold the USSR together. All the way to the end, he imagined that the USSR would survive and made no preparation for how its successor state, the RF should operate strategically. Yeltsin, another deluded soul, was so dazzled by US supermarkets that he imagined Russia as the main victim of the USSR, pushed for its end as an opening to “freedom, innovation, democracy, etc” and was also incapable of thinking in strategic terms until they jumped up and smacked him in the face.

      The majority of Ukrainians wanted a union with Russia in 1990. But by 1991, Moscow looked so feeble that a majority now wanted an independent state in order to distance themselves from the ongoing disaster at the center. Once a governing elite was in place, they had their own reasons for wanting full autonomy. That’s what local elites (like the American Founding Fathers) always do.

      By the time Putin came to power, there was an emerging coalition of (1) the kleptocratic Ukrainian governing elites and their oligarchic backers, (2) the nationalistic right wing that had relatively little political appeal but could provide muscle for those who could manipulate them and (3) the US which wanted to divest Russia of as many assets as possible.

      2014 was the key point, because before then, the majority of Ukrainians were still against EU entry and even more so against NATO membership. But when the anti-Yankovich coup succeeded, the above coalition was able to use Russia’s response to the strategic threat it posed in order to move the passive majority into an anti-Russia, pro-NATO mindset.

      Putin was in a bind from the start. It seems he distrusted the US and the West in general but tended to underestimate just how untrustworthy they truly were. And in trying to balance his strategic goals with what he thought the Russian public could “accept,” he ended up in the position of always reacting to US stratagems instead of preempting them. For a time, the seizure of Crimea seemed to be a preemptive success but turns out to have been a half-measure that allowed the GoU to rebuild its military and left Crimea and the Donbas at their revanchist mercy.

      Putin really didn’t want to be a “warlord.” He wanted to rebuild the Russian state and its economy and prevent its isolation by the US who, rhetoric aside, pursues total world domination forever. But it’s not easy to explain that to the hapless average Russian from whom massive sacrifices and hardships have been demanded by one Russian leadership cadre after another practically forever. Putin knew this and it caused him to take half-measures.

      The US policy is to take advantage of weakness wherever it can be found to neuter any adversarial power centers before they can get back on their feet. And of course the US has many tools at its disposal.

      The “Putin is an idiot” tone is stupid. It’s mostly a function of people who vested a lot of hope in what Putin could accomplish in fending off the paranoid, covetous, power-seeking US.

      Now the real question is what happens–and what can happen–going forward.

      1. Joseph Michael Bryant says

        Highly informative and perceptive comment! Thanks for this (and for your legendary jazz piano wizardry as well).

  3. YakovKedmi says

    A jew government agent professional liar and a war on the rock propaganda outfit, come up with a false premise, and Antony Empire regurgitates it.
    Next you might as well regurgitate a Homeland Security Report on how O’Sammy bin Lauden and his merry men demolished two tall buildings.

  4. RegretLeft says

    He – or someone – (I bet it was someone) did not procrastinate on forcing the clot shot on an additional 300K young Russian men (way beyond a mandate – not one national government has gotten close to that level of compulsion – clot shot or 10 years in jail) – that will “haunt Russia” in the next decade or two as those who survive try to have kids. Birth rates plummeting this year in most highly vaxed nations.

    1. Traveller says

      Is there some link that points to that info?

      1. RegretLeft says

        As always, Mr Slavsquat is on it: https://edwardslavsquat.substack.com/p/russian-doctors-demand-end-to-compulsory . See also his previous post.

        I may have been incorrect about the jail part; I had thought the penalty for evading conscription OR refusing the vax was up to 10 years jail. But the above link from today – seems to say the regions are driving the policy and it is unclear what the range of sanctions will be. So, something along a mandatory-compulsory scale seems to be in effect.

      2. LM says

        link: trust me

    2. LM says

      what clot shot? its normal for troops to be vaxed against possible bioweapons like anthrax etc and im sure they found a host of exotic stuff in the americunt biolabs. youre confusing the russian army with uncle scams tranny bigade.

    3. Michael Reardon says

      So true. The clot shot will destroy all the countries that use it. So disappointed with Putin. The default should always be free choice.

  5. Traveller says

    Thanks for the link.
    If that is correct, than it means that whole ‘ukraine war’ thing is basically very well organized and coordinated ‘population reduction’ effort by satanic globalists, and that putin, biden, layen and all other players are basically just a tools. Which in turn means that it is pointless to discuss any aspect of this war but that one, since everything is coordinated from one center anyway.

    As I said, IF those are correct news. I hope they are not, but everything is possible, sadly.

    1. RegretLeft says

      By the way, “birth rates plummeting” has been widely discussed as well. If you need to catch up, here is one place to start – https://igorchudov.substack.com/p/uk-births-in-england-collapsed-and

      Your “If .. then …” is really the crux of things at this point … In other words, just what the hell is going on?!

      And here for the curious is another 5G guy within the last 24 hours – it’s all going to turn out right for out side… just wait a little longer… seems an informed and very well thought out path to this conclusion:

      “… the Ukrainian army and its large numbers of NATO-affiliated “volunteers” are going to suffer the biggest catastrophe so far in this war as a result of their militarily imprudent last-gasp September “counter-offensives”.”


  6. jasmin loutra loura says

    And here for the curious is another 5G guy within the last 24 hours – it’s all going to turn out right for out side… just wait a little longer… seems an informed and very well thought out path to this conclusion:

    1. Blackledge says

      “Two more weeks.”

      “Trust the plan.”

      “Good guys are in charge.”


  7. Alan Elnick says

    Putin can be criticized as much as people want for his management of the Ukraine Operation. However, four regions of Ukraine that wished to separate from Ukraine have now been given the fortitude to do so along with the referendum to publicly express their desire to join the Russian Federation. They have now been formally annexed, adding over 4 million people to Russia, The limited war engaged in to accomplish that has now concluded. Ukrainian Forces have been allowed to attack empty space lightly defended, if at all, and for that effort have been seriously degraded and spread further apart and away from ready resupply. Having limited the operation, Russia was able to mobilize both political and economic support of its objectives, and the Western Nations mobilizing economic support of Ukraine are now each themselves failing economically , and politically as we watch their regimes change. The next big political marker comes with the results of the US midterm elections. Unlike the US, that marches headstrong to conflicts without reference to objectives on all but the military ones, Putin’s Russia has showed itself stronger and more adept than any military, economic or political strategic ability displayed by the Western adversaries. Seeing the battlefield as much larger than Ukraine, it appears that Russia has clearly won the war. They are left the duty to mop up the residue.

    1. SteveK9 says

      Pointing out positive things does not negate the argument that it could have been much better. That is a fallacy. We can’t know of course, but people can certainly speculate, especially if logic is on their side.

      1. Jonathan says

        Things can always be better — in any field of human endeavour. The acknowledgment that Putin could be better is a far cry from “Putin is a serial decision-making procrastinator.” Marko has a penchant for the dramatically nihilistic.

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