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Another Russian quagmire: Putin and the shadow of Afghanistan

Bycbs editor

Mar 27, 2022

Long earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine, lengthy earlier than you ever heard of Vladimir Putin, Russia invaded Afghanistan. It changed into Christmas of 1979, and Michael Vickers changed into running for the CIA. “Nobody gave the Afghans a risk in 1979,” he stated.

And yet, “It changed into the most effective time the Red Army were defeated in its history.”

It’s most effective a month into Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and already what changed into alleged to be a cakewalk has was a bloody slog. Vickers stated, “Putin’s in a, in all likelihood even a harder container than the Soviets had been then.”

“Tougher container, how?” requested CBS News countrywide safety correspondent David Martin.

“His economic system is being destroyed. You must examine this and notice Russian electricity being destroyed, you know, each militarily and economically, and its worldwide position,” stated Vickers. “How lengthy are you going to allow this pass on?”

“Well, how lengthy? The Soviets are in Afghanistan for ten years. Is that the form of time body we are searching at for Ukraine?”

“I assume the timeframe is shorter,” Vickers replied. “I do not see how Russia takes the ache over a sustained duration of time.”

The Kremlin despatched 100,000 troops into Afghanistan, 150,000 into Ukraine.

“Soviet military, as horrific because it accomplished in quite a few instances in Afghanistan withinside the eighties, did plenty higher than the Russians are doing in Ukraine,” Vickers stated.

Putin has been not able to attain his preliminary aim of seizing the capital of Kyiv and overthrowing the Zelensky government, even though he’s predicted to regroup and attempt again.
Martin requested, “When humans communicate approximately Putin doubling down, what can he double down with?”

“He’s genuinely doubled down in this populace destruction strategy, the scorched-earth strategy,” Vickers replied. “I mean, it really is genuinely all he is were given left.”

“If Putin succeeds in seizing Kyiv and putting in a puppet regime, what occurs next?”

“I do not assume a puppet regime ought to live to tell the tale at all. The Russian military genuinely can not pacify the country. The populace hates them.”

The parallels among the wars in Afghanistan and Ukraine are striking, with one obtrusive difference: In 1985, while the Red Army changed into mired in Afghanistan, the person on the pinnacle withinside the Kremlin changed into the reform-minded Mikhail Gorbachev. “He stated, ‘All right, we are going to try and win this conflict one closing time. I’ll come up with greater troops, however you have a yr or to win it,'” Vickers stated.

“Gorbachev, in effect, doubled down?”

“He did double down, after which with the aid of using early ’86 he began out searching out an exit.”

In the months and years after, the Berlin Wall got here down, and the Soviet Union collapsed.

Martin requested, “Could Ukraine result in the fall apart of Putin’s Russia?”

“I assume for the primary time in 22 years his persevered rule is greater of a query mark,” stated Vickers. “Even if he survives, the Russian nation is probable to be seriously weakened.”

Weakened with the aid of using an invasion meant to repair the Russian empire.

“What does he do while you are dropping for the primary time?” Vickers requested. “He had gained smaller victories, and now you are dropping big? What do you do?”