Ukraine War, May 22, 2022: Putin’s catastrophic war; Putin seriously ill according to Christopher Steele and others; Current military situation

Developing. We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates.

To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Dispatches

1) Daniel Johnson, “Putin’s catastrophic war has exposed Russia as a third-rate power; Embittered and isolated, the president has made all his nightmares come true,” The Telegraph, May 22, 2022 (6:00am);

2) Mia Jankowicz, “Putin’s leadership is unraveling as he takes regular breaks for medical treatment and is constantly surrounded by doctors, says British ex-spy,” Business Insider, May 21, 2022.(3:30 am).

3) Joshua Zitser, “Putin is losing his grip on power and top Russian security officials think the Ukraine war is ‘lost,’ expert says,” Business Insider, May 21, 2022 (6:30 am);

4) Pilar Bonnet, “No habrá estabilidad en Occidente sin un cambio de régimen en Rusia; La resistencia al desafío de Putin dependerá de la capacidad de renunciar a comodidades dadas por sentado en sociedades no mentalizadas para aceptar un empeoramiento de su nivel de vida,” El País, el 21 de mayo 2022 05:40 CEST);

5) Fatma Khaled, “Putin Will ‘Be Gone by 2023,’ Likely to Sanatorium, Predicts Ex-MI6 Chief,” Newsweek, May 22, 2022 (11:43 AM EDT);

6) María R. Sahuquillo, “La guerra de Putin se embarra en el frente oriental de Donbás después de tres meses de combates; El Gobierno de Zelenski teme que el suministro occidental de armas decaiga si el conflicto se estanca y pierde atención internacional,” El País, el 21 de mayo 2022 (23:40 EDT),

UPDATE

7) Jeremy Cliffe,”Christopher Steele: “There is a serious vacuum in the Kremlin. It can’t last”; The former spy and author of the Trump-Russia dossier talks Londongrad oligarchs, Ukraine and the vulnerability of Vladimir Putin,” The New Statesman, May 25, 2022 ((updated May 26, 2022, 12:02 pm).

Commentary

Rumors about Vladimir Putin’s health are not new. What is new are statements by Christopher Steele, ex MI-6 agent in charge of Russia, and by Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service.

Steele is the author of what came to be known as the “Steele Memorandum or Dossier”, which detailed a number of actions by Russians and Trump associates which pointed to cooperation between the two in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The Steele Memorandum was actually an extraordinary dossier of raw intelligence gathered by Steele through Russian networks and sources he had cultivated over many years. As a raw intelligence product, it was surprisingly accurate, though not in all of its details.

It was viciously attacked by Republicans in the media, while reporters came eventually to more or less dismiss it because all of its particulars could not be confirmed.

Nor were they, for the most part, disproved. The lack of corroboration was hardly surprising given the highly secret nature of Steele’s sources, and the fact that if their identity became known they would probably be killed.

Notwithstanding the controversies over the Steele Memorandum, anyone familiar with its contents and efforts at corroboration would probably conclude that statements by Steele should be taken seriously.

So should statements by Sir Richard Dearlove. He pointed to the likely origin of the coronavirus in a lab accident at the Wuhan Institute of Technology as early as June, 2020. His analysis was dismissed by orher scientists for over a year before its major conclusions were largely borne out.

The statements are contained in items 2, 3, and 5 above. The Newsweek article provides a good overview.

The Trenchant Observer

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