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Much of the world has rightfully believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was a cunning, merciless and borderline crazy bad actor but until this weekend, few would have labeled him as being suicidal as well.
But that all changed when the kingpin of the Kremlin responded to intense international pressure over his invasion of Ukraine by putting his country’s nuclear forces on high alert, a terrifying escalation that raised the prospect that Russia is controlled by a madman who with little to lose, could initiate a thermonuclear war that threatens to turn Europe -if not most of the western world -into a nuclear wasteland with potential deaths in the hundreds of millions.
While speaking in front of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya likened Putin’s blitzkrieg of his country to the horrors of World War II,
“We have been prompted to call for an emergency special session as the level of the threat to the global security has been equated to that of the Second World War, or even higher following Putin’s order to put on alert Russian nuclear forces,” Kyslytsya said. “What a madness.”
“If [Putin] wants to kill himself, he doesn’t need to use nuclear arsenal. He has to do what the guy in Berlin did in a bunker in May 1945.”
— Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations pic.twitter.com/KaN9NgZyP3
— The Recount (@therecount) February 28, 2022
The ambassador then suggested that if Putin is hellbent on suicide that he should follow the example of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler who, instead of taking his lumps like a man when the allies rolled into Berlin, scurried like a rat into his underground bunker and killed himself.
According to Kyslytsya, “If he wants to kill himself, he doesn’t need to use nuclear arsenal. He has to do what the guy in Berlin did in a bunker in May 1945.”
While the Ukrainian diplomat was slightly off on his dates, it was on April 30, 1945, that the ex-corporal from Austria whose demagoguery and sheer brutality allowed him to rise to power where he presided over a regime that murdered millions and laid waste to an entire continent, cowered in his Führerbunker until he pulled the trigger on the pistol that ended his reign of terror once and for all as Soviet tanks rumbled through the streets of Berlin.
With the obvious historical overtones of Putin’s incursion into Ukraine being compared to Hitler’s own invasion of Poland, many have likened the former KGB officer to the Nazi lunatic who, luckily for the future of the human species, didn’t have nukes yet.
By taking the gutless way out, Hitler spared himself the fate of swinging from the end of a rope like much of the Nazi high command who were convicted of their crimes against humanity at Nuremberg, ducking justice save for the fires of Hades. And Putin’s choice to flirt with nuclear Armageddon almost certainly has many wishing that he would follow Der Führer’s example.
Putin’s nuclear gambit has brought widespread condemnation from political leaders throughout the world and rightfully so given the stakes.
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