Vladimir Putin ‘not as controlling as people think’

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President Vladimir Putin probably isn’t as controlling as people think, says Curtin Joe Syracuse University political analyst.

Professor Siracusa said the sinking of the “Moskva” – the main battleship of the Black Sea Fleet – which went down last week would have led to widespread pressure for “equality” given that Russia’s “pride” was hit.

“The sinking of the flagship was really important because we can talk about genocide and we can talk about good and bad until the cows come home, but when the Russian-Black Sea Fleet is at the bottom of the sea, there is no explanation for this,” he told Sky News Australia.

“I mean where is that, how many people have died?

“This is hardening positions on both sides, and I would argue that Putin is probably not as powerful as people think.

“There will be tremendous pressure on the part of the Russian people to pardon and respond, because their pride is now damaged.”

Professor Siracusa cited the Gulf of Tonkin decision as an example of the reaction an attack on a ship could elicit.

“As soon as President Johnson thought two of our ships were attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin, the next thing you know is we got thundered and were at war with North Vietnam,” he said.

“I think there is no turning back from this.”

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