Posted BY: Alexander G. Markovsky

During Napoleon’s War of 1812, the Russian officers’ sabers were adorned with an inscription, “Do not draw out without need. Do not put it back without glory!”

Whether Putin has drawn out his saber without the need may be debatable, but the geopolitical reality is that he will not put it back without glory, whatever the cost. Putin, who revived Russia, and rebuilt its economy from the ruins of the collapsed Soviet Union, cannot permit his odyssey to end in the country’s dissolution.

On the other side of this Ukrainian confrontation is President Biden, who cannot afford the humiliation of another defeat after the disastrous retreat from Afghanistan. He also needs a victory at any cost.

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If history is any guide, weak Russia, with its huge territory and abundant natural resources, will become prey for invaders. In the West, Europeans, driven by compulsion, are eager to retaliate for defeats and loss of territories, some centuries-old, others more recent. Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Finland have never accepted borders of the post-Second World War period.

Nor is the West the only threat facing Russia. In the East, Japan dreams of the return of the Sakhalin and Kuril islands. And Russia’s “sworn friend,” China, envisages living space for 1.5 billion Chinese and the acquisition of vast natural resources in the Russian Far East.

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