Russia’s Missiles Aren’t Working; The Putin Succession Plan

THE RUSSIANS HAVE A MISSILE PROBLEM: In an eye-opening article on the Reuters web site this morning, U.S. intelligence experts report that up to 60% of Russia’s precision guided missiles have failed on the battlefield.

THIS DISCLOSURE, REUTERS SAYS, may help explain the inability of Russian troops to meet basic objectives, such as neutralizing Ukraine’s air force. The missiles have had persistent problems — from launch failures to missiles failing to explode on impact.

THE INEPT RUSSIAN MILITARY is now retreating in some areas, plagued by missile failures and troop surrenders, a lack of food and fuel, and bad morale. Back in Moscow, some high-ranking defense officials reportedly are under house arrest; they’re increasingly easy scapegoats.

THE PUTIN SUCCESSION PLAN: Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but we checked this week on the succession plan should Vladimir Putin leave office. Not surprisingly, Putin has stacked the deck, with no obvious successor. Under the most recent constitutional changes, Putin would be succeed by an obscure tax official, Mikhail Mishustin.

IN JANUARY OF 2020 Putin ousted Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev and his cabinet, and enacted a constitution that would make Mishustin the Russian leader. Should Putin depart office (or this earth) there would be a 90 day campaign followed by a special election.

PUTIN HAS NOT ANOINTED A SUCCESSOR, most analysts believe, because that could incite his enemies, who may attempt to whack him in favor of someone new. In an election, the director of the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, would be in the mix — that would be Alexander Bortnikov. Also in the mix would be Medvedev and Sergey Lavrov, the slimy Foreign Minister.

ONE NAME NOT IN THE RUSSIAN SUCCESSION MIX is Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, and a former close friend of Putin. After being out of sight for several days, as Russian troops failed to advance, Shoigu was seen in public yesterday — but he’s a likely victim when an inevitable purge arrives by summer.
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SUPREME COURT INTRIGUE: Did the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas seek to overturn the 2020 election? Emails from “Ginni” Thomas, a right wing activist, show that she pleaded to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, seeking to nullify the election results.

THIS IS WORTHY OF A DARK NOVEL, and will be eagerly pursued by the press for months to come; was a Supreme Court justice involved in this? Ukraine is more important, and this is still another reason why many Republicans want to move on from the contested election; whether they can is unclear, as stunning new revelations emerge.

AT THE VERY LEAST, the left wing now has a cause celebre — the Ginni Thomas emails — to counter the right wing’s blistering attacks on Hunter Biden’s emails, which portray the president, his son, and the press in a very unflattering light.

Related: Neither Putin Nor Zelensky Are Ready for a Deal

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