I wonder. Could he be shaking in his boots?
Not bloody likely. This is not a man who scares easily. Quite the contrary – he’s one tough son of a bitch.
Still, what’s happening in Ukraine is highly atypical. Usually when people take to the streets to launch a massive political protest, they’re protesting their own, their own leadership cadre. But in this case the activists are not so much opposing the president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich – though they do want to oust him – as they are opposing the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin. It’s Putin they’re railing against. It’s Putin who’s been trying to shove his interests down their throats. It’s Putin who’s pushed them – much against their will – away from Europe and toward Russia.
If Putin is dumb or in total denial he’ll delude himself into thinking that what’s happening in Kiev has nothing whatsoever to do with what’s happening in Moscow. But if he’s not dumb and not in denial he’ll realize the stakes are high, not only in the former Soviet Socialist Republic, Ukraine, but in Russia itself. Ideas have always been contagious – and they are more so now than ever before. Fighters for freedom in one place can connect in an instant to fighters for freedom in another … and before you know it a fuse is lit.
I’m not saying Putin is sleepless in the Kremlin. But it’s not out of the question he’s taken an Ambien.