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Ian Bremmer: The Autocrat’s Curse

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(Dmitry Astakhov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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Two months ago, Joe Biden said invading Ukraine would cost Russia and Vladimir Putin dearly.

Since then, not much has gone Putin’s way. But can he climb down without a win he can sell back home?

While the Russians focus on the Donbas, the US now seems to think it can make Russia lose — which could trigger an escalation if Putin feels he’s out of options.

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks to political scientist Ivan Krastev, who believes Putin has the autocrat’s curse: his back is against the wall because he can’t be perceived as weak.

Krastev unpacks many of Putin’s mounting problems, including his long-term fear of a shrinking Russian population, his miscalculations about the war, and why his biggest blunder has been to misread Ukrainians.

Bonus: What do people in America’s largest Russian-speaking community think about the war? We visited “Little Odessa” in Brooklyn, where most have distanced themselves from Russia, support Ukraine and condemn the war itself — but there are still tensions below the surface.

More at GZERO World

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