(NewsNation Now) — As Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces move across Ukraine in a campaign that hasn’t gone exactly the way he may have anticipated, political and military analysts are growing more concerned about his state of mind.
The former KGB officer has been a force in Russian politics since the 1990s. He’s held on to power with an iron fist. His enemies — in politics and the press — have regularly met with foul play.
Denis Voronenkov, a Russian politician who served as a member of the State Duma, was shot to death in Kyiv in 2017. Putin has denied any involvement.
Lawyer and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been critical of Putin, was poisoned with a nerve agent in 2020. The Kremlin has denied responsibility.
Professor Robert English of the University of Southern California believes there could be cause for concern about Putin’s mental state.
“I think he’s partially lost his mind,” said English. “I don’t see this bright line between wholly rational and completely insane. … Some of his mannerisms, nervous ticks … all of those could suggest something clinical.”
Professor William Muck of North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, said diplomacy isn’t likely to work with Putin.
“He sees himself as a historic figure right now. And what he’s doing in Ukraine is trying to go down in the history books — maybe to rewrite the end of the Cold War,” he said. “All of that is very, very dangerous and it suggests somebody who’s not at all interested in a negotiated solution here.”
On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly voted at an emergency special session to officially demand an immediate halt to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The vote on the resolution, entitled “Aggression Against Ukraine,” was 141-5 with 35 abstentions.
Assembly resolutions aren’t legally binding, but they do have clout in reflecting international opinion. Wednesday’s resolution condemned Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine “in the strongest terms” and demanded an immediate and complete withdrawal of all Moscow’s forces.