James O'Brien: Vladimir Putin has made a 'massive miscalculation' in Ukraine

28 February 2022, 12:59

By Seán Hickey

The Russian President believed he had 'hollowed out Western democracy' so effectively that he could 'roll into Ukraine and have it under the jackboot by teatime', James O'Brien insists.

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As peace talks get underway on the Ukraine-Belarus border, James O'Brien was reflecting on Vladimir Putin's attempts to justify the invasion.

Read more: Putin's nuclear threat is 'rhetoric', says Defence Sec as Ukraine faces critical 24 hours

"The truth isn't just irrelevant, it's the enemy", he began, referencing Russian media reports that the invasion so far has been a success, despite reports of significant losses on their side.

"He thought he'd be able to do this and somehow get away with it, and I don't know why it's failed so far."

Read more: Liz Truss' green light for Brits to fight in Ukraine 'actually illegal', Tory MP says

Read more: Defence sec clashes with Liz Truss as he tells untrained Brits not to fight in Ukraine

James offered a suggestion, that the Russian President believed he had undermined Western democracy, with a close relationship with Donald Trump and Russian influence proliferating British politics, that he could exercise such aggression against Ukraine without a response.

Read more: How Russian power and money became the ‘new normal’ in the UK

Read more: Russian rouble crashes due to sanctions as UK cracks down on oligarchs' 'dirty money'

"He thought he'd weakened the West so completely that he'd be able to waltz over the border to Ukraine and have it all sorted within three or four days. So what went wrong? with the constant caveat that this is not over yet"

Read more: Zelenskyy 'the definition of a man' but Putin a 'finished monster' - Rachel Johnson

James told listeners that it was "a massive miscalculation from a man who previously has not put a foot wrong on the world stage."

He reiterated his earlier comments: "[Putin] thought he had unlevelled the playing field so completely that he'd just roll into Ukraine and have it under the jackboot by teatime."

"I haven't got a clue what's gone wrong."

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