Has Putin Lost His Marbles? One Expert Says YES

Throughout his time at the head of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin has provided the world with plenty of evidence of his mania, which has bordered on conniving lunacy at times.

But all of his other strange and aggravating episodes were children’s play compared to what we’re dealing with now. Now, with Putin suggesting that he may use nuclear weapons during his invasion of Ukraine, (and possibly against opposing western powers), those who’ve studied the Russian dictator are growing concerned.

Has Vladimir Putin lost touch with reality? Once widely viewed as a cunning, if ruthless, but ultimately rational actor, the Russian president is now isolated and increasingly paranoid, having launched a war in Ukraine that has alarmed even some of his closest advisers, says Catherine Belton, a former Moscow-based correspondent for the Financial Times, now with Reuters and the author of the widely praised book “Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on the West.”

In an interview with Yahoo News’s “Skullduggery” podcast, hours before Putin placed Russian nuclear forces on high alert, Belton explains why the battle for Ukraine could be the Russian president’s waterloo.

So, just how bad could it be?

And I guess the question is really: To what degree is he now just acting all by himself? Because I actually can’t imagine for an instance that his decision to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine was supported by a majority of his own top officials. And you could see that on their faces when he held that Security Council meeting on Monday. You could see the fear in their eyes and that, really, they didn’t want to be there. They all looked deeply uncomfortable.

And then…

But we’ve seen him always before, no matter what he’s done … we’ve always seen him act, perhaps wrongly and terribly, but always with a degree of cool rationality. … And it seems [that] has changed over the last two years. He’s lost touch with reality. I mean, it really seems that he thought maybe the Ukrainians would just back down. Maybe he thought Zelensky was going to do the same. But it certainly seems he didn’t expect such resistance, and he didn’t expect, I think, such a strong response from the Western world, because Russia’s economy is now going to be devastated and it’s getting cut off from all the cultural ties. I mean, so many Russians are completely devastated by what’s happened.

An agitated Putin is one thing, but an unhinged Putin is another thing entirely.