It will be a few more months of this war, but already it appears that Putin murdered at least 100,000 people in Ukraine and Russia for nothing. However, the damage doesn’t end there.
Thanks to foreign investment, Ukraine will now have a modern army, modern cities, and a distinctly Ukrainian identity which will last it centuries. Russia on the other hand will at best have decades upon decades of collapse.
People have yet to realize the full impact of this war. The fact that Putin used this war to make Russia a full dictatorship, kill people and destroy the economy is short term. The fact that NATO has increased, Ukraine will be part of EU and that the world realized that it is better to be cold than to buy Russian gas and transition away from it is long term.
Russia cannot sell its gas to China and India the way it sells to Europe. It sells the gas to them at a steep discount and has to pay ten times more to transport it and it takes that gas ten times as long. Because Russia had no other source of income (70% was gas) and with sanctions other 30% are at near zero, means that it will have no funds to rebuild its army. It will have no funds to invest in its infrastructure or even pay the security state to keep Russia a dictatorship. Without the 150,000–200,000 troops who were killed or wounded in this war it has no way to man an army that can protect its borders. Russia has no ability to produce cheap weapons en masse the way it did as Soviet Union, which is why it still relies on weapons from the soviet Era. It also has no funds or the materials due to sanctions to build the new weapons. Thus Russian army is irreparably broken.
But this isn’t the worst of it. As seen at the recent summit, Russia is losing its standing in the world and its friends have walked away and their enemies are looking to get their back. This makes it and Putin vulnerable.
From this I think it is clear that the days of Putin are numbered. But even if he remains in power, and holds on until his death, those years will be poverty stricken as the world will never do business with him as long as he is president. No one will ever trust him or even want to be in the same room with him. He cannot sell gas and over a million of Russian smartest and best have left, so there is no other industry Russia can pivot to in order to bring in funds, leading to collapse in taxation and therefore funds for security state and the pensions of the people who prop up Putin.
And yet that is still not the worst. The worst is that in order to climb out of this hole, the future government will have to show that it is serious about making amends. This means that even as they don’t sell gas because Europe will have moved away from gas, even as they don’t have other industries because the smart and educated will not come back, even as they deal with no army and secessions across the country and wars that break out and foreign entities take their lands back, even with that, they will have to pay Ukraine. They will have to pay Ukraine billions for the dead children and mothers, for the blown up buildings and museums, dams and city halls, factories and airports, homes small and large. They will have to pay because that is the only way that anyone will ever deal with them in the future. They will have to pay and extradite every single war criminal that Ukraine can find. They will do so because there is no alternative. This cost will destroy the ability of Russia to invest in itself.
The one positive outcome is that it will not be able to pay the debt and the oligarch corrupt system, leading to a better and more honest Russia (god willing).
So there you have it. In nine months, Putin made Ukraine one nation, Europe unified, took away Europe’s addiction to gas, destroyed his coalition, destroyed his army, destroyed the middle class, made Russia a dictatorship, and all he had to do to do this was destroy his army and kill thousands of innocent Ukrainians.
Russians don’t realize this yet, but when they do, it will be a bad time to be a man with the last name Putin.