Published at 21:26 on 20 June 2022
There are two differences, one in favour of the West, and one in favour of Russia.
The difference in favour of the West is that Russia is not the USSR of old: it may be a nuclear power, but it is not a superpower. Russia is a huge country, but its economy is smaller than Italy’s… and that was before the sanctions imposed on it in response to the Ukraine invasion.
The difference in favour of Russia is that the USA is not the USA of old: it is still a superpower, but it is one in a process of accelerating decline, and teetering on the verge of a transition to a fascist regime with a Russia-friendly government.
I would be very surprised if Putin has not figured that latter point into his current strategy. More than likely, he his hoping to tread water in that war until the USA completes that transition and the alliance against the Putin regime collapses.
This also means that the long-term prognosis for Russia in this conflict nowhere near as obviously bleak as the Establishment pundits agree it is.