>this whole war, for instance, is an act of almost unbelievable foot-shooting idiocy on Putin's part
Now, call me paranoid, but is it too idiotic?
I mean - leaving the Ukrainian airforce at least semi-functional (MiGs and drones); leaving the comms and power networks up; neglecting to ensure that logistics keep pace with frontline units, leading to those units running out of fuel & supplies; lining up your mobile units in a "40 mile long" convoy (according to latest reports) where they're a sitting duck for aforesaid drones; dropping clusterbombs on civilian areas... surely these are what might be termed schoolboy errors? OK, with the exception of that last one, because Putin has previously shown that he doesn't give a rat's anus about the Geneva Convention or international norms.
Is Putin planning something very, very devious? Is all this just a distraction while he does the "real" stuff somewhere outside the gaze of the world's media? Is he winding the West in to his trap, waiting for the right time to say with a straight face "NATO is fighting against us in all but name, they have cornered us, this is the final battle for the Glory Of Mother Russia(TM), I am entirely justified in going nuclear"? Is he willing to tolerate making his armed forces look feeble in the short term, knowing that there will be a "payoff" that will make everyone forget the last five days' struggle?