It’s hard to predict what Vladimir Putin will do next, but one thing is certain: He does NOT want to lose the war in Ukraine and bring embarrassment to Russia…especially since a big Russian holiday — Victory Day, commemorating the Soviet Union's involvement in defeating Nazi Germany — occurs next week. So, will Putin intensify efforts in Ukraine as the celebrations near? Or will his alleged cancer surgery put everything on hold? Glenn and Stu break down all the 'ugly' possibilities from Putin...
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: So Germany, said, you know, we can't -- we cannot outright ban oil from Russia. Because it would destroy Germany's economy. And it would destroy the economy on the continent as a whole.
GLENN: And now he's changing his mind. And he's saying, we're going to stop all oil.
STU: They've changed their mind on quite a bit, recently. Their entire philosophy of foreign affairs for the past multiple decades.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.
So nothing to see there, right? I mean, that's no big deal.
STU: Pretty big deal, it seems like, to me. Oh, I mean, sorry. Not a big deal. Who cares? It's way over there.
GLENN: Right. Right.
STU: The thing that's happening that is bad, is really far away.
GLENN: Right. And they changed their mind, as you said, on a lot of things lately. And what could that mean?
STU: I don't know. Certainly all good things.
GLENN: Of course.
GLENN: You know, I believe it was the philosopher Sheryl Crow who said, a change will do you good.
GLENN: Amen. So in the last few days, Russia, you know, has stopped all the gas supplies, as well. And over the weekend, they said, the risk to nuclear war is very real.
Which I like, coming from Putin, who we found out, now over the weekend, does have cancer. Does have to go under the knife. And he's going CBC -- we don't know for how long, as they do whatever, to remove the cancer from him.
So you got a guy, who is probably going to die.
Knows he's going to die.
Wants to go out with a bang. Going out under the knife.
STU: There's a tad bit of speculation there.
GLENN: That he probably will die?
STU: He will die some day I suppose. But that's not necessarily the belief, I suppose. The belief is just a minor, minor surgery.
And the fact that it would explain all of the actions that have occurred over the past couple of months, is totally separate.
GLENN: Right. And the fact that they've had 56 visits from the radiology department.
STU: The constant stream of evidence, but other than that, what do you have? Nothing.
GLENN: Okay. So he also said over the weekend, that any foreign intervention in Ukraine would provoke what he called, lightning fast response from Moscow. Now, I'm not sure what he deems as foreign intervention.
STU: I feel like, we're pretty involved. Now, we don't have troops, theoretically on the ground in the country. We don't seem to be firing these weapons ourselves. We're just giving them to the people next to us, who are firing themselves.
In all seriousness, Glenn, if you were -- how would you take this? If Russia was doing this to us, in another country?
If we were in the middle of the Iraq War, let's say, and Russia is not only doing things. Which we know they were involved in some of the --
GLENN: Yeah. Afghanistan.
GLENN: We know they had involvement. But they weren't doing press conferences every day, bragging about how they were seconds weapons to -- we donated 10,000 IEDs to the resistance in Iraq. And they've killed all of these soldiers. It's going really well for them --
GLENN: Yeah, no, it would not go well.
STU: We would not accept that. We would not be thrilled about it. Now, I'm not saying that it's insane to help.
I do think it's insane to keep talking about it.
I don't understand why we're announce that go we're sending the weapons.
GLENN: I'm kind of with you on that one.
STU: Let there be an air of mystery. As to where these weapons came from.
STU: You know, we -- officially, Israel does not have nuclear weapons. And when we're asked about that, we say, what?
I don't even know what weapons you're talking about. What country are you talking about?
And that should be -- the appropriate response to this is, I'm not sure what you mean.
That's what -- when someone asks you, are you sending weapons into Ukraine to kill Russian soldiers, you say, I don't know what you mean? Is there something going on there?
GLENN: So they had a bloodbath this weekend in Ukraine. I mean, things did not go well in Russia, again, this weekend.
And they are just a few days away from May 9th.
STU: Yeah. Which is a big day for them.
GLENN: Big day. That's called victory day. And they don't want to have record numbers of soldiers coming home in body bags.
On victory day cause.
STU: That would be suboptimal.
GLENN: That would be suboptimal for them and for us. Meanwhile, the military -- Representative Kinzinger, said on I don't know, ABC, or whatever this weekend, something that nobody was watching.
That he has -- he's now drafted a bill, and it's gone to Congress, to authorize the president. So he has better flexibility.
GLENN: Believe me, that guy has not been flexible in a long time. If they use weapons of mass destruction of any kind, the president has a right to go to war.
STU: I totally trust Joe Biden's judgment on this important matter.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah. I don't think we should just write that check.
STU: No. And I don't think that will happen, by the way. I don't think Kissinger is out on his own, for the most part. But it could change.
Look, if they actually use -- which, by the way, there's no evidence, they will use chemical weapons in Ukraine. They may. I wouldn't be -- I wouldn't be stunned if Vladimir Putin did it. Remember, even in Syria, they -- they -- they did what we did.
Right? What we're doing in Ukraine right now. Where they kind of stood around, and backed up the Syrians. But the Syrians were the ones using the chemical weapons. They don't even use them there.
Now, look, that's -- you know, it doesn't mean they won't do it here. I would not be stunned if Vladimir Putin did something else crazy.
GLENN: They do seem to be losing badly.
STU: Yeah. And one of the things interesting about the structure of this war, with us giving them all these weapons, which we can talk about, because they publicly announced it.
GLENN: Oh, have you heard about the Phoenix ghost kamakazi drills we've sent them?
Oh, I love that! Yeah. Let's get that on the front page.
STU: What's interesting here, is that Russia has a pretty strong military. But not as strong as maybe we believed beforehand.
But it is what it is. Right?
They've had a lot of their important people killed. A lot of their best soldiers killed. A lot of their best weapons utilized already. There's all sorts of rumors, of people pulling them off the streets, basically for this effort. So their military is getting worse as this goes on.
The opposite is happening with the Ukrainian military. It's getting stronger. Because we keep sending them hundreds of millions of dollars of brand-new Chinese weapons.
So their resonance is actually increasing in its ability to execute the war.
Which we've seen happen over just the past week. Where now targets inside of Russia. Inside Russian borders are being hit by Ukrainians. With missiles, and drones.
Sent to them, by Western countries.
STU: Again, on military installations, not targeting civilians like the Russians are doing in many places across Ukraine.
But, still, again. This is -- this is a country, who went to its people this week, and said, hey. You know, Adolf Hitler was probably Jewish. Seriously.
This is what they're saying. They do not need a lot of justification, to do all sorts of crazy things.
And they will -- clearly, would utilize this for their own propaganda purposes. And have honestly, what you would probably consider, if you were completely neutral in this battle. As a good argument, that we are involved in this. That we are helping their soldiers die. And while I agree, that they should not be able to roll over the border of Ukraine. And kill -- tons of civilians, like they're doing. I can understand why the Russian people are looking at this, and saying, wait a minute.
We just had a special military operation going on here. And now they're getting us inside our borders. With missiles. And drones from the United States of America.
It shows they want regime change.
GLENN: Well, and, you know, we've also added something really super special. There's now I think two or three countries, that are like -- I know it's Sweden and Finland. Who have now said, you know what, we really want in on that NATO thing.
Oh, that's good. That's good.
So we've got them as well.
So now that's going to make the Russians even more convinced.
I mean, I -- look, I think peace through strength. But I also think you also have to look at your enemy. And I think our enemy is wounded, and nuts. Absolutely nuts.
STU: Yeah. And think of that. We talked about this a lot in the framework of Islamic extremism, when it comes to humiliation. That factor.
That's one of the big things of Vladimir Putin and Russia. That's been his entire desire, this entire time.
They were humiliated by what happened with the fall of the Communist regime.
We need to bring ourselves back not even to communism, but back to the czar days. And he -- if this goes the way it's going, this country they thought they could roll over and be welcomed as liberators. If it goes the way it's going, he is not going to just take it sitting down.
Unless he's under from cancer surgery. That's the only way that happens.
And, man, I -- you know, the -- the possibilities here are ugly.
GLENN: You know what bothers me is the press whipping up everybody into a frenzy. That's what I don't like. And this is from a friendly conservative paper. Washington Examiner. Russia is up against World War III rhetoric.
Vladimir Putin has threatened any nation that directly intervenes in Ukraine with retaliation, via strategic weapons, strategic meaning nuclear. At the same time, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says the risks of nuclear war are now very significant.
Russian State Media, prominent commentators, this week suggested that nuclear war with the West, wouldn't be too problematic, because the Russians would go to heaven. Whereas, Westerners would just die.
Yet, this is not the time to bow before Russian threats. Indeeds, Biden must respond to Russian aggression, forcefully. This moment is also shaping a message about what America and by association, what the free world will tolerate in the 21st century. If Biden waivers. He will be sacrificing the relative peace and cooperation, that was hard won in World War II. So he's going on, there -- this writer is going on, to Joe Biden. Kamala Harris. Mark Milley. Like their forbearers in World War II. Share a willingness to stare down the threat, and to win.
I think this is a really important discussion. But does it feel like this is a discussion that Americans are having?
GLENN: It feels like it's happening in the ether up with elites. And we're not really engaged in it.
STU: I think a lot of people just see this as this -- you know, this thing that's far over there. And not really our concern. We need to be worried concerned about what's going on here.
And we do! There's a lot to worry about here. We have a completely incoherent president. Massive inflation. Border situation is out of control. CRT. Gender stuff. All of this is real and a big problem. When you talk about the entire human civilization, and its existence. This problem is right there.
GLENN: And especially since, you know, you never want an emergency to go to waste.
GLENN: The things that can be enacted and done, during a massive war, are staggering.
And you never come back from them. When you're looking at a party, that is acting as reckless as they are, not listening to the average person American. Not watching the poll numbers. And they are just going over the cliff, with our finances, with our dollar. With freedoms. All of these things, these chickens are coming home to roost.
And what is their plan?
STU: Yeah. It's scary, because if everyone acts somewhat reasonably here. Meaning like logically, you could see this escalating out of control. Each side has reason to believe the other side is acting aggressively.
You know, remember the Breonna Taylor situation, where she was shot with one of the Black Lives Matters things.
When you look at that situation in-depth, one thing you notice is both sides acted really logically for what happened in the moment. The police came to the door. They had a warrant to go in.
They believed something was going on. They -- they banged through the door. The guy has a legal permit. He wakes up in the middle of the night. What are you going to do in that situation? You're going to shoot the guy, who is breaking into your room.
STU: The police officer gets shot. Well, of course, the police officer is going to fire back into the room. And then Breonna Taylor gets hit.
GLENN: Totally logical on both sides.
STU: On both sides, every action, except for the idea that the warrant should not have been presented that way. That was a decision made before the interaction happened.
STU: Kind of the same thing here. Russia makes an irrational decision, in going into Ukraine. But it's setting off a bunch of -- a series of actions of people acting relatively logically for the moment. That keeps escalating the situation. That's where real danger lies.