Nobody knows how Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine will end, but most scenarios range from bad to worse. To grasp them, start by considering what is indubitably the world’s most notorious rat.
That’s the one Russian President Vladimir Putin claims he once — as a boy in what was then Leningrad — chased down a hallway. Cornered, the rat turned and attacked him.
Why has Putin made sure that this anecdote keeps getting recycled among Russia watchers the world over? The conventional wisdom is that it’s yet another of his veiled threats. I’m that rat, except that I have nuclear claws, he implies. So don’t corner me.