Russian President Vladimir Putin has two options at this point, says Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba: Either he destroys Ukraine and takes its cities and then withdraws, or “he withdraws without doing that because he cannot accomplish anything here.”

Putin may not realize it, but “everyone outside this very close circle around Putin understands that this campaign is going down the drain,” Scherba adds on this episode The New Abnormal. “The [Ukrainian] soldiers are ready to fight until the last drop of blood here and Russian soldiers increasingly are clueless about what they’re doing here.”

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Not only are they clueless, but they’re simply refusing to fight, Scherba, who is currently in western Ukraine, tells co-host Molly-Jong-Fast. He shares that soldiers in Crimea refused to be deployed when they discovered they were ordered to take Odessa, and intercepts of communication between soldiers in Ukrainian cities and their parents indicate that they’re spooked by how many of their own have died.

But we should still “assume the worst,” he says, sharing his opinion on the one thing that Ukraine needs from the U.S. to win.

Also on the podcast, The Nation’s Elie Mystal pleads with Joe Biden to say the word “abortion” and explains how sending federal doctors to Texas would be enough to save the state from its own fuckery.

And Molly and co-host Andy Levy discuss whether Tucker Carlson can feel embarrassment, and Molly actually sorta defends Mitt Romney when it comes to Tulsi Gabbard.

Listen to The New Abnormal on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon and Stitcher.

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