Putin Celebrates Ferris Wheel in Moscow While His Army Surrenders

Wes O'Donnell
4 min readSep 13, 2022

After the ribbon-cutting, he honked his red nose and rode off on a tiny bicycle.

Ferris wheel “Moscow Sun”. Photo by Mos.ru used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Try to imagine a U.S. president — any president: Obama, Trump, or hell, even Reagan, opening a new amusement park while the U.S. Army surrenders on a foreign battlefield.

That president would be ripped to shreds in the arena of public opinion. I can hear the pundits now: “President X doesn’t care about the troops!”

Such is the scenario currently unfolding in Russia right now. Both state-sponsored media and Russian military bloggers have become infuriated at the Kremlin’s complete silence.

In case you haven’t heard, the Ukrainian military just handed the Russian’s their asses in a daring counteroffensive that was planned and war-gamed months ago by U.S., UK, and Ukrainian military leaders.

Everyone who said that this conflict would evolve into a grinding war of attrition — a frozen war — much like the Donbas has been for the past 8 years, was wrong.

Well… At least they’re wrong this week. Who knows what might happen.

Ukraine just showed to the world that they’re capable of offensive operations on a massively coordinated scale.

Amusement park enthusiast and part-time big game hunter Vladimir Putin. Photo by kremlin.ru used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

This display could not have come too soon, as Europe faces some difficult decisions this winter once Putin tests Europe’s resolve for their ongoing support of Ukraine.

This is exactly what European leaders needed to see to give them confidence that their own suffering (80% energy cost increase in the UK for example) is not in vain.

On August 29, President Zelenskyy announced the start of a full-scale counteroffensive to retake Russian-occupied territory in the south.

On September 4, he announced the liberation of two villages in Kherson Oblast and one in Donetsk Oblast.

Then, on September 12, President Zelenskyy announced that Ukrainian forces have retaken a total of 6,000 sq. km from Russia, in the both the south and the east.

Wes O'Donnell

Army & Air Force Veteran | Global Security Wonk for War is Boring, GEN, OneZero, Soldier of Fortune | Law Student | TEDx Speaker | Founder of Warrior Lodge