Putin’s Bedside Mantra

His war against Ukraine — Day 54. Time for courageous Russians to act.

Stephen Reed
2 min readApr 18, 2022


Photo by Nikita Karimov on Unsplash

Displayed in a picture frame next to Putin’s bed is, one imagines, this quote:

No tyrant need fear till men begin to feel confident in each other

- Aristotle

And in Putin’s bedside cupboard drawer, a text:

Tyranting 101How to crush confidence among men:

Control population thoughts, breed fear, spread alternative reality propaganda, jail, torture, poison, kill anyone dis-loyal or failing to conform.

Doubtless, this is the playbook of Russia’s war criminal despot.

But like many before him, Putin will fall into the tyrant’s abyss. His methods for crushing confidence among men will ultimately breed fear and paranoia deep within himself and this will bring his downfall.

With no democratic checks and balances in place and surrounded by yes-men lackeys who dare not call his criminal Ukrainian invasion ‘idiotic’, he can only, truly, trust his own counsel. And as the mis-trust in others grows, alongside seeds of anxiety in conspiracy, and his perverse dedication to the versions of untruth he himself sows, this will (if not already) start to confuse and erode his reality. After all, how can he rely on the word and loyalty of sycophants in his entourage, who have no choice but to conceal their true thoughts and feed him lies if they wish to survive? Eventually, disquiet over whispers and scheming behind his back among his maybe not so loyal Advisors’ will plague his every thought.

In the end, no matter how many purges of Generals and Advisors he orders, the nagging noise of plots and betrayal against him will overwhelm his mind and the tyrant must falter and fall. The spiral of decline is unstoppable.

But, in contrast, sound reason, the thirst for real truth and no little courage among a few good Russians must, soon we hope, emerge and thrive. And a fledgling confidence in collaboration among men must blossom and flourish. Only then, can Russia rid itself, Ukraine and the world of this tyrannical scourge.



Stephen Reed

I write about what I think about while walking about with my camera.