Putin is an Authoritarian Nationalist but Not a Communist

Vladimir Putin expresses 'outrage' over Maria Butina's ...

My purpose in writing this piece is not to paint Vladimir Putin as a saint. He is not. But some seem content to describe him as the devil incarnate. He is not that either. I think he is an unabashed, enthusiastic, authoritarian nationalist with a Christian bent. For those of you who consider Putin an enemy I want to remind you of the wisdom of Sun Tzu:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

The ignorance in America and Europe about the real Putin is staggering. The media, for example, continues to be filled with a false, cartoon description of Vladimir Putin. Some describe him as Hitler. Okay, show me his version of Mein Kampf? Show me the concentration camps he has set up to rid his country and surrounding areas of Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals? Does not exist.

Others decry Putin as a kleptocrat in league with the “oligarchs.”But the actual facts about Putin’s dealings with the oligarchs is much more nuanced. Shortly after taking power in 2000, Putin gathered the 18 most powerful businessmen in Russia–aka the oligarchs–and put them on notice that their days of looting Russia was over. One of these men–Mikhail Khordadovsky–was arrested and imprisoned a few years later. Others, such as the Chernoy brothers sought refuge in Israel while Boris Beresovky found asylum in London.

Here is NPR’s take on Putin’s actions:

Putin lost no time cementing his grip on political power. He reformed the upper house of parliament, removing the powerful regional governors who sat there ex-officio and replacing them with Kremlin appointments. Tax police launched raids and prosecutors began probes into Russia’s biggest companies, some belonging to the country’s most influential businessmen, the so-called oligarchs. Putin’s message was clear: Show loyalty to the Kremlin or face an uncertain future. Most did and were left alone.

Vladimir Gusinsky was among those who didn’t show loyalty. Before Putin’s election, the banking and media tycoon had helped finance the Kremlin’s main opponents, powerful Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and his partner, former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov. The president responded once he was in office. Gusinsky was jailed on fraud charges. His media holdings — some of the country’s top independent outlets, including NTV television, the Segodnya newspaper and Itogi magazine — came under pressure. All eventually fell under the control of Kremlin-friendly organizations.

Putin also attacked those who helped put him in office. Chief among them was oil and media tycoon Boris Berezovsky, the Kremlin’s top power broker. Berezovsky is believed to have helped choose Putin for prime minister, and he went on to promote the future president on Russia’s biggest national television network. But after Putin’s election, the two fell out over Berezovsky’s reported attempts to control the Putin. Berezovsky fled into self-imposed exile in London. His oil and media assets ended up in pro-Kremlin hands.

Putin is an Orthodox Christian. Consider what he has said about “moral” values:

“Without the moral values that are rooted in Christianity and other world religions, without rules and moral values which have formed and been developed over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity. And Russia thinks it is right and natural to defend and preserve these moral values.”

Nine years ago, Putin signed legislation in Russia that warmed the hearts of the religious right in the United States:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new bill into law that makes religious education mandatory for all schools in the country.

The Christian Post also reported:

Putin, an Orthodox Christian, has enjoyed a good relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church, the dominant religion in the country, and its head bishop Kirill I of Moscow. The bishop has often served as adviser to the president, although that has also sparked some dissatisfaction among Russians who insist that church and state should remain separate.

Putin’s beliefs about moral decay in the West reflect the views of Billy Graham rather than Joseph Stalin, who persecuted Christians in the Soviet Union. In his State of the Nation address in 2014 Putin said:

“Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values… Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan.”

During Putin’s reign Russia has adopted new laws that ban homosexual propaganda and criminalizes the insulting of religious sensibilities. That may be authoritarian but it certainly is not communist. It is fair to argue whether he is a “good” Christian, but he has professed publicly his belief and taken political actions consistent with those beliefs.

I take Putin at face value. He is a committed Russian First political leader. He has put the west on notice that he will no longer allow Russia to be bullied or blackmailed by the expansion of NATO and the arming of nations on his border. I would note that this sounds like a Russian version of the Monroe Doctrine to me. Do you think the American public would endorse Russia or China arming Mexico with nuclear weapons or advanced air defense systems?

I think Sun Tzu has it right–If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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33 Responses to Putin is an Authoritarian Nationalist but Not a Communist

  1. Christian J. Chuba says:

    >>Authoritarian Nationalist but not a Communist<<

    First the good news, Putin is not Joe Stalin
    Now the bad news, Putin is religiously motivated Adolf Hitler

    • Larry Johnson says:

      Please provide your evidence for that claim. Where has he called for lebensraum?

      • DT says:

        That person can’t. Westerners (mostly) have no idea what they’re talking about when they speak of Putin or Russia. I think the assessment in this article is correct regarding Putin, and Putin himself is a much more complicated character than anyone in the West realizes. A person had to be to thrive in the tortured psychology of the Soviet Union and the Party. Russia has elements of the West, but it is not Western as we are. It’s history and national character are colored by centuries of contact with Central and Eastern Asia, with Islam and Confucianism. Western leaders would do a lot for their own peoples by taking a very different approach to Russia and China, for that matter but since we’re led by only the basest of people now, this is unlikely to happen.

      • Bill Roche says:

        The question was never lebensraum but dominance. I too think Putin is a devoted nationalists. I like that. But he can’t leave others alone and that’s in the Russian soul. Some say that Russian eyes see Ukraine as an integral part of Russia. That doesn’t make it so. Ask the Ukrainians. They’ve answered three times. During Alexander III’s reign they asked for autonomy. Instead he gave them Russification in language and culture. This applied to all Jews, Ukies, Litvaks, Lats, Finns. A large immigration (1880-1900) followed. Slavs left their homes rather than be bullied by the Czar. Chaos in Russia after 1917 presented Ukraine w/another chance for independence. This time Russian communists said no. Czars, communists, it didn’t matter. You will be a vassals to the great Russians. When the SU fell the Ukrainians saw their chance and declared independence. Can’t you see the pattern? Ukrainians want to be independent and free. Three days ago Russians invaded Ukraine and started killing them for their audacity. Some have drawn a parallel b/t Ukrainians and the south during the War of Northern Aggression. The constitution never denied signatory states the right to leave. Lincoln did that and violently proved “might makes right” and that’s what Putin is doing today. There is the constant question of Russian security. Apparently Ukrainian freedom makes Russia insecure. Napoleon got his ass kicked outside of Moscow over two centuries ago and barely got home to Paris. Shall we bring him up forever? WW I made a mess of Russia but Nicky declared first on Willy and the Russian disasters at Tannenburg and Masurian Lakes were fought on German soil. By ’31-’33 Russian communist was starving 6MM uncompromising Ukrainian farmers over collectivization. Insolent people the Ukrainians. Not too many years later the Russians were killing Finns and taking their land. Apparently those annoying Finns forgot that Finland belonged to Russia. Hitler is invoked as the example of an existential threat to Russia. No doubt he killed millions of Russians and Ukrainians. But some forget that it was an agreement by Germany and Russia to destroy Poland that brought on WW II in Europe in the first place. God damn those Poles! I’m told by some that Russia is still seeking security from the west. Since I don’t think they’re terrified of Belgian or Dutch encroachment we must be back to Napoleon and Hitler. I am not a military guy but I doubt either the French or Germans could put two functional divisions in the field and they would have to stand up against 500,000 Russians. Perhaps Russia’s worried about the Americans. In 75 years of America’s presence in Europe the closest the nations got to a shooting war was Berlin and that was brought about by the Russians. As our intrepid American President might say … C’mon! The Russians have not been babes in the woods but aggressors to their neighbors since Peter Romanov.
        IMHO the presence of an impotent NATO is just a useful canard to restore the Russian Empire. I see an unyielding campaign to subdue “lesser slaves” and bring them to heel b/f their Russian masters. Finns, Stones, Lits, Lats, Ukies, Czechs, Bulgars, and Slovaks had better take notice. “The Cat is No Longer Away”. Western slavs had better obey the Russian or feel his whip. The issue is not land, but dominance.

    • T says:

      I recommended googling Putin and Peter the Great for better insight.

    • Ishmael Zechariah says:

      And he commands these folks, nicht?
      https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regiment_Asow
      Goodwin’s law in action early in the morning.
      Ishmael Zechariah

      • Gerald says:

        the Azov battalion are a Ukrainian unit, full on Nazis, they worship Stepan Bandera who worked with the Panzer SS during WWII. He was guilty of war crimes, killing 10s of thousands of ukrainian jews, also involved in the Babi yar massacre and also for helping send thousands to die in German concentration camps. He is viewed as a national hero in Ukraine. He was later tracked down after the war and killed by the NKVD. Ukrainian nationalists have been enabled by the US/UK since Nulands coup in 2014, Right Sector, The Azov and Svboda Party have become the base that keep the US fascist regime in power in Kiev, hence Putins speech last week about de-militarising and de-nazifying Ukraine. Look these people up, they love wearing swastikas and the wolfsangel insignia of the SS. The West, primarily the US, have armed, trained and funded them. America is funding fully fledged Nazis something you will not hear on CNN. This is one of the most frustrating things about the constant misinformation and psyops, lack of accurate information to the right people. Would Americans approve of this? The Azov in particular have committed horrendous atrocities in the East of Ukraine (on ethnic Russians – 13000 dead) and upon their own population in the West of Ukraine. They will fight to the end against Russia because they know what will happen if they are captured. All the ‘pray for ukraine’ people on social media wouldn’t be doing it if they knew the truth. This needs to be exposed to Americans and Europeans.

        • Pat Lang says:

          Gerald
          What is the “panzer SS?” Do you mean the Waffen SS?

          • Gerald says:

            yes, Waffen SS. I believe it was a Panzer regiment he was attached to. His wiki page has been cleaned up somewhat, like all the far right mob attached to the Ukrainian army but plenty of other info.on line to hunt down. Azov were initially a militia type group, they fought in the 2014 war after which they received ‘western’ training and were then fully integrated into Ukraine Army. Ukraine army is being integrated into NATO structures or was being) which means a Nazi Unit working frontline for NATO. Irony of ironies.

          • Lysias says:

            The Waffen SS was much better equipped with the newest tanks than the German Army was.

          • Pat Lang says:

            Lysias
            Much too simplified. The Panzer Lehr Division, The Gross Deutschland Division, the 116th and a few more were very well equipped.

  2. southpoint says:

    Larry, agreed. Having recently finished I will Bear Witness(Klemperer) and Ordinary Men(about Hamburg Police Battalion 101), I would suggest the US is headed more down the fascist path than Russia. Mussolini’s quotes on fascism are worth a read. Does Mussolini’s fascism sound like Russia or the US(especially under Covid).

  3. Larry Johnson says:

    What does that mean?

  4. jim ticehurst says:

    LC.

    I Read Your Piece and Know and Understand The Reason Why You Make
    Your Points Here Regarding PUTIN..You are and Long Have Been a
    Professional Analyst..Well Trained..High Level..High Clearance Stuff..

    I know that You ,,Like I,,and Many other Analyst..and Intel/Military Peole Here
    Always RESEARCH. I (Open Web),,, Often Resourced By Agencys
    to Universitys.

    I Did ALOT of Oen Research on Putin ,,his Background..Bios..Parents and Career in the KGB..and what He got out of his exeriences..In EAST GERMANY..until it
    Fell,,and He and His Wife..Drove Back To Moscow,,With a WASHING Machine
    Tied Onto His Car,,

    That Was The Real Beginning Of The Transformation,,of His Thinking over
    Decades,,Up To THIS POINT.
    I will Be back..With Notes I made to Comment on Your Piece..On Other matters
    in It..

    But..I Want To Makes Some Observations..About Christan getting after you
    up in the Tread..You Challenged Him..First He had a Photo..Apparently of
    Him..Immediately You Challenged Him..He Dropped His Photo…and came
    Back As Only “Christan” I Studyed His Photo..My Impression..

    White Male,,30s..Almost Skin Head,,White T.. AL L Images Project
    White Nationalist, Potentially..Suspected Not Confirmed..( Do a Photo search)
    matching face,, also He came Back as “Christan” which KKK types Claim they are
    But Not In My Church,..My Pastor..Art,,a Former Marine..is Black..and I Love Him

    Cheers,,
    JT:

  5. Johnb says:

    Certainly in the recent past Putin went on an annual retreat to a significant monastery well to the North of Moscow. He upset a lot of folk in his hometown of St Petersburg by authorising against all opposition the transfer of St Basil’s cathedral from State property to Church property. Hubris struck Patriarch Kirril who made some unfortunate remarks as to who had precedence, that might have influenced a move to the well publicised recent Siberian breaks with Shoigu. He is on record as saying, paraphrasing, ‘Why would Russia need any more land, we have all we could possibly need.’ He is also on record, paraphrasing, ‘ A world without Russia has no purpose.’
    Patrick Armstrong has posted a very insightful essay on his blog should you visit.

    • Persona Non Grata says:

      It was St. Isaac’s in Petersburg, the largest church in Russia, not St. Basil’s. St. Basil’s is in Moscow, with all the turrets, at the end of Red Square. Both require tickets to tour, for a small sum.

  6. Mary says:

    Well done. “Authoritarian Nationalist” describes what we need more of.

    • DT says:

      Truly, we do. America needs it’s own version of Putin to sweep the oligarchs and parasites out of power so that the people of this country have a chance to live their lives in peace without being used as a piggy bank by the rich and powerful. When that person emerges, or rather if, and if they have a shot at real power, they will have my support. People like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Joe and Mika, Jeffrey “Tubin'” Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and all the rest, must be swept away by someone with a love of this country and its people if we are to ever be represented by our government again.

  7. Fourth and Long says:

    Larry,
    The lies about Putin and Russia are profound and extensive. One of the favorites is about the repression of gays. Putin has said repeatedly that they don’t do that, they simply have laws against the proselytizing, or propagandizing, of materials promoting gay lifestyles and transexual operations toward youth and children. Check out some very popular music performances of recent years in Russia, posted below. The first is by Olga Seryabkina, under her then solo stage name Molly. About a girl who falls in love with a young man but finds to her disappointment that he’s gay. The second is by the famous band Ruki Vver (Hands Up) led by Sergey Zhukov, who is a huge strong man like his namesake the General of WWII, and anything but gay. Olga led the hugely popular trio Serebro (Silver) for years. She used the name Molly, a British slang expression for a “queer” in her original solo career parallel to Serebro’s for several years, in obvious solidarity with homosexuals everywhere. Serebro broke up a few years ago and she is married now with a young son, and performs under her original name Olga Seryabkina.
    Olga is fluent in English to the degree that she composes songs in the English language. She’s also very funny as you’ll see from the linked video from 2016: My Money, about our recent president while he was a candidate. I recommend it to everyone.

    Molly: Красивые Мальчик (Pretty Boy)

    https://youtu.be/WiFEoW-zwos

    Krasivyy malʹchik, khop-khey
    Kak zhalko, chto ty gey
    Kak zhalko, chto ty gey
    Krasivyy malʹchik, khop-khey
    Kak zhalko, chto ty gey
    Kak zhalko, chto ty gey
    Handsome boy, hop-hey,
    How sad that you’re gay,
    Handsome boy, hop-hey,
    How sad that you’re gay

    Моя тушь на глазах слезами давно растеклась
    Где любовь, любовь, но без боли любовь
    Но без боли назло
    Скованна дрожью, в тебя я влюбилась
    Влюбилась…

    My mascara on eyes tears long ago
    Where is love, love, but with no pain no love
    But without pain, out of spite
    Shaken with a shiver I fell in love with you
    Fell in love…

    Руки Ввер – Он Тебя Целует
    Ruki VVer – On Tebya Tseluet
    Hands Up – He Kisses You
    https://youtu.be/phxQFEH51SE

    Serebro – My Money
    https://youtu.be/XzOu4RVHKMU

    Here’s another of Kracivei Malchik, even more explicit in it’s acknowledgement of homosexuality:
    https://youtu.be/cg6CjyckvSc

    This is even more instructive – Molly live performing Kracivei Malchik. Look at the adolescent children learning from their adored, beautiful, idol Olga that you don’t hate or suppress anyone due to their sexuality. Compare that to the approach here, which in my opinion is destructive and inquisitional in comparison.

    Molly Live – Kracivei Malchik

    https://youtu.be/1jh7BlHFayk

  8. Marlene says:

    The communist he is not, but, as authortarian, he is well outcasted by the Western dictators, as the example of Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, the US, Australia, New and so on so clearly have showed during at least the past year.

    Putin still has not seized bank accounts and vehicles of Russian taxpayers nor have gone to the extrem of demonizing and lable untermenschen half his populations.

    As happened yesterday in the UNSC, we are not as to give advise and lecture others on “democracy” and “human rights”, the least on “invasions”…or “international law”..

    Facebook has unbanned praising of Azov Battallion …for those statin here that yoi can not be a jew and a nazi at the same time…

    Whose interests are being defended in the Ukraine?

    Those of the German banks, as the presence of BND head in Kiev until the last minute so clearly showed, and the US MIC, as the new package of ,military aid signed by Biden so clearly shows, plus the Turkish MIC on Bayrakhtar drones and jihadi mercenary business…

  9. J. O’Malley says:

    I think Putin’s progressive return to Orthodox Christianity and its traditional moral values was influenced by the Russian nation’s return to Christianity. He was merely in tune with his people. His people influenced him.

    I think there has been a epochal shift in Russia back to her Christian roots and we in the West were not told about it. Six decades ago we Catholics were told to pray for the conversion of Russia and for her to return to Christ. We were given no updates and the control of our media since then has become Orwellian.

    At the G.K. Chesterton Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota many years ago (early 2000’s?) I listened to a Russian professor of literature at St. Petersburg University (Katerina something) give a talk on Chesterton and Orthodoxy. At the Q & A she said that her students were drawn to and loved Chesterton and identified with his writings because while Chesterton was Catholic everything he said was compatible with Orthodox Christianity. Needless to say we were all shocked that while no student in Catholic schools in America was being taught Chesterton, students in Russia were enthusiastically reading him.

    As an unrelated side-note, the late Christopher Hitchens, according to his wife Carol Blue, was reading Chesterton on his deathbed. Most Chestertonians would accept that as evidence of a deathbed conversion. 😀

  10. ISL says:

    Thanks Larry Johnson,

    I wonder if our leadership believes our own (nonstop) propaganda. I do not see Putin as an authoritarian, rather as a powerful and skilled statesman – just listened to a discussion of George Washington (recent book by Nathaniel Philbrick), who was more of an authoritarian than Putin has so far displayed (including having his underlings challenge political enemies to duels).

    I would add the word realist- if nations have interests, then being a nationalist is another name for a realist. In that regards Europe is largely run by delusionists.

    WRT oligarchs, you cant have a democracy if politicians are for sale and a small group can easily buy them (clearly the best return on investment possible, and completely legal). Reducing their power is key for a functioning democracy, which is why it is termed authoritarian by the same, oligarchy-owned MSM and politicians.

  11. MILLER says:

    There is an entire cult of people in the West (and in Russia, as well) deeply disappointed that Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton in their modern Russian guises failed to show up in Moscow in 1991 and, instead, got the frequently inebriated Boris Yeltsin (the best they could do), who, with the signal assistance of his Western “helpers” and other sundry “well-wishers”, promptly facilitated the collapse of the economy, the pauperization of the population and the looting of Russia’s national assets by carpetbaggers of all sorts.

    The great sin of the current Russian President has been that he has led a largely successful effort to put a stop to the looting and the hemorrhaging of Russia’s vital human and material resources and to bring the country back to a position where it is truly sovereign, can defend itself and can act confidently in its own interest. Recall that the 1993 Russian Constitution and its central feature, a super-strong presidency, was compiled by the coterie of Western or Western-inspired advisors around Yeltsin based precisely on the assumption that the pliable Yeltsin would be around for a while. But in the larger sense, to accomplish this monumental task in the interval of 20 years, Mr. Putin, his team and the majority of the Russian population (the stupid personalization of “Russia-as-Putin” is just infantile and ignorant) turned, in an era of great crisis, to the traditional tool that Russian political culture, for better or for worse, has inherited from the reigns, most notably, of Grand Prince Ivan III Vasilievich (1462-1505) and Peter I (1682-1725): the Russian State. In Ivan’s time, as well, the West (in the Polish-Lithuanian Crown) in alliance with the Khanate of Crimean Tatars, that last shard of the empire of Genghis Khan, was also aggressively pressing militarily on Muscovite borders. In this connection, Russians have a sort of proud, but bitter joke: Every century, some Western country tries its luck in conquering Russia and gets its head handed to it, it being unsaid – the bitter part – that the cost to the Russian population has been heavy.

    From this era onwards, the primary and overriding function of the Russian State is, was and always will be the defense of the realm, of national sovereignty, in the context of an extremely turbulent Eurasia and centuries of constant continental wars, the last of which (1941-1945) was especially murderous. In this struggle to preserve its sovereignty and to modernize, the Russian State has been the central organizing actor and it has often acted brutally. But as the great historian Kliuchevskii (1841-1911) once noted, this meant that Russian society was composed of “commanders, soldiers and workers, but not citizens,” a situation that began to change only in the very last years of the Soviet era.

    Given such traditions, the democratization of Russian society and government after the deep crisis of the 1990s was bound to be a painful and long process, even assuming that succeeding years had been entirely peaceful in its relations with its Western counterparts. But an increasingly vigorous reassertion of Russia’s sense of itself as a sovereign and independent power developed quite counter to what was considered in the West to be Russia’s “proper” place, after its defeat in the Cold War, as a submissive and subaltern state in the Western pecking order, a “student” to be brought up in accordance with Western “values”. After all, the end of the Cold War had vindicated liberal democracy as the “end of history”!

    From the turn of the century onward, then, unmistakable signs accumulated that the United States and its European allies had never really abandoned its deep-seated (even “racist”) hostility to Russia and the Russians: eastward expansion of NATO to Russian borders, unilateral abrogation of the various arms control measures that had insured a measure of stability in Russian-American relations, “color revolutions” in the former Soviet space, emplacement of dual-use launchers in the proximity to Russian borders. With the Western-sponsored coup d’état in Kiev during February 2014, the reunion of the Crimean Republic with the Russian Federation in March and the violent repercussions of these events of April-May in the Donbass, however, we arrived at a turning point, profoundly exacerbated by the incendiary and deeply Russophobic employment of the “Russian card” against the 45th President of the United States after the 2016 Presidential elections in the United States. In train with these events, “democracy” – according to the West’s “understanding” – has certainly been progressively restricted in Russia: chiefly, an ever closer monitoring of Western-financed organizations and media at work in Russia and countermeasures against their activities have been sharply accelerated.

    External threats to the primacy of the State as the arbiter of Russian internal development and defender of the nation’s sovereignty will always provoke undemocratic reactions. That’s the history. Is anyone really surprised?

  12. Deap says:

    Just because:

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

  13. FWH says:

    Others have seen it more clearly. I finally get it, or more precisely, have finally become convinced of it. It is the combination of this post and Mr. Armstrong’s recent post on Russia Observer that sent the message home. Mr. Armstrong’s blunt analogy to June 1941 did it for me. Sharon Tennison’s ancient article describing Mr. Putin also helped.

    Vladimir Putin has been an earnest, diligent and probably humble civil servant during long years working for his country. He somehow survived the uncertainty and turmoil to rise to a position of immense power. He has used the power to rebuild his country.

    He applies problem solving skills he learned as a bureaucrat to complex problems, acting with perseverance and deeply rooted faith and hope. Some of the problems have dimensions that are mind boggling and the solutions are wildly unpredictable. The image we have seen of Mr. Putin bare chested riding a giant lunging bear is accurate in a way that its creator did not intend.

    Mr. Putin and his advisers have been subject to a long running attack through the media, and more recently his country and people have been subject to attack through the media. His efforts to rebuild and protect his country have yielded mostly derision and isolation from the English-speaking world. He now believes that he must act in the most extreme ways. He is riding the bear into Ukraine with the hope that he will find a unique solution rather than a disaster.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Putin is riding an army into Ukraine to subdue Ukrainians to the will of the great Russians. This has been the policy of the Czars since the Romanovs. There is nothing grand about brutally subjugating your neighbors. I write this, BTW, as a Putin fan and a person who is proud to have had Russian in laws in my family since childhood and still today. But he is acting as a typical Russian bully.

  14. per says:

    Putin’s ideology is Democracy, Market Ekonomy and Traditional Values. The ideology of the modern West is Democracy, Market Economy and Cultural Marxism. Russia today is like Western Europe in the sixties. It is an irony of history that Soviet power preserved Eastern Europe from cultural marxism. Is it worth going to war to make Moscow safe for Pride festivals?

  15. per says:

    Putin is above all a Russian patriot. This makes him a short term autocrat but a long term democrat. Putin’s idol seems to be Stolypin, who once famously proclaimed: ”Give me twenty years and Russia will be changed beyond recognition!”

    In this light, Vladimirovich recognizes that authoritariansim is not good for Russia. It is unstable. What happens when Vladimirovich is gone? Democratic structures are more stable. Putin is a great admirer of Germany. When there was the debate of moving the High Court from Moscow to St Petersburg, Putin said: ”Do you know where the High Court is in Germany? It is in Karlsruhe. There is a point of having the High Court seated in a place severed from the seats of power.”

    Likewise, there was the situation in Germany some ten years ago when CDU and the Social Democrats where forced to create a coalition. Putin’s comment was: ”Do you realize the political maturity that has to be in order to form such a coalition?” Some time afterwards, a Social Democratic party was launched in Russia, on the Kremlin’s initiative, to compete with Putin’s own party United Russia (”CDU”). Cynics said that this was a show, to give the impression of democracy in Russia. A more benevolent interpretation is that Putin wanted to help democracy along, from the top – because he thought that a two party-system would be good for Russia and create stability for Russia in the long run.

  16. jim ticehurst says:

    I once Went to a Charity Dinner/Auction For The Local Hospital,,The Doctor next To Me Disussed The Russian Situation…He Said “you Know,,I have many Russian
    Patients..from Our Community…BUT..I am Learning to SAy “I Surrender”
    In CHINESE….”
    JT

  17. cookie says:

    Putin is an old style Soviet leader without the communism. Your right about the Oligarchs, Putin doesn’t care anout them, he used them to help rebuild Russia and its military.

    Putin will destroy Ukraine if they don’t negotiate …now! This man believes in Russia and its place in the world.

    Putin is now making the military the power in Russia, he is pouring money into the military and surrounding himself with generals.

    The West has sadly miss-read him, we are in for turbulent times.

    Why Ukraine thought sailing around the Black Sea with NATO was a good idea beats me?

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