Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Kremlin Desperately Needs New ‘Short Victorious War’ and May Seek It within Russia, Gozman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 11 – The collapse in the ratings of Vladimir Putin and other members of the Russian regime compels them to seek a new “short victorious war,” the only means they believe they have to shore up their power, Leonid Gozman head of the Union of Right Forces, says. And this time it may against a domestic opponent.

            The way in which Putin sought to piggyback on the victory of the Soviet people in World War II during the latest anniversary shows just how important wars remain as a legitimating principle for the current Kremlin leader, the opposition politician says (

            There is no obvious “second Crimea,” and that hasn’t worked out all that well for the Kremlin either, Gozman continues. The powers that be “don’t want a world war,” although they are more than pleased to frighten others with that possibility. And “petty adventures do not give the effect” they seek.

            That Putin may be thinking about trying to get a kind of “victory” against domestic opponents is suggested by the way in which he organized the celebration of Victory Day this year. Earlier that holiday was almost the only one on the calendar that unified all the citizens of Russia.

            But this year, in its Putinesque form, it doesn’t “unite but divide,” not only between Russia and the rest of the world given that in Putin’s version Russia fought alone but also between those within who were and are not enthusiastic about the regime, Stalin’s then or Putin’s now.

            The obvious “next step – and the powers are ready to make it – is the order for the destruction of traitors of the motherland and by the laws of military times given that we still have not returned to peaceful ones.” That prospect is frightening because it suggests that Putin’s next “short victorious war” will be against his own people just as was the case with Stalin.

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