Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Putin Acting Now Because He Sees Western Weakness Giving Moscow a Window of Opportunity, Analyst Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 7 – Vladimir Putin decided to go on the offensive now and in such a bold fashion because he believes that the international situation has never been as favorable to Moscow as it is now and may never be as favorable again several years in the future, according to a Moscow analyst.

            In an article on today, Elizaveta Pokrovskaya says that “unfortunately ... never in the course of the last century has such a weak president stood at the head of the United States” or has the West as a whole been less willing or able to recognize the threat Putin poses or to oppose it (

            “Since the moment of the disintegration of the USSR,” she continues, “the Western powers have ceased to view Russia as a serious threat; and as a result, now they categorically do not wish to fight, are not prepared to fight and do not see any basis for opposing Russian aggression in the very center of Europe.”

            This situation, Pokrovskaya says, will in Putin’s estimation “continue possibly for another 2.5 years until the US elections: then something may change. But until then [Putin] not without justification considers that his hands have been untied.” And in support of what he sees as his window of opportunity, the Kremlin leader is preparing the Russian people for war.

            During his April 17 conversation with the Russian people, Putin provided “neither more nor less” than “the ideology of Russian Nazism,” she continues.  And she specifies that she is talking “precisely about Nazism” and not some more nebulous authoritarian regime or fascism of another kind.

            In his remarks, Putin talked about “the exceptionalism and special historic mission of one nation which stands in opposition to all other nations and peoples of the world.  Nazism,” she argues without going into details, “frequently (although not always) is the most important component of fascist ideology.”

“For the first time,” Pokrovskaya says, “the principles of Nazism as the foundations of a state doctrine were proclaimed at the official level and out of the mouth of the head of state!” Putin’s description of the “unique spiritual qualities” of Russians include a willingness not to think about the individual but “above all about the state and about higher spiritual values,” a willingness “to die” for those.

Others close to Putin have developed these ideas, she suggests, pointing to a “Special Correspondent” program as a case in point ( There, speakers said explicitly that the Kremlin is “preparing the population of Russia for the Fourth World War,” a conflict in which Russia will stand up to the entire world.

Given that goal, Putin and his supporters have totally disregarded the truth and used lies that exceed those of Hitler or Stalin and simply create “an alternative reality” for Russians.  And instead of rational argument, they have relied as both these totalitarian figures did on whipping up the emotions of the population to preclude critical thinking.

In doing so, of course, Putin is in no way “original,” Pokrovskaya says.  And he has done little or nothing to “conceal his plans.”  Whether he will be able to realize them depends on how others respond.  For the next 30 months, the Kremlin leader believes he can do what he likes, by manipulating opinion at home and relying on the weakness of the West.

Whether he has like other dictators fallen into in a form of madness is not yet clear, the commentator suggests, but Putin’s approach is that of the Soviet/Russian security agencies who on the basis of the system that emerged in Russia in the 1990s have risen to “absolute power” there. 

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