Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Russia’s Elite Must Confront Putin on Ukraine, Albats Says

Paul Goble


            Staunton, July 23 – Those with access to Putin’s ear must convince him to change course now, before he crosses a line from which there is no return, because if such people who are now called an elite prove to be only a bunch of “greedy and frightened” people and do not do so, they may keep their money but they will be “without a country,” Yegeniya Albats says.


            What makes her argument and appeal so important is that Albats has not made this kind of statement before. That she is doing so now, directly calling on Putin’s entourage to intervene to get him to change course, underlines just how dire the situation she and many others in the Russian capital believe it to be.


            The editor of Moscow’s “New Times” says that the elite must recognize that “never before in the post-Soviet history of Russia has the country been in such a horrific position as it is now” and that “all variants – from a major war to a junta in the Kremlin – are possible” (


            And the elite must act because only it has a chance to push Putin in the right direction. The Kremlin leader, she suggests, “has begun to understand that his Chekist entourage, which is interested in an iron curtain and a war of all against all has led him not just into a dead end” but “into a nightmare in which he will go down in history as someone on whose hands in the direct sense is the blood of innocent children.”


            They must make sure that the Kremlin leader understands that. History “won’t remember” the pro-Moscow militants in the Donbas, but “it won’t forget Putin” or his connection with the downing of the Malaysian aircraft. And this is his nightmare until the end of his days.”


            Tragically, Albats continues, it will not be only his nightmare but that of Russia as well, “if something still worse does not take place.” The elites need to take steps to ensure this does not happen and can only do so by going to Putin and declaring that “day X” has come, the day of “his choice” about the future.


            They and he must think about more than their own personal interests. They must remember more important things, like their country, because on their choice and that of Putin himself depends his future and Russia’s as well.




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