Staunton, May 17 – “One of the most mistaken notions is the thesis that ‘Putinism’ is Putin and that with his departure (physical or political), it will disappear. Today, it is; tomorrow, it won’t be. But unfortunately, this is not the case,” according to a Telegram writer whose screen name is “The Forbidden Opinion.”
“Putin is only a detail of this system which gave rise to ‘the Putin phenomenon’” rather than it being its creator as many assume,” he continues (t.me/TheForbiddenOpinion/1740). “’Putinism’ is the condition of the soul of the non-ethnic Russian post-Sov people, a soul that is hopelessly ill and longing for former imperial greatness.”
That is to be achieved, this people believes, by “the seizure of the territory of others, genocides and other ‘charming things.’” And it is a reflection of the coming together of “two lonely things: the sick Russian soul and the gray six-year term with suitcases” that looms before Russia now.
Putin fit right in to this sick Russian soul because he too “dreamt of ‘great accomplishments’ with his name becoming inserted in the list of Russian rulers between those of Ivan the Terrible and Joseph Stalin.” Such a “union was condemned to ‘success.’”
That is how “’Putinism’ was born. It could have had another name – Vladimir Vladimirovich simply turned up at the right time with his suitcases – but it couldn’t have had a different essence.” And that carries with it an important challenge, one that today’s opposition must think about.
And that challenge is this: the opposition needs to be asking itself not what it will “do with Putin or after Putin” but rather “how it will cure this ill (and now ever more seriously so) Russian soul.” Only if it does that does it and Russia have a chance to recover from Putinism whether Putin is around or not.