Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Putin’s Preparation for War Against West has Attracted Attention: His Preparation for War Against His Own People Far Less, Davydov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 16 – Vladimir Putin is preparing for “war on two fronts, with ‘Western partners’ and with his own people,” Ivan Davydov says today in the New Times. But if the first has attracted enormous attention, the second has garnered far less, at least in part because the Kremlin and its media outlets talk far less about it.

            While some warn against interpreting capacity as an indication of intention and others say that Chekhov’s dictum that the presence of a gun in act one means it will be used by act three, the Russian commentator says “the real arms race” against Putin’s domestic opponents is almost as disturbing as his efforts against foreign enemies (newtimes.ru/articles/detail/179550).

                War against a foreign opponent is always a useful propagandistic tool, Davydov says. It has the effect of eclipsing and silencing all complains about problems at home in the name of fighting the enemy. But talking about making war against the government’s own population is something else. That raises questions about who makes up the powers that be.

            So less is said and less attention is paid, but “the arsenal of military machines used for dispersing demonstrations is constantly being expanded,” he continues.  There are all kinds of weaponry whose numbers are being increased – he lists some of them – and additional kinds which no one has ever imagined including facial recognition devices and the like.

            The New Times commentator provides an extensive description of the inventor of Putin’s Russian Guard, but he stresses that “this is not a complete list.” The Kremlin plans to acquire ever more weapons to fight its own people even as it buys others to fight foreigners.  Both represent “real arms races” and “open preparation for war.”

            Only the targets are different.

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