Staunton, December 27 – Vladimir Putin lashes out against the West and defends Stalin’s actions, including the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and annexation of the Baltic states, not only because he views such criticism as an attack on Russia but also because he feels compelled to do so in order to defend himself against criticism for doing similar things, Vadim Zaydman says.
The Kremlin leader clearly feels himself to be “the true continuer of Stalin’s cause, both on the whole by returning Russia to Stalinist realities … and specifically in the area of his aggressive foreign policy,” the Moscow analyst says. But this feeling remains largely an “unconscious” one (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5E052DD6992A9).
The reason for that is to be found in Putin’s own words in the past: In 2009, he condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (svoboda.org/a/1813249.html); and in 2006, he said that Crimea was part of Ukraine and that Russia must accept that reality and not interfere (liniya2006.ru/). He simply can’t reverse himself without losing face at least to himself.
But the situation is clear: just as for Stalin, Poland was “the ugly child of the Versailles treaty,” so too “for Putin, Ukraine is the ugly offspring of the Belovezhskaya accords” and has equally “far-reaching consequences” which he is acting upon in an attempt to avoid “’the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.’”
And in so doing, Putin wants the international community to accept or better sympathize with his position. But he, “the ugly child of Boris Nikolayevich, does not understand that he is acting in ways that bring closer the onset of the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of this 21st century – the third and let us hope final stage of the disintegration of the Russian Empire.”