Thursday, February 27, 2020

Six Years Ago This Week, Putin Changed the World Changed by Following His Own Impulses and Invading Ukraine

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 22 – “The geopolitical reality of today has a birthday,” Roman Popkov, or more precisely three, February 20, 21 and 22, 2014, when Vladimir Putin sent Russian troops into the territory of Ukraine, a move that gave rise to “the second cold war” with its “sanctions, anti-sanctions, sabre rattling, and the use of mercenary armies” across the world.

            Since that time, “Putin has been fighting with America because for him the Ukrainian people do not exist as a subject of history;” and likewise for Putin, “no Ukrainian revolution exists anymore but only an American special operation carried out near his, Vladimir Putin’s, borders” and thus “a special operation directed against him” (

            The Kremlin leader has “convinced himself of this” nonsense. And because he has, Putin is also convinced that his actions in Ukraine are entirely defensive in character, however obvious to everyone else that they are not. And thus he has put the entire world on a new, cold war footing.

            “In contrast to the first cold war, which ended in the 1980s,” Popkov said, “there is in the current clash with the West no recognized messianic meaning. This conflict is the product of the personal complexes and phobias of the head of the Russian state. And the entire history of this global conflict is a chain of tactical situational moves.”

            Over these six years, Ukraine and Russia have changed fundamentally, the commentator says. Only Putin has remained the same.  Ukraine continues in its cyclical path now trusting now overthrowing its leaders but increasingly dedicated to its separate and unique status. Russia too has changed: the chauvinism of six years ago is gone.

            So too are the former heroes of Russia’s “official propaganda, managers of ‘the Russian spring’ have been thrown into the trash, some into graves, some into jails, and some still alive and free but only after having become marginal figures of fun needed by no one,” Popkov continues.

            Despite these changes, the commentator says, “only Putin’s rhetoric regarding Ukraine has not changed at all.” In his latest TASS remarks (,  the Russian president devotes almost ten minutes to Ukrainian issues and repeats his false claims of the last six years, that “Russians and Ukrainians are ‘one people’” and should live under one ruler.

            Putin hasn’t been able to get his way in Ukraine so he has launched attacks directed at the US in a variety of places, including Syria, the Central African Republic, Sudan “and in equally exotic places.”  All these actions, just like his initial attack on Ukraine reflect Putin’s “paranoia, anger, and nearsightedness” which causes him to reject Ukraine’s right to “choose its own fate.”

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