Friday, July 30, 2021

People Overreading Putin’s Essay on Ukraine, Novikov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 24 – Most commentators of Vladimir Putin’s recent essay on Russia and Ukraine are overreading it, seeing it as laying the groundwork for a new Russian attack by preparing the Russian people for that or at least as a fundamental shift in Moscow’s relations with Kyiv and the West, Moscow lawyer Ilya Novikov says.

            In fact, Putin’s propensity to write articles reflects what one might expect to be the situation aging dictators face. They no longer can achieve some of what they intended and they are bored so they turn to writing about historical or other abstruse topics, he continues. Stalin provides the perfect model of this (

            “When Stalin understood that he wasn’t about to conquer the world and that he didn’t have any problems in the country, he turned to science and begun to write articles about linguistics and Marxists. Here is a sign of a bored dictator who is tired of everything else and so wants to try his hand at something else by writing an article,” Novikov suggests.

            Because that is the case, he continues, he “does not exclude that he wrote it himself with his own hands.” And if he had help with a draft, Putin himself went through and changed things just enough to make it his own. In any case, Novikov says, “I assure you that this article is not a harbinger” of anything, let alone a new war cold or hot.

            Putin’s essay is simply another way for him to cope with the boredom he increasingly feels, the lawyer concludes.   

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