Sunday, July 24, 2022

Putin is Achieving What He Most Wants to Achieve in Ukraine, Felshtinsky Says

 Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 1 – What matters most to Vladimir Putin, Yury Felshtinsky says, is “not so much to defeat Ukraine as to demonstrate to the entire world Russia’s readiness to wipe from the earth all territories which are not ready to subordinate themselves to Moscow in an unqualified manner.” And to a large extent, he is achieving that.

            The US-based Russian historian of the Soviet security services and their post-Soviet epigones says that the destruction Russian army under the control of Moscow’s intelligence services has visited on Ukrainian cities and the cruelty it has inflicted on the Ukrainian people is a complete confirmation of this reality (

            “The Russian leadership,” Felshtinsky says, “plans in this way to frighten the entire world and force it to capitulate; and the argument that the Russian army isn’t prepared for a major war, that is, prepared for serious losses, is the very last thing that concerns Putin. For him, it is a matter of complete indifference how many tens of thousands of soldiers Russia loses.”

            “From the point of view of rational people,” he continues, “war is an insanity and Putin is insane. But here is the problem: Putin, the Russian leadership and the Russian people in its current state are absolutely irrational. Was Hitler insane? Was Stalin insane?” The answer doesn’t matter if thousands supported them and support Putin now.

            “Russia is governed by a corporation of state security officers, the FSB, which finally seized power in the country in 2000 when it was able to install as president FSB director Putin. Over the last 22 years, Putin has become first among equals; his power and authority are unlimited.”

            Putin and his team have eliminated those who do not agree with him, Felshtinsky says; and now, “the leadership of Russia is monolithic; and if something happened to Putin tomorrow and he disappeared from the political arena, he would be replaced by another collective Putin and everything would remain the same.”

            The only thing that could change the situation is the dissolution of the FSB and the introduction of a prohibition against its return under any name whatsoever. And for that, the analyst says, Russia “must suffer a military defeat comparable to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.”

            According to Felshtinsky, “the war in Ukraine is the best illustration of how irrational the special services of Russia and the Russian leadership which they staff in fact are.” Consider what a good position Russia was in as of March 2014 and what it finds itself in now, he observes. But Moscow went to war and sacrificed all of that in order to try to intimidate.

            That is what any Russian government dominated by the security services will do regardless of Putin, however much Russians or Westerners want to believe otherwise. Russia has never been a democracy and could not become one in 1991 because of the dominance of the security services.  

Only if they are finally defeated will Russia and the world have a chance for a  better future.

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