Sunday, January 15, 2023

Putinism Becoming Mobutoism, Nevzlin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 12 – Many analysts have been attracted to the idea that Vladimir Putin resembles Latin American dictators, Leonid Nevzlin says; but in fact, he increasingly resembles not them but the most notorious of sub-Saharan African dictators, Mobuto Sese Seko, who ruled Zaire for more than 30 years.

            The parallels are disturbing, the Israel-based Russian analyst says, ranging from the declaration of a national emergency to the destruction of political parties, the establishment of complete one-man rule, the amalgamation of regions, the creation of a nationalist ideology, and an obsession with greatness (

            Were Putinism confined to Russia in much the same way that Mobutoism was confined to Zaire, that might not be a matter of the greatest concern for the international community; but Putin has infinitely more opportunities to cause trouble for the world than Mobuto did during his three decades of rule.

            And it must be remembered that Putin’s greatest threat to the world lies less in his possession of nuclear weapons, however horrible those may be, than in his remarkably success export of corruption and mafia-style rule, two certainly less dramatic but far more politically effective means of destroying the current international order.

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