Staunton, May 19 – People in the West who are seeking to dismember Russia are only making it stronger, Vladimir Putin says, because those doing so do not understand the nature of Russia or recognize that attacks on its unity instead of dividing its people are only causing Russians to unite more tightly than ever before.
Speaking at the Russian Council on Inter-Ethnic Relations in Pyatigorsk, the Kremlin leader says that “practically the entire arsenal of the West is being directed against Russia, and attacks on its values are unceasing.” But those who are engagedin such actions do not understand that they will fail (regnum.ru/news/3807029).
They are thus “idiots,” but in any competition with halfwits, Putin continues, “they would take second place. Why only second? Because they are idiots” and cannot count on any rank higher than that. They do not understand that the more they do, the more Russians consolidate and this consolidation “now exceeds 90 percent.”
At the same time, he says, Moscow must closely monitor the situation, something officials are doing because “the government knows what it is doing and has created a special working commission” to ensure that “the idiots” do not have any successes in their efforts (regnum.ru/news/3807019 and regnum.ru/news/3807022).
Putin’s words are noteworthy for the West not so much because they reflect his confidence that he remains in control of the situation but rather because they are a warning to those in the West that talk about dismembering Russia may backfire by providing more popular support among Russians and others for national unity.
Supporting the right of the peoples of the Russian empire to freedom and independence is important, but what Putin has said serves as a critical reminder that this backing must take place in a way that actually promotes those ends rather than opens the way for him to gain support among the population for opposing such moves.
That is not an easy challenge. Still worse, it is one that many who now support these noble goals often fail to take into consideration, thus subverting their cause rather than advancing them and thus helping the republics, regions and nations within the Muscovite state to gain victories.