Staunton, Aug. 15 – Many think that Putin’s turn against the West and attack on Ukraine represent a sharp break from what they see as the hopeful developments of the 1990s, but they are wrong, Aleksandr Skobov says, because both these developments under the Kremlin dictator are the direct result of what happened beginning in the first months after the USSR collapsed.
In an essay entitled “The Revolution of the Ghouls,” the Putin critic traces exactly how he sees the developments that first appeared to promise so much were hijacked by others and then used to restore in the Kremlin and its supporters an aggressive anti-Western policy (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=64DB0BD48E5FD).
According to Skobov, “the fatal mistake of ‘the reformers of the 1990s’ was that for the sake of the achievement of their remarkable as it seemed to them program of market reforms, they formed a political union with the ghouls,” those who had never given up on their right to use violence to achieve their ends.
In 1991, the ghouls to protect themselves made public obeisance to a vegetarian course, but shortly thereafter, they showed their true selves, first pushing Yeltsin to violence against the Russian parliament in October 1993 and then to a vicious war against the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
It was there, the commentator continues, that “the real ‘feast of the spirt’ began,” a time when “the state regained ‘the right’ it had lost for awhile to trample on any moral and legal norms, when it reclaimed what it saw is its “‘right’ to use unlimited violence and unlimited cruelty” in the pursuit of its ends.
And it solidified its control because of the support it attracted from the new capitalist class whose property depended not on law but on the same people remaining in power. Thus, these supposed Westernized elements in fact because de facto among the chief supporters of the ghouls surviving from the past.
“This protection against a change in power was critical for the system,” Skobov continues. “And for this, again, ghouls we re needed. In the end, the old and new ghouls merged into a single new ruling class in Putin’s Russia.” Having become rich via less than legal means, they all came to believe only in brute force and war.
According to Skobov, “this class didn’t understand why Western suckers, bound by all sorts of restrictions, had any right to teach Russians about human rights.” And as a result, he argues, “the transition of this new Russian elite to positions of anti-Westernism and anti-Americanism was absolutely inevitable.”
This is something the West must understand because “even if some part of Russia’s ruling elite” decided to take power to protect itself from Western sanctions, “the system will still be pregnant with new resentments and new wars,” and won’t become the liberal democratic ally of the West that some appear to expect.
“Only the complete demolition of the entire Putin elite and the system associated with it,” Skobov concludes, will give Russia and the world any chance for positive change.