Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Putin Can No Longer Satisfy Russian Desire for Victory but Only Offer ‘a Continuation of War without Restrictions in Time or Space,’ Pastukhov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 16 – Vladimir Putin finds himself in an unprecedented situation for him, one in which he “cannot satisfy the demand of the masses” for victory, “a demand which he himself created” but can “only offer the continuation of the war without any restrictions in time or space,” Vladimir Pastukhov says.

            Because that is so, the London-based Russian analyst says, his election campaign has had to be made “inert, faceless and meaningless.” The Kremlin leader “no longer offers Russia anything. Indee, it appears that he has “exhausted himself with the war” and that from now on, no one will “hear anything new from him” (t.me/v_pastukhov/901).

            This represents a radical change for Putin himself and finds him in a position which recalls a scholastic syllogism about the powers of God and the ways in which they are limited, Pastukhov continues. Updated, this syllogism holds that Putin cannot begin a war in which he is not in a position to win. “If not, then he isn’t all-powerful; and if yes, he isn’t either.”

            Pastukhov suggests that “Putin can today promise eternal war but already is not able to promise victory in it,” and that makes him “vulnerable” as far as elections are concerned and means that the upcoming campaign will be one organized by political technologists rather than by Putin who up to now has captured the spirit of the country.

            “Before these elections,” he continues, “Putin didn’t really need political strategists; rather, they needed him.” But now, “with an election campaign outsourced to such people, Putin will be a supporting actor using a script written by someone else,” a situation which he has never been in before.

            According to Pastukhov, “Putin was initially designed to meet a specific political demand for ‘Yeltsin but not Yeltsin,’ to be exactly the same but different.” In 2000, that went like clockwork. But by 2004, Putin “had determined what the public wanted” and he pursued the dispossession of the oligarchs.

            Four years after that, recognizing that society wanted something else including “the restoration of legality and modernization,” Putin offered Medvedev, “temporarily retreating into the shadows. But when Medvedev almost brought down the system, Putin grasped the demand for nationalism and satisfied it in full.”

            The Kremlin leader then began “a 12-year-long campaign under the banner of the fight against color revolutions organized by the West, riding into 2016 on the momentum of the Crimean consensus, and in 2020, leading a national Bolshevik coup, which by itself predetermined Russia’s entry into the current war” which Putin cannot win.

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