Friday, December 15, 2023

Putin has Made Evil a Banality for Most Russians, Kolesnikov Says

Paul Goble

          Staunton, Dec. 10 – Over the last year, Vladimir Putin has introduced new norms into social life, including a disposition to the use of force, an acceptance of state brutality to its opponents, and the isolation of Russia from the rest of the world except for its worst outcasts, Andrey Kolesnikov says.

          Indeed, the New Times commentator suggests, the Kremlin leader has made 2023 “the year of the banalization of evil,” an action that has led ever more Russians to at least declare their support for what the regime is doing, however much it is harming their own interests and professed values (

           Now, “everything is being done for the good of the state and not the individual. The government is to an ever greater degree being transformed into something sacred and this idol requires ever more sacrifices, financial, emotional, verbal and human,” from people who should know better.

           Human rights in the view of the state and that of many Russians have been transformed from being the bedrock principles of their lives to “an instrument of the interference of external forces in the internal affairs of Russia and no more than that.” The state alone has all truth, and principles are increasingly turned upside down.

           “Little Putins” are appearing everywhere, with even officials at the lowest rung of the ladder behaving as if he or she were head of the government. And as a result, the humanity of people is being crushed out of them. And those at the top have stopped talking to the leaders of real powers and meeting only with international outcasts.

           Those below have been transformed into passive spectators who are simply waiting for things to get better, although most of them know that they have a long time to wait. The new social contract between the people and their president is that they are ready to wait and he is ready to make what promises he has to to help them accept this new reality.


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