Sunday, June 9, 2024

Putin Continues to Use Tragedies to Mobilize Society and Solidify His Control of Elites, ‘To Be Continued’ Portal Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 4 – Vladimir Putin rose to power by exploiting the attacks on Russian housing blocks in 1999, explosions that many believe he was behind; but since that time, he has demonstrated that he has done so even with tragedies he is clearly the author of and has become increasingly successful at doing do, the To Be Continued portal says.

            Many have focused on the way in which Putin has exploited such tragedies to mobilize the population in directions he favors, the portal continues; but he has done so most successfully in ensuring that those among the powers that be remain loyal to him by involving them in the tragedies and not punishing those who remain loyal (

            That has been the pattern from 1999 to the present as the Crocus City Hall violence shows. Two months on, no one has been seriously punished and no one is convinced that all those involved have been identified and arrested, despite the claims of the government that this is the case.

            In this latest case, the portal continues, “the ritual of ostentatious unity turned into a king of dangerous farce: the authorities closed shopping centers and banned concerts and other public events, but at the same time, they ordered memorial rallies as if the terrorists wouldn’t attack such sacred gatherings.”

            None of the officials who failed to prevent the attack or who may have facilitated it one way or another has been fired or even disciplined, as long as they continued to play their role in this Putin game. And the population responded as well in ways the Kremlin wanted, increasing hostility to Central Asian migrants and other minorities.

            But it is the impact of such events and their treatment on the elites that matters the most. “Putin’s authoritarian system is a mafia clan that lives according to understandings not laws. You can get out of it either feet first, in prison or ensure oneself an honorable pension in the Federation Council.”

            Everyone in it “must be covered with the same dirt and blood so that no one will suddenly have the desire to jump ship. If someone does wake up, then he will be demonstratively persecuted in front of the whole country, like former minister Uliyukayev, so that all others will be discouraged from following his lead.”

            Moreover, this sends the message that “if you remain loyal, the Cosa Nostra won’t abandon you.” You may be denigrated and humiliated but you won’t be destroyed. There are all kinds of sinecures and even invented positions you can be sent to but even those are not so bad as the cases of Rogozin and Patrushev show.

            “In a country where institutions don’t work and where trust and respect are absence, where corruption and the mafia world flourish, no serious initiatives are possible,” exactly the arrangement that Putin wanted in 1999 and wants to this day, To Be Continued argues. The Kremlin fully understands this, and so its exploitation of tragedies will continue as well.

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