The aging Vladimir Putin hopes that the war can re-emerge a sagging empire.


Sasha Moldbets / Getty

Sasha Moldbets / Getty

There is little more dangerous than the nostalgia of an old man.

No matter where you look in the world today, you can see the results of their longing for time.In Brazil, the president Jair Bolsonaro He seems to be anxious for a country like his youth when he was a new artillery officer and the military junta ruled without any concern for the will of the people.71-year-old Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi He spent his youth as a member of a right-wing Hindu nationalist paramilitary organization inspired by the Italian Fascist Party. The traces can be clearly seen as Modi has led the country away from democracy towards nationalism during his tenure. Xi Jinping’s Chinese Communist Party At the end of last year, he approved a resolution alongside two dominant leaders of his youth, making him one of the leaders defining the era of the country. Mao Zedong When Deng Xiaoping..from Erdogan of Turkey To Hungarian Oban To American playing cards, We have seen leaders trying to transform traditional values ​​celebrations into the form of political Viagra.

Now, the greatest danger the world faces from such leaders is Russian President Vladimir Putin.. Putin, 69, has long been seen as a man who is very anxious about his declining vitality, so from his unexpected shot of riding a horse in the Russian countryside shirtless. , His side always wins thanks to the tsunami of scoring by Vladimir Putinky.

In a sense, the most devastating of Putin’s efforts to bring the watch back is his attempt to restore the Russian place in the world to a state similar to the state of the Soviet Union where he grew up and worked as a KGB. An officer who resigned from 1975 to 1991 following a coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev. Putin calls the collapse of the Soviet Union and its empire “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”

Putin’s new rival: Stalin

In his 2005 speech, Putin described it as a “real tragedy.” Tens of millions of citizens and compatriots have found themselves crossing the boundaries of Russian territory. Since then, he has weaponized his nostalgia into almost the disaster of the planet. He did so by smashing his enemies in a brutal way that Stalin might be proud of and turning the country back towards Soviet-style authoritarianism. He turned Russia into a geopolitical spoiler and maintained an army far beyond what the country could afford.

And he has sought to systematically reassert Russia’s control over the land and people it once supervised. In 2008, Russian troops pioneered part of Georgia. In 2014, Putin’s Russia annexed Crimea. His excuse was to respond to the will of the Russians being abused by the Ukrainian government in Kiev. Since then, fighting in the Donbas region of Ukraine has continued. But today, with the move of 100,000 Russian troops to the Ukrainian border, Putin’s desire to regain Russia’s former glory is not only the intensification of its protracted conflict, but the end of World War II. It could lead to Europe’s largest civil war since.

This week, U.S. officials said, “Russia has already pre-deployed a group of operatives to carry out a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine,” with the aim of creating an excuse to unleash a full-scale invasion of Russia’s neighbors. I warned. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan commented, “I saw this playbook in 2014. They are preparing this playbook again.” US intelligence estimates that the intrusion could begin next month.

The US and NATO allies are trapped in intensive debate to ensure that they provide an effective and coordinated response to Russia’s threats. Responses could include providing military equipment to Ukraine, forward deployment of NATO forces to other member states along the eastern frontier of the alliance, and strict economic and political sanctions. Secretary of State Antony Blinken leads a generally well-coordinated choir of NATO leaders, warning them not to invade Russians and assuring them that the consequences of the invasion are “serious”. came.

Three negotiations between Russia, the United States and Europe last week failed to ease tensions between Moscow, Ukraine and NATO. The Russians wanted to promise that the Western Union would not expand further around the border. They claimed that former US Secretary of State James Baker had long ago promised not to extend NATO to Eastern Europe.Baker himself denies this, evidence suggests Russians are twisting the truth of what actually happenedBut Putin has never appreciated the truth (as his appeal to false flag operations shows).

Fortunately, Biden’s foreign policy and national security team, and our NATO allies, have requested Russia to scale NATO, the military level of member states near the Russian border, or support the alliance with Ukraine. It is absolutely clear that you will not surrender to. Admitting evidence in any of these areas could set a disastrous precedent and threaten the alliance, which is largely present to protect the West from Russia, to undermine itself with the threat of Russian aggression. It suggests that there is.

President Putin may be weak in the Biden administration or reluctant to play a traditional American leadership role within NATO, triggered by the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan and in the midst of American political turmoil. It seems that he thought that it was not. It has already proved to be a serious miscalculation. From rigorous negotiations led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, constant close coordination with allies, maintaining a unified frontline for the United States and allies, and a comprehensive and sophisticated call for Russia’s misrepresentation and malice. Until the public diplomacy campaign, the Biden team has managed this crisis well. Indeed, their behavior seems to have been informed and enhanced by their experience over the past year. However, it must be said that Biden, Blinken, Sullivan and their teams have deep experience in transatlantic relationships and Putin’s relationships, which is reflected in the handling of events to date.

But the standoffs aren’t over yet. Russia has heated up in the last few days. In addition to information about moving assets to prepare war predicates, Russia has embarked on naval operations in the Baltic Sea and even threatened to deploy military assets in Cuba or Venezuela.

In the midst of this and their own media campaign to justify their actions, the Putin administration is acting on his desire to “return to the Soviet Union,” as the Beatles said. Foreign Minister Putin revealed this when he claimed that NATO existed solely to take over “a territory isolated by the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union.” Orphan? It perfectly captures Putin’s view. Like many old men, he is sentimental of the dominant role played in his spirit by his dear old homeland.

Unfortunately for Ukraine, Putin’s psychodrama could continue to play at their expense. Putin is unlikely to be able to retreat without looking weak at this point. However, a protracted conflict in Ukraine costs a huge amount of money for Russia. It starts with strict economic sanctions, is once again considered a Pariah state, and continues to the harsh costs of war. As a result, perhaps the most likely consequences are modest profits, some additional land, perhaps gaining control of the overpass to Crimea, and other measures they believe will undermine Kiev’s government. It is the military action that we seek. These can include cyber attacks —May actually started this week..

If NATO maintains its determination and quickly imposes high sums on Russia for such aggression, perhaps the consequences of this current Putin adventure could be limited and the fear of escalation could be mitigated. But the threat posed by Putin and his toxic nostalgia will not end in this episode.

On the day Gorbachev resigned and the Soviet era ended, one of the world’s most hit songs has since been a song with a title that suggests Putin’s thinking, George Michael and Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Fall in My Eyes.” Don’t. “

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