It is a fact, of consequences that we are experiencing today more than ever, that there are two geopolitical monsters the West has recklessly created, against its own interests: China and Russia. It happened mostly by ignoring the specific cultural factor and the hegemonic mentalities, very different from ours and not in a good way.
Since the Second World War, too many leaders and elites of the West considered both China and Russia as economic „partners” on their way to adopt the democratic and liberal values (incompatible with the Chinese and Russian type of society), or mere „competitors” instead of the overt enemies they were. As such, the Western powers helped them massively (economically, financially and technologically) imposing very little conditions if any, rather than helping other actual friends and more reliable partners, such as the emerging (from communism) Eastern European countries of the same cultural and Christian roots.
From this perspective, I’ll share some brief thoughts on Putin’s Russia, since this is the hotest issue of the day.
Many Westerners and fellow citizens were surprised by the blitzkrieg started yesterday in Ukraine. They didn’t expect simultaneous strikes from the beginning, on so many cities ALL OVER the country, the capital included. I confess I didn’t expect it exactly like that myself (though I was expecting Putin’s army to attack the Eastern part of Ukraine, beyond Donetsk and Lugansk, since 2014, then after the disastruos result of the American presidential elections in 2020). And I keep wondering if the Ukrainians were prepared now for it. I don’t know for sure, but sources on the ground and indications (other than the mainstream media) tells me they were.
However, my opinion is that what happened yesterday (the 24th of February) wasn’t as succesful and won’t help (as planned) Putin’s goal – which is, obviously, to tear to pieces Ukraine as a national state, and by that to further undermine its integration in NATO and the Western European geopolitical block. But it was all consistent with Putin himself.
Specifically, analyzing yesterday’s public reactions, I believe what many have forgotten and should keep in mind is that what reasonable people pragmatically anticipate and what megalomaniac dictators actually have in mind are often two very different things.
So, remembering Putin’s long term behaviour, I’d say what he usually has in mind it’s not necessarilly motivated by reasonably foreseable goals. His intentions often escapes pragmatic thinking and corresponds more with his upbringind, with the ancient hegemonic complex he has and with the Russian glory he wants to project. It has to do with that Russian legendary political „last will of Peter the Great” more than with the Evil Empire [USSR] nostalgia.
This Russian old dream – the so-called Testament of Peter I – may very well be nothing but an apocryphal document. But that doesn’t mean some don’t believe in it. And if this is indeed the case of Putin, his actions could be (as they usually are) more damaging than the Western decision makers are prepared to deal with.
While considering only his obvious (economic, political and energy) targets, or the ambitions to somehow restore the USSR, the Western leaders may fail again to fully anticipate Putin’s decisions because, among other things, they dismiss the old cultural factor.
The current Russian President’s intentions shouldn’t be judged only by practical considerations such as objective risks versus benefits – the Western logic -, but also by his Russian complexes and mentality. In his delusions, he generally wants more than he can accomplish, and failure doesn’t seem to stop him. Specifically, his desires often seem to be as obsolete as they are impractical, going far beyond his capabilities, aiming to extend Russia’s domination towards the West beyond the former USSR – all over Poland (not just Ukraine), on both shores of the Baltic Sea (Sweden included), and towards the South beyond Crimeea, over all shores of the Black Sea (less the Turkish part so far). Which is the old Russian geopoltical vision.
Of course this vision is practically impossible (as it always has been) for many reasons, past and present. But Putin, as any ambitious dictator, is not exactly a reasonable guy. Therefore he may once again go beyond his means, even against his own interests. Failing, yes, but creating great havoc and disruptions regardless.
After all, his subversive actions against the West constantly went beyond Europe’s borders, all the way to the United States. Let’s face it: he did massively interfere with the 2016 presidential election in favour of Hilary Clinton not Trump, and it wasn’t the failure that temporarely discouraged him, but the actions of the American President he didn’t want – yes, Donald Trump. So what’s another failed war, as it may become the case in Ukraine ….
Bottom line, my thought for today is that it may be reckless to assess Putin’s actions solely based on practical considerations. Ignoring the cultural and pshycological factor it’s mainly what created not only the current situation in Ukraine, but has enabled along history the growth of many monster-enemies of the Christian West. Nowadays Russia and China are only two of them.
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