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The Western interpretation goes like this: Putin is a dictator; he is obsessed with the restoration of the Soviet Union or the Russian empire; or both. As a dictator he can do anything, while you don't know what ordinary Russians think because they are afraid. This is superficial. Until a few days ago, the Russian media were still free. In an article that appeared in Krass & Konkret in the summer, I had warned: If you provoke Russia, which can happen in different ways, for example by sponsoring Navalny as a Russian Guaido, then tightening the screws will be a self-fulfilling prophecy
I agree with the sentiment. The problem is that despite the relative openness, there were only the trappings of democracy; no separation of powers; not the slightest possibility of electing anyone other than Putin; an extreme concentration of decision-making in a single pair of hands.
The problem with this (a functional dictatorship) is that it has led to a purely discretionary war, on the whim of a single individual. That a majority of citizens will support their country in a war is practically a given, at any time, in any nation. Doesn't make it right.
This could logically be Russia's "Vietnam moment", but the fact that there is no longer freedom of information works against that.
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
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