Putinism – not nearly as strong as it appears

Putin at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia in 2014

After the Crimea Anschluss, Vladimir Putin was shunned by G20 leaders at the their 2014 summit in Brisbane, Australia 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Vladimir Putin by his aggressiveness and bluster has convinced many in his country and elsewhere that he and his system are extremely strong, but in addition to the obvious comparisons many make with the often pathetic response of Western leaders, Putinism suffers from serious and incurable weaknesses, according to Kseniya Kirillova.

In a blog post on Novy Region-2 today, she identifies five of them:

  1. The lack of any vision of the future or roadmap to get there. Russia, like the USSR before it, has bet on ideology, albeit one less addressed to the world than for “’internal use.’” But “the distinctive characteristic of contemporary Russia ideology is its lack of specific content,” a situation that raises the possibility that “for the first time in world history, we are observing the appearance of a farce ideology, a quasi-ideology which consist only of superficial and declarative elements,” such as Orthodoxy which is more decorative than anything else, a leader cult, and an idealized past. As a result, “the main motivation of its opposition to the West” is negative and destructive rather than positive and constructive.
  2. The alienation of Russia’s former allies in Europe and even within the CIS. Putin’s actions have pushed even Belarus away from him to the point that Alyaksandr Lukashenka is speaking out and taking action. “According to unofficial information,” Kirillova says, the Belarusian leader has blocked representatives of Putin’s Russian Institute for Strategic Research from entering his country after RISI declared that Belarus must unite with Russia or face “a Ukrainian scenario.” Kazakhstan has begun a trade war with Russia, and even Russia’s former allies in Europe are distancing themselves from Moscow’s actions.
  3. Russia’s economy is heading toward “a real catastrophe.” As an increasing number of analysts have warned and as ever more Russians know, “the current economic crisis is growing over into a real catastrophe to be accompanied by a series of defaults” and as a result, “the threat of regional and national separatism” is growing as well as many outside of Moscow decide that they can do better out if they get out from under the man in the Kremlin.
  4. Putin’s increasing repression is increasing fear but also anger. The Kremlin leader’s moves against dissent of all kinds is indeed spreading fear throughout society, but they are also causing ever more people to recognize who is doing what and to ask what they may face in the future. When the number of people the government is attacking is small, many assume they will be able to escape; but when it grows, that confidence goes away.
  5. Putin’s propaganda has not yet achieved the complete moral degradation of Russian society. The Kremlin leader has done a great deal to move Russian society in that negative direction, but he hasn’t completely achieved his goal, Kirillova says. Many Russians still believe the messages Moscow is delivering about Ukraine and everything else. But over time, ever fewer of them will especially if they turn to alternative sources of news and information.

Of course, the Novy Region-2 commentator says, “these are not the only weaknesses of the Putin regime, but even they are sufficient to understand that present-day Russia is a colossus with feet of clay and an extremely low reserve of firmness, which does not have sufficient forces for victory over the Western world.”

Putin was shunned at the 2014 G20 meeting in Australia after the Crimea Anschluss by Russia.

Putin was shunned at the 2014 G20 meeting in Australia after his Crimea Anschluss.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dirk Smith

    It’s all smoke and mirrors with this unqualified kleptomaniac.

  • Michel Cloarec

    I start to feel bad for that man ! Just joking as usual, sorry !

    • Brent

      I love the photo of him at the G20 with no one around…I wonder if that was the moment he decided to travel home early to make sure he ‘gets enough sleep’ as he later claimed…or maybe the moment at which he was told he would have to eat alone at the “Bad Dictator” table…

      • Michel Cloarec

        I will put them on Facebook. There ,is Sputnik news very agressive !
        3 real news + 3 propaganda kremlin´s news everydays .And of course plenty followers !

        • puttypants

          I’ve been trying to respond to Sputnik but can’t figure out how to do it?

          • Michel Cloarec

            Direct answer to sputnik, you can´t . But with a facebook account can you comment the articles coming from them.

      • Murf

        That is what it is like to get kicked off the cool kids table

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Isn’t Kirillova being a bit optimistic? Belarus is totally dependent on Russia. Furthermore, Lukashenko has no friends. I doubt whether any western leaders will really care if the demented dwarf does decide to seize Belarus. And I doubt whether the Belarusian army would offer even token resistance to an invasion. Nor will the people start a guerrilla war against a Russian invasion and occupation- the years of Lukashenko’s pro-Russian policies will probably have made them indifferent to the country’s fate. It’s not like they are losing their independence- they never really had any to begin with.

    • puttypants

      Dagwood…don’t be so sure the Belarusians would allow Russia to invade and not do anything about it….

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        I don’t think the Belarusians are in a position to do anything about a Russian takeover. There already are Russian troops in Belarus as a result of a mutual defence agreement between Lukashenko and the dwarf, a similar situation to the Crimea. Russia and Belarus share a direct border, so invading will be much easier than the Crimean takeover. And the Belarusian armed forces and security services are probably riddled with pro-Russian moles to an even greater extent than the Ukrainian armed forces and SBU were.
        Furthermore.the Belarusians would only be exchanging Lukashenko’s dictatorship for the dwarf’s dictatorship. Heck, to them the dwarf’s dictatorship might even be benevolent compared to Lukashenko’s. It’s not as if the Belarusians had anything even remotely resembling the Ukrainians’ democracy. Do you really believe they would lift a finger to defend their country?
        Poland and the Baltics most definitely would NOT like a Russian takeover of Belarus, but what can they do about it? As for Merkelain, Hollandier and Obama, they will only be their usual useless selves.

    • Dean Venture

      But who wants to share a border with Russia? An exclave is bad
      enough, but to share a border with the state proper would be far more
      dangerous. I’m sure Poland and Lithuania would prefer to see Belarus
      remain outside the Russian Federation.

      • Michel Cloarec

        Of course ! But watch and Belarus will turn over as soon as putin wink his eyes !

    • Michel Cloarec

      I am afraid that you are right. Belarus has a geographical position in Europe becoming a dream for anti-european factions . As well with Kaliningrad.

  • puttypants

    How can any communist believe in this Russian system under Putin….It’s a kleptocracy run by a thief and murderer. How can the Russians not know that?

    • Michel Cloarec

      Bolchevism+leninism+stalinism +++INDOTRINERING+PROPAGANDA.
      Many years of dictature and you get sheeps . Sheeps get many offsprings and then you have russians people of today . They love dollars and all foreign import of luxuries, european cars etc….but they are still under the influences of 100 years of wrecked minds. As a result of a non democratic system they follow the leaders to the death still believing they are in the best country in the world.

  • Lev Havryliv

    The Putin regime is supported by two commodities.

    Oil-gas exports and lying propaganda.

    Neither are sustainable in the long term.

  • Hlava22

    The stupidit Kseniya Kirillova.

  • LorCanada

    You certainly know how to scrape the bottom of the barrel for your information! Why not study how the NEO NAZIS in Moscow treat the gays they hunt out and what they do to them. It’s quite an eye opener in how to treat one’s fellow human beings as degraded garbage and even kill them off as justified according to the thugs warped indoctrination.
    So, how low do you want to go to prove your sick point?

    • LorCanada

      If you are so unhappy why don’t you seek better pastures? Nobody is forcing you to stay here and dump on the people who post. Shame on you.