Kyiv commentator: Putin isn’t an imperialist; he’s a Nazi



Analysis & Opinion, Russia, War in the Donbas

Vladimir Putin’s statements about Ukraine in his “direct line” program yesterday look “moderate” but only in comparison with the militaristic declarations of the Russian defense minister and chief of the Russian general staff. But no one should be deceived into thinking he has changed his mind or assumptions, according to Vitaly Portnikov.

Clearly, the Ukrainian commentator says, Putin is “at the stage of taking decisions about the Donbas” but the Kremlin leader “still doesn’t know how to achieve his goals without war” and in fact believes that “war is the best means of realizing his political ambitions.”

Putin’s “moderation” in words which so many analysts and politicians are rushing to present as a change in course in fact “changed nothing,” Portnikov says. In fact, he repeated “his version of the development of the situation in Ukraine” and flagrantly lied when he again said there are no Russian troops in that country.

But there is one thing Putin said which deserves attention because the real meaning of his words is so often misconstrued. “When [he] says that his country has no imperial ambitions, he is not being disingenuous. It is simply that [his] understanding of empire is different from what we are accustomed to – and from that state that was the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.”

“Putin is not an imperialist,” Portnikov says; “he is a Nazi. And his notion about the state is in no way different from that of his predecessors – Adolf Hitler who dreamed about ‘lebensraum’ for Germans or Slobodan Milosevic who promised his fellow citizens that ‘all Serbs will live in one state.’”

That approach allows the Kremlin leader to deny that he has any imperial ambitions toward Ukraine and the former Soviet republics even as he insists that Russia must be “interested in the life and status of those [in those countries] who consider Russian culture their own and identify with Russia.”

That is what he said yesterday, and he said something else as well that provides a clue to Putin’s worldview: he declared that he “considers Russians and Ukrainians one people. This is Nazism in the purest form: Hitler also considered Austria an independent state. But he constantly reminded its leadership that Germans lived in that state and that they must not be oppressed.”

Of course, Portnikov continues, as history shows, Hitler “at the very first possibility swallowed Austria.” “Putin would have swallowed Ukraine if it hadn’t been for the Maidan.” Had he succeeded in swallowing Ukraine, he would have insisted as Hitler did that this wasn’t an act of restoring an empire but simply of uniting one people.

“No one must have any doubts about Putin’s political goals,” the commentator says. The issue is “only how he now is prepared to pursue them.” His “moderate” words suggest only that he is now thinking about what to do next, but they do not suggest any change in the goals he has long had in place.

“As before, he wants to force Ukraine to finance the Donbas; as before, he counts on the incorporation of the ‘DNR’ and ‘LNR’ in Ukraine as territories which will constrain” Ukraine’s development. “And as before, he does not know how to get out of this situation without a war” if Ukraine doesn’t agree to those conditions and “convert itself into a Russian protectorate.”

Edited by: A. N.

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  • AndrewO

    Why must it be either one or the other? I see Putler more as both an imperialist AND a Nazi.

    • Czech Friend

      well, he is a cowardly rat a scumbag and most importantly a Russian KGB aparatchik. Do not seek any logic in this madman’s world.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      As Adolf’s real surname was Schicklgruber, shouldn’t you use Putlgruber rather than Putler?

      • AndrewO

        Personally, I like Putinocchio! 😉

        • John Shirley

          I was always partial to” Vlad the Impailer” LOL

  • Czech Friend

    I wanna see Putler getting lynched Gaddafi style.

    He’s on a right track so far.

    • Czech Friend

      says a Putin bot and russkie scum


  • Lev Havryliv

    What a load of hogwash from a Russian troll.

    For Russian propaganda every Ukrainian patriot is a Nazi and the whole concept of Ukrainian independence is a CIA plot.

    You are fooling no one with your inanities.

  • Lev Havryliv

    Putin fully qualifies as both an imperialist and fascist.

    Putin holds extreme Russian chauvinistic imperialist views of Ukrainians to the extent that he believes that Ukrainians are not a distinct national entity.

    By claiming to be protecting Russian speakers in east Ukraine Putin is emulating Hitler who started his military aggression in the name of defending German speaking people.

  • Lev Havryliv

    And you believe the propaganda from this bunch of thieves and terrorists?

    • Brent

      ‘daily fistfights’?!?!?! Even if that were true, I would admire the Ukrainian Rada for being able to debate and not sit there like Russia’s Duma and kiss Putin’s a$$ for every hairbrained scheme and criminal activity he proposes…

      As for corruption, you may want to read Bill Browder’s book “Red Notice”. Guess what, doofus? THAT’S $200 BILLION OF YOUR MONEY THAT PUTIN HAS STOLEN!!!! THE JOKE’S ON YOU. You’re getting paid minimum wage (is that 2 cabbages per hour now?) at 55 Savushkina Street and Putin built himself a billion dollar Black Sea mansion WITH MONEY STOLEN FROM YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR CHILDREN. Well done ‘comrade’!!! Defending such a crook….

      Is this picture of Putin riding his sheep what Russia’s Duma (or is it “DUMBa”???) is actually like?

  • Brent

    Stop pouting little sheep!!! Your tears are going to shrink your wool….

    This picture should show the difference for you. After all, Putin declared his terrorists will hide behind the civilians and dare the Ukrainian army to sheet them…

  • Brent

    I see you trolls are all being directed to villify Dmitry Yarosh now. Seeing a lot of your fellow sheep spewing the same propaganda. I hope your masters don’t tell you all to go take a crap at the same time or you’re going to clog the sewer lines at 55 Sashkuvina Street….you might stain your wool little sheep!!!

    • Czech Friend

      keep reporting the Putler stooge, he will get blocked soon

  • Philip Owen, Volga Trader

    No NAF POW’s have been taken. The NAF is always supreme in battle. Not a single man has been lost compared to 4000 surrendered Ukrainians shot in Debaltsevo. Where did this defeatist idea come from?

    • Philip Owen, Volga Trader

      It says a lot for the loyalty of their troops.

  • Greg

    Putin is our generation Hitler and like Hitler, Putin will stop until confronted. The longer the West waits the worst the war! Putin wants WW3 he fully believes Russia will win a s the West will not sqtand against him. Putin is evil to the core!