Ukrainians have many reasons to be grateful to Putin, Kyiv analyst says

"I love Ukraine"

"I love Ukraine" 

2015/04/21 • Analysis & Opinion, Ukraine

There is a hoary Soviet anecdote about a group of very old Russian women marching through Red Square just after World War II. They are carrying signs saying “Thank you Stalin for Our Happy Childhood!” A secret policeman approaches and says “Grannies, you are so old that when you were children, Stalin was not yet born.”

To which the Russian women reply with dignity: “Why do you think we are grateful?” – the perfect combination of cleverness and contempt which distinguishes the very best Soviet political anecdotes and which makes them such a rich source of insights about the nature of that horrific system.

Putin - killer / Putinversteher

Putin – killer / Putinversteher

One is reminded of that fact when one reads a new commentary by Sergey Gayday, a Ukrainian political analyst and operative, on why “all Ukraine should be grateful” to Vladimir Putin, a man many of its citizens would be happy to see behind bars or even dead.

If he were writing Putin’s obituary, Gayday says, he would say many positive things about the Kremlin leader because “precisely he and his actions have brought [Ukraine] such enormous benefits.”

Ukrainians should be thankful to Putin because finally real patriotism has arisen in their country, not patriotism ordered from above but a common feeling that each individual has responsibilities for the whole. That provides “a good basis to build here in this country a worthy life, to defend it, and to struggle for it.”

They should also say “thank you” to Putin because “namely he by his actions did not allow us to keep in power the former criminally ineffective rulers” that we had voted for earlier but now, thanks to Putin, were prepared to send to the dustbin of history. And Ukrainians should be grateful that the Russian leader has made service in the army a matter of pride not shame.

“Until recently,” Gayday says, “the majority of Ukrainians considered that [they] didn’t need an army, that [they] had no enemies, and that there was no one to fight with.” Putin has cured them of that delusion. For that, they should be grateful too.

Ukrainian flag: Ukraine is her people

Ukrainian flag: Ukraine is her people

He suggests that Ukrainians should be grateful as well for the fact that Putin has put them on the way to becoming not just “the population living on the territory of Ukraine” but “a political nation,” a community of citizens who “think not only about their daily bread but about abstract things, in particular about how they ought to live.”

And Ukrainians should be grateful to Putin because he has led them to “choose Europe,” not in the form of membership in the European Union but in terms of European values, where “the chief thing is not the powers that be but the individual, where the former are only an element of service to all individual citizens taken together.”

Before Putin acted, “only 14 percent of [Ukrainians] thought [they] needed to join NATO; now, this figure has risen to 70 percent.” Again, thanks to the Kremlin leader more than anyone else.

And thanks to him also, Ukrainians “have finally concluded that the nostalgic ‘Soviet past’ must be expelled from each … Finally, [they must] study real history and not that invented in party offices. To begin to find out who in fact were the heroes of our people and who were its executioners.”

“For the last two years,” Gayday says, “no one of our government has done so much as this politician. If he had not existed, it would have been worthwhile to create him. In a word: ‘thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin!’” And although the Kyiv analyst does not say so, this Ukrainian gratitude is something Russians should be reflecting upon as well.

  • Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
    Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
  • Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
    Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
  • Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
    Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
  • Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
    Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
  • Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
    Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
  • Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
    Ukrainians on the Maidan protesting the criminal and oppressive regime of Yanukovich, 2014
  • Government snipers on Euromaidan.
    Government snipers on Euromaidan.
  • Euromaidan protesters braved bullets from the criminal regime of Yanukovich. Over 100 people were killed (the Heavenly Hundred). Andriy Yurkevych middle.
    Euromaidan protesters braved bullets from the criminal regime of Yanukovich. Over 100 people were killed (the Heavenly Hundred)
  • Medics and volunteers arrange a field hospital an hotel hall near Independence square in Kiev on February 20, 2014.
    Medics and volunteers arrange a field hospital an hotel hall near Independence square in Kiev on February 20, 2014.
  • Euromaidan
    Euromaidan
  • Heavenly Hundred Memorial Walk on Maidan
    Heavenly Hundred Memorial Walk on Maidan
  • A young man holding the Ukrainian flag at the Maidan on February 24, 2014 (Image: Bulent Kilic / AFP)
    A young man holding the Ukrainian flag at the Maidan on February 24, 2014 (Image: Bulent Kilic / AFP)
  • A girl in a national Crimean Tatar dress holds a placard during a protest against the presence of Russian troops in Crimea, Bakhchysaray, Crimea, March 5, 2014 (Image: mfa.gov.ua)
    Crimean Tartar girl, March 2014
  • "Say no to Russia"
    "Say no to Russia"
  • A Crimean Tatar woman holds a sign "Crimea Is Ukraine" in protest to the "referendum" imposed by force by Moscow in March 2014.
    "Crimea Is Ukraine"
  • A man holds a sign in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine on March 2, 2014 in New York City.
    A man holds a sign in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine on March 2, 2014 in New York City.
  • Demonstration to support Ukraine in London. Photo credit: London Euromaidan
    Demonstration to support Ukraine in London. Photo credit: London Euromaidan
  • Ukrainian military
    Ukrainian military
  • Ukrainian volunteers support the military
    Ukrainian volunteers support the military
  • Ukrainian volunteers support the military
    Ukrainian volunteers support the military
  • Muslim volunteers in Kyiv
    Muslim volunteers in Kyiv
  • Volunteer Movement of Bukoviny
    Volunteer Movement of Bukoviny
  • Ukrainian youth (Image: about-ukraine.net)
    Ukrainian youth (Image: about-ukraine.net)

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Mephisto

    Putin stole Crimea and lost Ukraine, he alienated the whole West and isolated Russia, he brought russian economy to its knees. He is not a very good strategist or even “chess master”, just a dumb KGB thug.

    • Mephisto

      You are wasting your time here. Paul Craig Roberts is a well known russian troll and probable KGB scum.

    • Murf

      -30% in trade.
      -50% currency devaluation.
      Zero growth last year. -3.5% this year (or worse.)
      The largest oil company in the world begging for a 30 Billion dollar bailout.
      Gazprom profits down 60%.
      138 billion in lost revenue.
      Internationally ostracized.
      A war costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives.
      Yea he’s doing a bang up job.
      Keep up at this rate an the West will be buying everything in Russia worth owning at bargain basement prices.

      • Murf

        Brent hit 64 DPB Russia’s budget is based on 98 DPB. You lose 38 billion per 10 dollar below that. Oil clime on concern over Yemen it can drop just as quick. Specially as US supplies are still growing. There are over 4000 wells waiting to go in to production. Then there is the Iran nuc deal which can see a large influx of oil on the market.
        Bottom line oil is not going up passed 75 any time soon.
        Gee .7 percent. That’s called a virtual stand still. Considering the oil collapse didn’t start until 9 months into the year I would say you lucky there was any. The forecasts or 2015 keep going downward to 4.5% which will put almost on par with Ukraine at 5% They all depend on Vlad staying in his box. Hope he can keep the rebels from trying to take Mariupol.
        What may not be obvious is the credit flight last year to the tune of 130 billion. Some may come back but most will never, there are to many other countries the don’t threaten to nationalize their investments. Why deal with Putin’s crap.
        Interesting note the budget for the Russian space program has been cut in half. Your entire space program boils down to being the Wests taxi cab to the space station.
        Keep hoping about the sanctions. Myerkle is not talking about removing them. But there is plenty of room for them to get worse.
        The Ruble was 39 to the dollar when this began. It’s now a 54. That not recovery, that is not hurting so bad. it is worth noting that in 09 the Ruble was 29. What is like to have every thing you see, touch and feel worth 1/2 what it was six years ago?
        The damage to the banking system will take decades to repair.
        But the biggest causality is the Putin bubble has burst. The West an the business community were willing to over look Russia’s ruthless corruption because they thought Putin could be a reliable trading partner.
        That is gone! For good.
        The oil boom has passed. Putin’s reputation means jack. Russia’s good times are fading.
        All for a barren peninsula and a port he already had access to.
        Hope it was worth it?

      • John Lyndon

        You are delusional… all this is propaganda, nothing more… is a waste of breath to argue with you… you are a pert of Putin’s propaganda machine working for you vodka ration.

        • Czech Friend

          these guys will cry big time when their empire of lies collapses yet again :-)

          • John Lyndon

            If your talking of Russia… I agree!

      • John Lyndon

        In your dreams… Russia, and the passive aggressive people of Russia… are considered the pariah of the earth in 21st century. And you little shrimp of a man Putin…. he has had short syndrome all his life. He has spent his life trying to prove his manly hood… as he looks up to everybody… even women. You haven’t a clue Cassandra, but you think you do because what? you speak english?

    • John Lyndon

      are you crazy?….. you are a paid troll, nothing more

      • John Lyndon

        Why would anyone waste their breath to argue with you? Who really cares about Russian finances? What you want to argue?… Putin is a threat to the peaceful countries that have the unfortunate position of sharing a border with Russia. Putin has created a situation where now Russia and Russian people.. anything Russian.. are now viewed as pariah’s by the rest of the world… and all the flapping of your lips you want to do is NOT going to change that.

      • John Lyndon

        I see what you type here… but I have no idea your annunciation.. It is too bad that, if you are an intelligent person… that you seem to have this patriotic hysteria that seems to have enveloped Russia associated with their invasion of the Ukraine and subsequent theft of a portion of their geography and land mass… as if Russia does not have enough as it is. And don’t try to give me any kind of history lesson here… because that’s exactly what it is… history! And we now all live in the 21st century and most of the world is wiser and see’s that behaving as civilized humans is by far more conducive to the health and welfare of the masses.

      • John Lyndon

        haha… you finally shut up!

    • Czech Friend

      nice one, that’s what he is. Sad little tragic man full of spite and anger.

  • LorCanada

    I must say this article, which I do not agree with, presents a very warped view of events. Are we to be thankful that Putin is responsible for the deaths of 6,000 Ukrainians and 1.3 million refugees because this will wake us up to the extent of corruption we see going on by Putin’s Mafia regime based in Russia? Not at all, it leaves me cold and the sooner sly Putin is out of the political picture, the better for all. Putin has destroyed so many lives for his senseless ambitions as well as his personal vendetta against Ukraine, it only leaves one with a feeling of disgust for what he has done to his fellow human beings. Shame on Putin!

    • Oknemfrod

      Methinks, LorCanada, the entire “thanks, Putin” theme in the article is rather thickly veiled tongue-in-cheek, or at least I hope so.

      • LorCanada

        Yes, irony is meant.

        • Czech Friend

          I understand your point. The world somehow still didn’t grasp the scope of Ukrainian tragedy. Tragedy that has only ONE culprit. War criminal Putler with blood of thousands of innocents on his hands.

          He should be hanged with Assad, just like Saddam was.

        • LorCanada

    • Oknemfrod

      Two ultimate nut jobs.

  • Vlad Pufagtinenko

    The author is quite right. As much as I hate the man and dislike the Russian sheeple….I will gladly send a thank-you card to Putin when he is in a cell in The Hague.

    • Czech Friend

      I say bullet for Putler, Hague for the rest. Lavrov would fit the cell nicely.