In a comment for Kasparov.ru, Vadim Shtepa suggests that there are obvious “parallels” between Slobodan Milosevic and Vladimir Putin. Both sought to destroy the federalism their predecessors had put in place, Milosevic sparked a war that led to the disintegration of his country and ended in the Hague. Putin, he implies, could have the same fate.
The Russian regionalist says that “of course, one must not idealize the Yugoslavia of the era of Marshal Tito.” But his country was “the freest and most developed of all the east European countries” and was not part of any of the Soviet bloc institutions like the Warsaw Pact.
Tito was a socialist closer to Western social democracy than to Sovietism, and at the same time, he was “a very consistent federalist. He held together the Yugoslav federation not by force; on the contrary, everyone sought to be a part of it. Even the Kosovo Albanians considered it a joy to live in free Yugoslavia and not in the Albania” run by a Stalinist-Maoist.
After Tito’s death, however, the Serbian national chauvinist Milosevic seized power in Belgrad and in fact destroyed the entire Yugoslav federation. The Slovenes, Croatians, Bosniaks, Kosovars and even the phlegmatic Macedonians did not like his nationalist slogans.” And the country fell apart.
Now, Shtepa says, let us draw some parallels with Russia. “Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin of course is also hard to idealize. But all the same, federal foundations were preserved under him. But Putin began to build his tough ‘vertical’ which contradicts all principles of a federation. And added to this, he has attacked neighboring countries.”
“To what will all this lead?” the Russian regionalist and federalist asks. “Milosevic ended his days in the Hague.” And by asking the question in this way, he implies that Putin could end in the same way, as the destroyer of the country he thought he was restoring and as a defendant in an international tribunal for crimes against humanity.