Putin has infected Russia with a disease he can’t cure or control, Yakovenko says

Putin awards Russia's Order of Honor to the leader of a Moscow biker group financed by the Putin government Alexander Zaldostanov (aka "the Surgeon"). The group serves important propaganda functions in the Russian hybrid war and actively participated in Putin's Anschluss of Crimea. (Image: Mikhail Klimentyev/RIAN)

Putin awards Russia's Order of Honor to the leader of a Moscow biker group financed by the Putin government Alexander Zaldostanov (aka "the Surgeon"). The group serves important propaganda functions in the Russian hybrid war and actively participated in Putin's Anschluss of Crimea. (Image: Mikhail Klimentyev/RIAN) 

2016/11/15 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

Having illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, Igor Yakovenko says, Vladimir Putin infected Russia with an incurable illness, one that his state-controlled television has spread throughout the entire social fabric of the Russian Federation. And today, there are no forces, including Putin, capable of preventing new outbreaks of this illness.

In a commentary for the US-based Russian language portal 7 Days, the Moscow commentator says

“Putin today is absolutely powerless in the face of the illness which he gave birth.” Before Crimea, he controlled things. Now, events are increasingly passing out of his control.

Russian special forces and mercenaries subdue and escort away a local resident before Russian troops assault the Ukrainian Belbek airbase, outside Sevastopol, Crimea, on March 22, 2014. (Image: AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Russian special forces and mercenaries subdue and escort away a local resident before Russian troops assault the Ukrainian Belbek airbase, outside Sevastopol, Crimea, on March 22, 2014. (Image: AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

The political system under Putin since Crimea “does not have any analogues in history and is therefore can’t be analyzed within the framework of customary political science categories,” Yakovenko says. Especially inappropriate are those which attempt to put Putin in the same category as Mao, given “Putin’s complete lack of any ideas.”

While being imprisoned by Russian mercenaries in occupied Ukrainian city Donetsk, Ukrainian activist Iryna Dovhan endured hours of public humiliation and beatings orchestrated by the representatives of the Russian world unleashed by Putin. (Image: social media)

While being imprisoned by Russian mercenaries in occupied Ukrainian city Donetsk, Ukrainian activist Iryna Dovhan endured hours of public humiliation and beatings orchestrated by the representatives of the Russian world unleashed by Putin. (Image: social media)

Last week, Moscow political analyst Nikolay Petrov sought to analyze Putinism in “Vedomosti” in which, Yakovenko says, he “justly points out the changes of the entire configuration of elites” in Putin’s Moscow.

But when Petrov says that “there is a supreme commander” (Putin) who makes all the decision and directs all that is happening, Yakovenko argues, the Moscow analyst “creates a completely false image of the political reality of contemporary Russia.”

Russian FSB secret police and paramilitaries suppress any open dissent in Crimea and actively search for any hidden resistance to the occupation. Beside using the judicial system to enforce the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, they employ secret abductions and extrajudicial killings of Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists. (Image: GordonUA.com)

Russian FSB secret police and paramilitaries suppress any open dissent in Crimea and actively search for any hidden resistance to the occupation. Beside using the judicial system to enforce the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, they employ secret abductions and extrajudicial killings of Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists. (Image: GordonUA.com)

“Unlike Mao, Lenin, Stalin or Hitler,” he continues, “Putin at the moment of his coming to power did not have any ideology and over the 17 years of power, he has not developed one.” Instead, there is “a certain eclectic collection of values,” some taken from his Petersburg childhood, some from the KGB, and some from the 1990s. But they are not a coherent whole.

In large measure because of that,

“Putin’s Russia is a seriously ill country. The illness is called Putinism. Putin doesn’t manage anything but is simply a primary malignant tumor, one that arose first in the Kremlin thanks to Boris Nikolayevich [Yeltsin] and ‘The Family’ and then, thanks to television, metastasizing first in Crimea and the Donbas and now throughout all of Russia.”

Representatives of Putin's 'Russian world' taking photographs with personal items they found among the debris at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with 298 people aboard downed by a Russian BUK surface-to-air missile in Russia-occupied east Ukraine (Image: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)

Representatives of Putin’s ‘Russian world’ taking photographs with personal items they found among the debris at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with 298 people aboard downed by a Russian BUK surface-to-air missile in Russia-occupied east Ukraine (Image: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)

As the disease spreads, Yakovenko continues, it infects ever more organs of “the social body and gives rise to their total dysfunctioning.” That sets Putinism apart from those with whom he is often compared because he himself is also infected and thus is not in a position to control the situation or make radical changes.

“Lenin introduced the cannibalistic ‘war communism’ but then, having become convicted that this was a dead end, replaced it with NEP [New Economic Policy – Ed.]. Mao started the insane ‘cultural revolution’ and he then liquidated it when he understood that it was really threatening the life of the country.” But Putin is not in a position “to fight against the metastasizing spread of ‘Crimea is Ours’ and ‘the Russian world’ because he is inseparable from the illness and is himself part of it.”

And that has an important implication: one can’t cure a disease by negotiation and so it is “useless” to continue to talk with Putin. “The malignant tumor of Putinism must be removed by surgical means. The alternative is the disappearance from the globe of a country called Russia,” the only other way this cancer can be stopped.


Related:

Edited by: A. N.

Tags: , , , , ,

  • anonymous

    Putin is a criminal. This infection of Russian population is as curable as any criminal mentality. Punishment of the criminals is all that is required. The Russian population will quickly be cured; that is, absent the criminal overlords. The Russian people have survived Stalin and decades of Soviet propaganda. They know what nonsense it is but do not speak out for they have not the history of a freedom loving people. The only illness in Russia is criminality; that is why Putin has no ideology; he is simply a criminal

    • Mephisto

      the transition from a criminal corrupt society to a free society takes several generations. It is not just about changing laws, it is about mentality and morality of the people. How can you punish criminals, when the ruling elite including the police, the prosecutors, the judges, the secret services, the politicians all are part of the criminal organization? Even, if by some miracle, they all disappeared, there would be no judges, no policemen. There is simply no culture of freedom.

      • anonymous

        The above assumes I was speaking of punishment of criminals through legal and institutional methods. That approach would not take generations. That approach would take centuries. I will leave to the imagination what other approaches might be taken to removing a completely criminal governmental organization.

        • Terry Washington

          It can be done- pace Nuremberg and its Japanese counterpart after WWII!

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            The Tokyo Saiban was a farce. The chief culprit Hirohito was never tried even though he was in it up to his neck and beyond, thanks to MacArthur protecting him. It was like protecting Adolf, had he survived and been arrested, from being tried at Nürnberg.
            All in all, Japan got off lightly compared to Germany. War crimes trials against Japanese were halted after 1948 or 1949.

          • Terry Washington

            Maybe but I like to think we have learned from Nuremburg and the IMTFE since then!

          • Turtler

            “The Tokyo Saiban was a farce.”

            Meh, in part. Especially since it went after people who were really not that guilty of crimes they were accused of (like Togou and Matsui) because the real perpetrators were either protected (like being members of the Imperial family) or dead.

            But that doesn’t mean all of it was. Anybody here want to argue that the conviction of-say- Doihara wasn’t just?

            “The chief culprit Hirohito was never tried

            even though he was in it up to his neck and beyond, ”

            Eh?

            Hirohito certainly deserved a fair about of blame, far more than the apologsit accounts- for instance he personally authorized the deployment of poison gas in China several times- but calling him the “Chief Culprit” requires us to believe he broke completely with about a millennia of Imperial precedent. And held influence far more than the records indicate.

            By most accounts he doesn’t seem to have gotten on that well with the most extreme militarists (in particular during the 1936 coup attempt by Imperial Way nutjobs demanding he assume power, he actually THREATENED his government- who wanted to compromise- with leading the Imperial Guard against the coup in person). And in general he was more of the cheerleader at best compared to the chief culprit.

            That doesn’t mean he was innocent, he certainly didn’t do all he could to stop them. But he was much less prominent compared to the likes of Tojo.

            “MacArthur protecting him.”

            True.

            “It was like protecting Adolf, had he survived
            and been arrested, from being tried at Nürnberg.”

            Patently not true.

            Adolph Hitler wasn’t just a quasi-spiritual and revered leader like the Tennos of Japan were. He was also the absolute leader of the Third Reich, chief commander of the military, chief executive, chief civil leader, personal leader of the NSDAP, and chief ideologist. Virtually everything the Nazi Party and Germany under his command did, was done as a result of his personal direction and orders.

            In contrast Hirohito was the heir to a ceremonial monarchy that had not even come Close to holding that power for 700 years. He was viewed as a spiritual embodiment of the nation to be trusted and maintained, but the general consensus (which most Japanese militarists after the thirties adopted) was that he had to be kept from the corrupting influence of worldly politics.

            Still guilty of a lot of things sure, but very different function.

            So the closest parallel to Hitler would have been if Hirohito had taken up the offer of the Imperial Way faction to not just be hereditary Tenno but absolute, active ruler over the country. Which he didn’t.

            “All in all, Japan got off lightly compered to Germany.”

            Broadly agreed. Though part of that is because of half the place being occupied by the Soviets and then pillaged mercilessly.

            “War crimes trials against Japanese were halted after 1948 or 1949.”

            Not true. Even in the continuous period after WWII the Australians were trying people as late as the fifties, including on Manus Island in 1951.

        • anonymous

          Ask yourself what would Lenin have done with these wealthy oligarchs and corrupt government officials? What would Stalin have done? What has happened in other areas of the world? How could such a complete and powerful criminal organization be defeated?

          • Quartermaster

            Both Lenin and Stalin were corrupt to the center of Commie cores. The only difference was who was allowed to benefit. As one man said, the only change is the names of the Boyars.

      • Turtler

        “the transition from a criminal corrupt society to a free society takes several generations.”

        With respect, I disagree strongly. Compare Western Germany in 1943 to Western German in 1953. Likewise Japan and Italy.

        That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard as hell and takes a lot of careful consolidation over generations, but you can set it up.

        • Mephisto

          you are talking about cultural societies with rich traditions who experience only a decade of moral devastation through fascism. Russia experienced tsarism + bolshevism + putinism, they have no tradition of freedom, all they have ever known are dictators.
          Why do you think it is so hard to transplant democracy to middle east or africa?

          • Turtler

            “you are talking about cultural societies with rich traditions”

            That I am.

            But than rich cultural traditions can be found a lot of places. Heck, China is one of the world’s longest and most contiguous cultures on the world. Confucius is a contemporary with ancient Greek antiquity, for instance.

            And it has still gone almost without exception from one despotism to another, including some of the bloodiest regimes in human history.

            “who experience only a decade of moral devastation through fascism.”

            True, though in the case of Germany I would point that while Fascism lasted for only a decade or so, democratic traditions were even shakier. Before Hitler you had…what? Maybe a decade and a half of Weimar instability where both the Nationalist and Internationalist socialists on the Left and the Reactionaries on the right were planning to overthrow it? The Frankfurt Parliament of 1848 (which was quickly crushed by Bismark and the German monarchs)? The rather marginal Lutzow Free Corps?

            The elections for Holy Roman Emperor, which typically degenerated into show elections like those in Communist countries (especially under the Habsburgs and Hohenstaufen)?

            So the Axis nations in WWII typically also were not ones with the deepest democratic traditions, and Germany in particular suffered badly from this.

            “Russia experienced tsarism + bolshevism + putinism, they have no tradition of freedom, all they have ever known are dictators. ”

            Quite true, but again we could say very close to the same for Germany prior to the Weimar Republic, and to a lesser degree before Hitler.

            “Why do you think it is so hard to transplant democracy to middle east or africa?”

            Indeed, and it is worth noting. My objection was not that it was difficult, it is, but that it necessarily has to take generations. Though on another note I’d argue that cultural richness does not necessarily help the cause of liberty.

  • Terry Washington

    As I noted, those who play with the fires of religious, racial and ideological extremism(often for narrowly partisan political advantage, pace UKIP and the Brexiteers in my own country, Putin in Russia and Donald Trump in the US), usually end up getting deservedly burned by the very flames they fanned into existence!

    • Quartermaster

      Brexit is hardly a manifestation of an extreme ideology. The desire to be free of the sort of Ukase that continually comes from Brussels is quite understandable.

      • Terry Washington

        Out of the EU frying pan and into the brexit fire i would retort!

        • Quartermaster

          If you like paying money to Brussels so you can be told how you are going to run your country, then be my guest. Your countrymen disagreed with you, however, as is their right. The UK has lost a lot since the Common Market became the EU. I can’t blame them given the idiocy coming out of Belgium.

          • Terry Washington

            Given that nearly as many Britons(48% including ME) voted to Remain in the EU as voted to leave and that many one time Brexiteers openly regret their choice, I’d say that we have been vindicated- as for sovereignty, to quote the former EU Commissioner and Conservative peer Lord Chris Patten-“a man or woman in the middle of the desert, naked ,starving and alone- is indeed “sovereign”- and doomed!”

  • zorbatheturk

    Putinitis is a life-threatening disease. The causative agent is a virus called Putin. Unchecked, it turns deadly and can develop into acute Putinosis. The most effective cure is a bullet from a high-powered rifle or a noose. This method of treatment has a 100% success rate.

    Terminate the Putinator.