Debates about Putin now recall those about Hitler in mid-1930s, Ikhlov says

The word "Crimea" written on Putin's upper lip to draw a parallel between his occupation of Crimea and Hitler's anschluss of Austria.

The word "Crimea" written on Putin's upper lip to draw a parallel between his occupation of Crimea and Hitler's anschluss of Austria. 

Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

There has been a dramatic increase in the influence of pro-Putin forces in the West in recent months, Yevgeny Ikhlov says; but at the same time, there has also emerged in Western societies a real horror about what the Kremlin leader is doing in Syria in general and in the abattoir of Aleppo in particular.

Today, these two developments in Western opinion are not only in open competition with one another but also recall the reaction in many European countries to Adolph Hitler between 1933 when he became chancellor and 1936 when some of his more horrific goals no longer could be denied, the Moscow analyst argues.

During that three year period, sympathy for the German fuhrer grew and “fascist-like pro-German movements appeared in almost all countries” of the continent,” he points out. “But then reports about ever more repressions and … and new waves of anti-Semitism blocked this ‘Hitlerizing pattern.’”

The question now is which of these two trends will win out and whether the recognition of what Putin intends will spread in the West before pro-Putin consensus emerges and a sufficient number of “Putinophiles” achieve high offices to “form the critical mass needed for a tectonic shift of Western policy” or whether an anti-Putin consensus does and blocks its rise.

The course of events in the 1930s suggests that this is a more open question than many of his backers, who ignore the impact that Aleppo on Western public opinion, recognize. And it is also a more open one than many of his opponents, who ignore the inevitable attractiveness of a strong man who can get his way by force is affecting it as well, now admit.

But it is the key question before all members of the international community because blocking Putin is likely to become ever more difficult and costly just as blocking Hitler was after the great powers failed to take action against that earlier dictator at the beginning of his rise. And that reflection should tilt the balance away from Putin and Putinism and toward sanity.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Mephisto

    I have no doubt that Putin as a person is the same kind of psychopath as Hitler or Stalin. However, I believe that his capacity to cause similar destruction is vastly reduced. First, Hitler in 1933 was 45 years old. Putin now is 65 years old. Despite botox, he is an old man. Second, he is lacking militarily capacity in comparison to Hitler or Stalin (Red Army). Despite that, he can (has, is and will) cause significant trouble. His victims already count to hundreds of thousands – Moscow appartment bombings, murders in his own country, second Chechen war and bombing of Grozny, wars in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria … Because he lacks military capacity, he has started a large scale hybrid war against the west – a war of propaganda, infiltration, subversion, manipulation. His ultimate goals being the weakening of the West, destruction of NATO, EU, transatlantic ties. Playing US and China against each other. And to this end, he has many useful idiots in the West, without whom he would be powerless.

  • zorbatheturk

    Vladimir Putin, Architect of Evil.

    The Putinator cannot be trusted. Destroy the Putinator. Destroy the FSB.

    • Dirk Smith

      Words are meaningless with this reptile. Let’s hope the generals convince Trump of this.

  • anonymous

    Trump won the election with a campaign based on normalization of relations with Putin/Russia. Trump won without criticism of Putin in Syria, Crimea, Ukraine, etc. President Trump will do as promised. President Trump will end sanctions, recognize Crimea as Russian, make the grand bargain on spheres of influence. Trumps supporters do not care about Syria/Aleppo as they believe that is defeating ISIS. Trump supporters want normal relations with the Putin criminal organization. The split with the western democracies is real and cannot be undone. Putin apologists will win in France and possibly Germany. This is real and optimism is not.

    • Quartermaster

      None of what you cite is close to certain. trump made noise about normalizing relations with Russia, but he’s been around that bush several times. I don’t want normal relations with a criminal regime, and the noose has been tightening around Putin’s neck with the ICC, and others, holding against Russia.
      France is a real question at this point. Germany, however, has wanted trade with anyone, no matter how criminal they might be. We were intercepting material from Germany that had been sold to Iraq whose only use there could have been for Saddam’s nuke program. Germany felt not a whit of shame at being caught either.

      • anonymous

        What is certain about Trump is that he is a Putin apologist and speaks the propaganda line promoted by Putin’s propagandists. Of course, there is no certainty as to what Trump will do as President Trump. After Hollande spoke to Trump, hollande indicated that Trump would make his position on Ukraine clear soon. Trump has made no substantial statements on anything. However, staff indicated that there would be a “review” of sanctions. I could be wrong about my predictions and hope that I am but I am less than optimistic as this billionaire behaves like making money with Russia is number one. Republican Party talk tough on Putin is nothing but a means of criticism of Obama for being weak whereas the truth is the Republicans could have been tough without Obama and did only talk tough. Those Republicans will follow President Trump no matter the decision. The Republican Party could be the pro Russian party under President Trump. I hope I am wrong but I am not optimistic.

        • Quartermaster

          That is not certain about Trump. Alas, however, you’re right about the “toughness” of the GOP establishment. We’ll have to see if we end up playing the part of Chamberlain’s Great Britain to Ukraine’s Czechoslovakia.

          • anonymous

            or worse the grand bargain.

  • Czech Mate

    And yet its quite easy. Let’s test that fake russki unity when the cracks in their wall are getting bigger.

    “You wanna go down with the botox rat, dear comrades? Niet?! Hmm, thought so.
    Now, seems we have the same problem and there is nothing wrong with solving it together.
    So there, comrades, you know what to do…”