‘The fish is rotting from the head’ for the second time in Russian history, Eidman says

Putin with the elements of Putinism (Political cartoon by Zhenya O. / radiosvoboda.org)

Putin with the elements of Putinism 

International, More

“A fish begins to rot from the head,” Russians say, “and society descends into insanity following its dictator. His personal paranoia become that of society and propaganda infects the entire country with it,” Igor Eidman says. “Thus it was in Stalin’s USSR; such it has occurred in Putin’s Russia as well.”

There is only one principle difference, the Russian commentator for Deutsche Welle says.

“Stalin’s paranoia was directed inside the country. He was pathologically afraid of conspiracies, didn’t trust even his closest entourage, and sought to destroy all he suspected of disloyalty.”

Putin’s paranoia in contrast is “directed abroad.” He believes that the West and “above all the US” wants to overthrow and destroy him.” Indeed, he appears to view himself as a Russian bear “which the West and the US ‘never will leave in piece” but will always try to seek out and destroy.

As a result, “Putin views any world event, be it the revolution in Ukraine or the elections in France through the prism of this paranoid fear;” and his propaganda machine spreads this “xenophobic hysteria and hatred” through the population. “Thus, for the second time, the illness of one man has become the source of an epidemic of mass psychosis.”

There is certainly data that support this argument, that the problem has spread from a Kremlin leader to Russian society, including recent polls showing that Russians rank Stalin number one as a leader of all times as places and that nearly half of them think that without his harsh policies, order couldn’t have been preserved.

Other evidence for this view comes from a new Levada Center survey which found that a third of Russians want their president to be even more harsh toward the population and the West than Putin has been up to now, with only one in eight favoring any kind of liberalization.

But some experts, like Denis Volkov of the Levada Center, say that “it is impossible to say just what [Russians] understand” by such statements or whether they are in any way prepared to have such harsh measures apply to themselves as opposed to individuals and groups that the state has identified as enemies.

And still others, like commentator Sergey Rakhmanin, argue that those who see the problem emanating from Putin and spreading downward have gotten things exactly backward. Instead, he says, the population has in Putin exactly the kind of leader it wants.

In his view, the commentator says, “‘the Putin effect’ consists in that he is a politician of a type which most completely corresponds to the mental, political and psychological needs of Russians, to their views of the world, their tastes, their so-called ‘mission of Russia,’ and also corresponds to their prejudices, myths, phobias, and expectations.”

In short, “Russia is the way it is not because Putin is president … but because the current generation of Russians needs precisely such a leader.”


Edited by: A. N.

Dear readers! Since you’ ve made it to this point, we have a favor to ask. Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine is ongoing, but major news agencies have gone away, which is why it's extra important to provide news about Ukraine in English. We are a small independent journalist team on a shoestring budget, have no political or state affiliation, and depend on our readers to keep going (using the chanсe - a big thank you to our generous supporters, we couldn't make it without you.)  If you like what you see, please help keep us online with a donation

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Avatar Scradje says:

    In this deeply sick society, the more evil the behaviour of their fascist ruler is, the more they like it.

    1. Avatar PADRAEG says:

      True, see my post?

    2. Avatar Sania says:

      bastardje, u are ds troll
      troll has not mind and soul
      Trolls have keys and write under order…

  2. Avatar Eolone says:

    Two comments from the mid-1990’s: http://englishrussia.com/2011/06/14/life-of-russia-of-the-mid-1990s/

    “Common people of those time thought of the new Russia as a country that would rest on such soft values as freedom of speech, pluralism and joining Europe.”

    “However, in practice, it was even more simple than that, as what people wanted was to get rid of poverty, shortage of products, criminality and despair.”


    Sing: “Then along comes Putin….” “And takes their toys away”

  3. Avatar PADRAEG says:

    Given the contrast of citizens’ view sine fall USSR, one must find more dynamic perspective. Although accurately portrayed NOW, after 2 decades of rule by TYRANNY, consider what is in the minds of citizens if enabled to be free. IF eg, RF came under mandate of UN or Sweden?

    This would jump the system HUGELY! Would Russians revolt? MANY would, ALL military & all being employed even indirectly, by kleptocracy. Probably even those unaware of such connection, eg police, politicians. It is plausible this may be 40%, with an equal amount of those aware of the degree of kleptocracy in society, leaving 20% of “voters” in play.

    MOST Russians now desiring (settling for) tyranny, would no longer be so compelled to protect their status. Thus freeing them to create support for a fair & just society.

    Eg, Nemtsov MAY have been capable of leading such alliance, but not Navalniy. Anyone else?

    I thing a viking must return to guide Moscovy back to civilisation!

    1. Avatar Quartermaster says:

      I recently read biographies of Peter and Catherine the Great. The Russian people then, and they now, want an autocrat to tell them what to do. The result is that Russia is still a 3rd world country with nuclear weapons.

      1. Avatar Brent says:

        AKA…..”North Ko-Russia”……

  4. Avatar Tony says:

    As I always say, Russians are mentally bankrupt at every generation. They have no hope of improving.

  5. Avatar Dirk Smith says:

    In mongol ruSSia history does indeed repeats itself again and again and again…… A perpetual nation of slaves. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb2191274e231cccf103a2a2cc30701a9b1c132a310c175f7080df8e0f14899d.jpg

  6. Avatar zorbatheturk says:

    Another name for mass psychosis in the RuSSia is Putinism. RuSSians revel in their delusions. It is possibly the only thing that keeps them on track in their miserable lives.