Putin’s preparations for war reflect total bankruptcy of his system, Melnikov says

Russian kindergarten children holding Kalashnikov assault rifles, grenades and grenade launchers after a "patriotism" lesson in St. Petersburg, Russia, February 2015 (Image: social media)

Russian kindergarten children holding Kalashnikov assault rifles, grenades and grenade launchers after a "patriotism" lesson in St. Petersburg, Russia, February 2015 (Image: social media) 

Analysis & Opinion, Military analysis

Recent days have featured a drumbeat of developments suggesting Russia is preparing for war: Moscow has boosted its military spending, Vladimir Putin has told businesses to go on a military footing, Patriarch Kirill has spoken about a looming apocalypse, and school children are being instructed on how to cope with a military conflict.

The big question is “why?” As Moscow blogger Aleksandr Melnikov points out, “there are no military threats to Russia, no country has territorial claims against our country, and no one is preparing to attack it.” Instead, he suggests, the reason for Putin’s war talk lies within his elite and his inability to offer Russia anything else.

“The final goal of the system which is failing in Russia, the logical conclusion of all its shameful existence can be only a war with the contemporary world,” he continues. “The first steps have already been made – Ukraine, conflict with Western countries, aggressive interference in their internal affairs, and the militarization of all social life of the country.”

Under Putin, “the rotting Russian system has no other sense.” And it is happening, Melnikov says, because that system has “nothing to offer its citizens, and nothing to offer to the world.” It has led itself into a dead end and views talk of war as the only way to keep its rulers in positions of whatever happens to anyone else.

“The results are well-known,” the blogger continues. “Sanctions, a lack of capital, the rotting away of ‘state companies,’ enormous social differentiation, the robbing of the regions, privileges for the ruling bosses, the lack of prospects for the young, a brain drain, pensions at the poverty level, open deceiving of pensioners, the insanity of the ruling hierarchs. A completely and absolutely poor country.”

“Ahead there is no dawn: things will only get worse in every sense. This is completely obvious,” Melnikov argues. Consequently, “the last exit for the ruling bosses is to drive their passive people into the box of preparation for war. They are doing this step by step, gradually moving forward to their goal.”

Whether there will be a war or not is still unknown. “But to live this war, to make the life of people a preparation for war, having based it on hatred and using it to hide all the failures of the Russian bosses and all Russian society, that will happen,” for the same reasons and with the same short-term effect as the Anschluss of Crimea.

“If a war with the Western world happens, this will be the last Russian war: the country will lose it, with enormous victims and destruction.” But in some respects, the Russian people have already lost because they have shown themselves willing to be driven about in any direction that Putin and his bosses want. “They will agree to anything.”

“What will be ‘the trigger’ of such a war?” That is clear, Melnikov says. “If the Western governments freeze the money and property of the upper Russian rulers and their friends held in the West, then the last thread and the last meaning of existence together with the West will be lost for the Russian elite.”

And then, Melnikov concludes, “the country will still more rapidly head toward the abyss of history,” all to save rulers that have done nothing to save the Russian people.

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Edited by: A. N.

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