Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov said many interesting things in the course of his responses to questions from his followers, but perhaps the most important was this: Once again, as in 1991, Western leaders are more afraid of the disintegration of Russia than they are of the threat Putin’s Russia poses to the world.
His argument on this point is so important that it is translated in full below:
“The West feared the disintegration of the USSR, and there is nothing surprising in that. Western geopolitics is based on the concept of the status quo. The West seeks to avoid global geopolitical changes and tries to find various ways of maintaining the current situation.
“The breakup of the Soviet Union was a shock for the West. The administration of Bush the elder did everything in order to avoid that. The situation in Russia today in a certain sense is analogous to that which occurred 25 years ago.
“The potential breakup of Russia frightens Western politicians because that could add still more to uncertainties in a world which today is affected by chaos. Certain of these politicians sincerely believe that Putin can be their ally in the preservation of the status quo.
“With the help of his propaganda, Putin has very skillfully created an image of a main threat coming from the Islamic East. And on this issue, he is trying to present himself as an ally of the West in the struggle with terrorism, although it is obvious that all attempts to find a compromise with Putin’s Russia ignore reality and hardly will be able to change the course of historical progress.
“The West clearly does not have an understanding of how to act under conditions of the spontaneous collapse of Russia. And in fact, since 1991, the West has not had a strategic plan. From 1945 to 1991, there was a strategy: under conditions of the cold war and conflict with the USSR, it was necessary to contain [the Soviet threat of expansion] and to create an attractive model of its own for the rest of the world.
“The plans formulated during Harry Truman’s administration were triumphantly realized under that of Ronald Reagan. Today, the leaders of the free world must finally recognize that the preservation of Putin’s Russia in its current form is a much greater problem than the potential breakup of the country.”
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