As such, Putin’s article is a kind of justification for action, “although Putin doesn’t understand this,” the London-based Russian analyst says. The Kremlin leader will always be proud of seizing Crimea and seek to justify what he did despite the consequences.
For Putin, Crimea is like Karabakh for the Armenians, Pastukhov argues; and it is now obscuring that Russia “has lost the main thing: We have lost Russia’s strategic place; we have lost Ukraine as a whole.” One oblast was gained but only at the price of an entire country and “in fact, the chance to conduct a wise strategic policy in all of Eastern Europe and not only in it.”
As for the Russia-occupied Donbas, the analyst continues, in its current form it “is not needed by Ukraine, by Russia or by anyone on earth. This is an absolutely criminal enclave, which reminds one of Chechnya in the mid-1990s with Basayev and the rest.” No government on the basis of sober calculation would want it.
Pastukhov also calls attention to the way in which Putin, by using a nominally historical essay, has advanced a political and ideological agenda is recapitulating what Stalin did with Marxism and Problems of Linguistics near the end of his life and thus time in power and what other authoritarian leaders have done as well.
The analyst adds that he is “certain that 90 percent of the audience of this article is domestic” because “it is an attempt to give additional mobilization in such a pandemic, pre-election, and economic crisis period” and represents “an expansion of this Versailles syndrome” with “imperial hysterics.”
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