The demonization of Vladimir Putin fits in with the ideas voiced by US President Barack Obama, who has announced a new strategy of containing Russia, Cold War 2.0.
This has set in motion Soviet-era mechanisms: instead of provoking “nationwide resentment” and “revolutions,” the strategy has only strengthened public support for the president in Russia.
Acting in the spirit of the 20th century Cold War, foreign media and their masterminds disregarded the recent political and, most importantly, economic changes. As a result, their determination to push Russia into isolation has engendered a strong suspicion of the US administration’s incompetence, including in the United States.
The examples of Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein, which are often cited in connection with the demonization of Putin, are an element in the Western security services’ game. More people are coming to believe that Gaddafi and Hussein were killed to create a precedent for using illegal methods to remove a legitimately elected leader of a sovereign state. In other words, the goal is to put psychological pressure on other leaders, including Vladimir Putin.
This practice needs to be considered seriously. Shocked by this disregard for law, Russian society is consolidating around the country’s supreme authority, which is fresh evidence that society has not yet turned into a group of individual consumers who could give up their sovereignty for Parmesan cheese.
Putin assumed a liberal stand at the beginning of his political career. But February 2007, when he delivered his famous Munich speech, marked his transition to nationalism. The Russian president has since developed an image of an enlightened conservative, which is a win-win choice compared to other politicians who have put their stakes on the social aspects of the economy. In fact, this is the secret of Putin’s popularity in Russia and in the countries where conservatism is deeply rooted in the national tradition.
The revival of the Soviet Union, an idea that is assigned to Putin, is a futile project politically and economically, as he has said more than once. It would be reasonable to create a fundamentally new state whose policy will be based on partner relations with neighboring countries. This idea is a thorn in the side for the advocates of a world order where national identity is reduced to a folkloric category.
Vladimir Putin and Russia have changed over the past 15 years. Judging by the results of voting at the latest presidential election, Russians seem to like these changes. The “unbelievable turn of events” and Putin’s “unusual luck” are only cited by the experts who forget that the Russian president is working jointly with a team of likeminded people who have made Russia’s revival possible after the thunderous 1990s, when every man was for himself.