Staunton, September 1 – During World War I, Lenin famously said his strategy was to transform an imperialist war among the states of Europe into a civil war within each of them and within the Russian Empire in the first instance. Now Russian blogger Tivur Shaginurov says that is happening in the Russian Federation today.
In a Kasparov.ru commentary, he lists some of the political, natural, and technogenic disasters Russia has suffered over the last three months alone and then concludes with words that are likely hyperbolic but nonetheless reflect what at least some in the Russian population and even more in the Kremlin may be thinking (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5D6AC337E265C).
“It is becoming ever more obvious,” Shaginurov says, “that the Putin regime has lost the war against Ukraine and the entire world. Not on the territory of Ukraine but in the heads of its own citizens. The imperialist war is step by step being transformed into a civil war. Russians have somehow lost their enthusiasm for imperial expansion.”
“On the other hand,” he continues, “they are showing ever greater interest in news abut problems and protests; and the Russian powers that be do not have any more resources to keep themselves in power than the cudgels of the Russian Guard. The authorities have lost any competence in solving domestic problems.”
Instead, the commentator says, “all problems are being solved by budgetary transfers to the needs of the Russian Guard out of money taken away from social spending.” And that is happening even though the powers know perfectly well that putting out fires inside the country in the near term is a more important task that exacerbating hostility abroad.”
According to Shaginurov, “the possibility of returning to economic cooperation with the West as in the early 2000s remains for Putin only in his dreams.” He may be able to get the Europeans to soften sanctions, but that alone won’t solve the problems he faces with Russians at home.
To get more, the Kremlin leader will have to give more but to do that is to risk sliding onto a slippery slope. Returning hostages to Ukraine could risk returning the Donbass to Kyiv’s control. Doing that, he would then lose Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Crimea and his position in Syria as well. And after that “federalization within Russia itself would not be far away.”
Putin and his Chekists remember very well what happened after the Berlin Wall came down and don’t want a repetition. They know that if things go against them, a very different group of people will assemble at some Beloveshchaya Pushcha and sign the final death certificate of the entire empire.
And this time, Shaginurov says, “they will not escape without blood.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series
1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (116 sites)