There is a lot of nonsense and garbage floating around on the Internet about the personality of Vladimir Putin, mostly written folks who not only know nothing about him, but who don’t even understand the basics about how the Russian state works. Today, I want to share with you a video (especially translated or this purpose by the Russian Team) in which the renowned Russian economic Mikhail Khazin shares his view of Putin and of Putin’s current position vis-à-vis the hostile and russophobic West. I don’t always agree with Khazin, and even in this case I don’t fully agree with some of what he says, but I think that Khazin has really “nailed the bottom line on the head” (how is that for a combo-neologism?). Seriously, I think that Khazin is fundamentally correct, especially about the West’s refusal to accept Putin has anything else than a very junior partner (and even that was in the past, now they want him dead). Where I disagree with Khazin is when he implies that Putin wanted or even believed that such an honest partnership was possible. Medvedev – yes. But not Putin. By training and by trade he knew the West, and especially its ruling elites, extremely well and I believe that Putin pretended to play the “partnership game” for as long as possible to buy as much time as possible for his party which I refer to as the “Eurasian sovereignists” (folks like Shoigu or Rogozin), as opposed to the “Atlantic Integrationists” (folks Medvedev or Kudrin). Anyway, listen to Khazin – who is superbly informed and who knows his stuff – and get a rare insider view of what is really happening behind the Kremlin walls.
PS: one more important thing: according to the anti-Kremlin polling organization Levada-Center, Putin’s popularity is now at its historical highest level: 87%!! Those who constantly bash Putin and predict that sanctions will have a crippling effect on Russia ought to ask themselves what they (think they) know which the Russian people don’t. The real reason for Putin’s popularity is very simple: there is a very large consensus in Russia in support for the manner in which Putin has been handling the Ukrainian crisis. Furthermore, most Russian people, even those who used to be critical of Putin, see straight through the real motives of the current oligarch-financed anti-Putin campaign. However, this support is predicated on the belief that Putin will not let the Nazis overrun Novorussia. If that happens, then the sky-high support will drop extremely fast and Putin’s entire legacy will be in real danger, which is why I don’t believe that he can, or will, allow that to happen. At the risk of sounding over the top, I would say that Putin’s future is linked to the future of Novorussia. If it manages to survive (in whatever form), so will Putin. If the Ukies overrun it, then all hell will break lose in Russia. But, again, I don’t believe that this will happen.