What are Putin's political views
Vladimir Putin succeeds in meeting almost all prejudices that exist about him in Russia, but also in the rest of the world. He sends amateur camouflaged soldiers to Simferopol and later fetches himself for them Fait accompli the approval of a Abnick parliament. So he sets his own law that breaks international law.
He knows that Russia is militarily vastly superior to Ukraine, and he also knows that Moscow does not have to fear any military countermeasures from outside. He acts as bluntly as he can afford based on his already ruined reputation. Putin is an autocrat of the 21st century, who as a KGB officer was politically socialized in the 20th century and who is now using the imperialist 19th century means against Ukraine.
Now and again there is talk these days that the Cold War is returning: here Russia, on the other side "the" West. This analogy may sound tempting, but it is still wrong.
In the Cold War, two blocs, each dominated by a supreme power, faced each other. These blocks were not only defined by the global interests of the USA and the Soviet Union, but also by political ideologies that led to certain social systems. Even in the face of the threat of mutual annihilation, based on the atomic principle, it was agreed to accept the interests and actions of the other in their narrower sphere of power, despite all competition. This led to a relative stability - sometimes to the bad disadvantage of individual states such as in the case of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
The conflicting interests were not fought out directly between the blocs, but among other things on the periphery of the spheres of power in proxy wars, which did not always bear their name wrongly. Vietnam or Angola were examples of this; Afghanistan grew into the worst miscalculation in the Soviet Union. The Soviet intervention in the Hindu Kush contributed significantly to the collapse of the red empire.
It's about Greater Russia
Russia remains as the geographic center of the faded Soviet empire. However, those regions and countries that the West called the Soviet security glacis during the Cold War have either left Moscow's sphere of influence or have even become members of the EU and / or NATO. Those who want to understand Russia will find the explanation for Moscow's aggressive policies in the Caucasus or against Ukraine in the aversion of their former clients.
As you can see there, not only Poland or Hungary have returned to Europe. No, the former Soviet republics and provinces around the Russian heartland are also turning away. This often happens amid internal tensions because, on the one hand, Stalin's Russification policy and, on the other hand, the consequences of the German attack in 1941 ff. Have changed the composition of the populations in these provinces.
Put simply: the interests of ethnic Russians clash with those of non-Russians time and again. Putin, on the other hand, who is a Russian nationalist and at the same time a great power nostalgic, uses the irredentism of the Russians abroad as a justification for political, economic and sometimes military intervention. National irredentism, the striving for liberation from supposedly ethnically based oppression, is a classic motif of wars and the founding of wars in the late 19th and then in the 20th century.
In this respect, it is less the Cold War paradigms that explain the policy of the Putin government than the patterns that played a major role at the beginning of the First World War, but also in the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. It is about the members of a certain ethnic group or ethnic group in a certain territory. This is not based on an inclusive idea such as "Europe" or, as once in real socialist times, "international solidarity". No, it's about Russia, worse still: Greater Russia.
The Putin doctrine is that where there are enough Russians, I, the President of all Russians, have the right to act. What "enough" Russians are is determined by Putin's authority to define. In that sense, conditions during the Cold War were not good, but they were reasonably rational. However, reason was never a virtue of the nationalists.
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