The Russian dictator must be having trouble at home because he decides to amass troops on the eastern border with the Ukraine and then claim he must do so because Russia is under threat by the West.
According to Putin, should Ukraine continue to lean toward the West his empire would be vulnerable to invasion.
But who would want to invade Russia? What for? Who wants to go there?
Instead, it is Putin who is a threat to other nations. He aids in the repression of democratic protests in Belarus, supports the Myanmar dictator’s savage repression of his people, joins with Assad to brutalize Syrians, aids the socialist government in Venezuela, which regime is responsible for the largest exodus of people in recent history, six million Venezuelans having sought refuge in neighboring countries with all the attendant pain of dislocation.
Russia may have 4000 nuclear warheads to scare the world, but it is a nation that inspires no one.
And now Putin wants to pressure the West into forbidding that NATO expand its reach to Ukraine and Georgia and demand that no western forces be stationed in Poland or the Baltic countries.
That Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet Union is clear. But those citizens in all those eastern countries formerly in the Soviet Union, have something to say about it. And they don’t want the Russian boot on their throats.
Putin’s dictatorship has held back Russia’s development. He makes every effort to choke the opposition and now has one of their leaders, Alexei Navalny, in prison.
Putin is clearly envious of the West and their ability to be productive, in spite of all our problems. He has been in power since 1999 but cannot get the Russian people to be more productive. This has nothing to do with Russians’ capacities. They are competent people, but for one reason or another, fell under the spell of a man who thinks only of how great he is.
Putin is also envious of China. He wishes he had come up with their way of attracting capital to get their economy moving. But he couldn’t do it. It wasn’t in him.
What is in him is his ability to scheme and invent crises, hoping to profit from them.
Now talks are under way to ease the tensions Putin has created with the threat to invade the Ukraine. But the West should not give in an inch.
Putin’s move gives, in effect, a great opportunity for president Biden to unify the Western alliance which had been frayed by Trump’s shortsighted diplomacy.
Russia’s government, not the people, is an enemy to the West. The Russian people are being diminished in their possibilities by an authoritarian regime that has made their nation less competitive in the world and caused them to fall far behind.
If Putin chooses to invade the Ukraine, then president Biden should follow through with his promise of aiding Ukrainians in defending their nation without sending in American troops.
It would make for a bloody war, for Ukrainians will fiercely resist having to bow to the Russian government.
Freedom has a price. A protracted war in the Ukraine would have the effect of strengthening the anti Putin movement in Russia, hastening his fall.
President Biden and the West must stand firm against Putin and his disregard for humanity, including that of his own people.
Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net also available in anchor.fm, apple and google podcasts and buzzprout.