What keeps them from resisting Putin’s rule?
The largest nation in the world, with vast mineral resources and a capable people,
is not on a par with the leading nations of the West. Is not on a par with China.
People don’t travel to Russia as they do to other leading nations.
But they have nuclear weapons in abundance, so they are prone to scare the rest of the world with firing them. Never mind that the rest of the world will fire back too and the result will be catastrophic.
Why are Russians so afraid of the rest of us?
Why do they let a man like Putin be their leader?
Russia is not a free country.
Dissident organizations that Putin sees as critical of him are labelled terrorists and banned. Critics of his regime are imprisoned or killed.
Putin is a defender and supporter of Assad in Syria, of the ruthless military in Burma, of Maduro in Venezuela, of Ortega in Nicaragua. Name a repressive government in the world and the likelihood is that Russia is having a hand in propping them up and defending them.
Still, most Russians seem able to turn off the lights at night and sleep till morning, their conscience undisturbed.
Today, Russia is a threat in Ukraine, a country with whom they have a shared history. Mind you, neighbors disagree all the time and should be allowed to do so. But Putin says no, Ukraine cannot disagree with this wonderful system I lead, this majestic empire of ours, and if they stray from our path we will crush them.
And so Russians are afraid because they have been intimidated by Putin and his close supporters.
It can happen anywhere. Trump in America wanted to do it. His supporters still try.
But the price we pay in allowing it is great.
The price of yielding to fear is that we are diminished as people, as human beings.
The price is that we get smaller inside.
The price is that we give up on opportunities that may not come back.
Putin wants to govern until he dies. But the longer that Russians put up with him, the more lasting the damage he inflicts on them.
And he will invent all kinds of threats from the West or anywhere, to tell Russians ‘look at what they are doing to us! But I’m here to defend you!’
It’s all a show, ‘The Putin Show.’
History will see it clearly, but Russians should not wait for history. Their lives are now. They need to step up and dare to develop their vast potential and in so doing rise to be among the leading nations of today’s world.
It will take courage. But anything we earn takes courage.
Fellow Russians – brothers and sisters – you have the power.
Oscar Valdes. Oscarvaldes.net. anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and goggle podcasts.