Putin and the Mirror of China

Photo by Ayala on Pexels.com

The war with Ukraine has not turned out the way Putin wanted.
And it has exposed how inadequate his system of government is.
The quick victory he envisioned, ‘everybody lie down because here comes the mighty Vladimir’, didn’t happen.
The West has united against him and seems willing to endure more pain from the energy shortages that are expected in the months ahead.
Russians in their homeland can’t even speak of the war going on in Ukraine – they must call it a ‘special military operation’ – or they will be thrown in jail.
In spite of the sanctions imposed, Putin has managed to sell his oil and realize a large profit, but there are things that are not lost on the discerning Russian.
Putin’s system is a failure. And to see that, they need only hold up the mirror of China.
Putin has been in office since 1999, and during that same period, China’s economic development has vastly outpaced Russia’s.
China opened up to the West and its investors and became the second largest economy in the world. Meanwhile Russia is not even in the top 10, behind Brazil and Canada.
What happened?
Putin happened. His autocratic style reserved for himself and his choice of oligarchs the right to benefit from their nation’s vast riches in commodities. And they have done so, at a price.
The price is wasted opportunity and diminished national development.
In the meantime, China, with all its problems, rose to become the second largest economy in the world. They came up with a system that let them take advantage of what the West had to offer and made the most of it.
China faces other difficulties, but their citizens were given enough economic freedoms to become inventive and in doing so have realized much of their economic potential with more in store.
Russians under Putin have not been able to do so. Yet they could have, for they are a talented people.
So Russians now have the mirror of China to stare at and wonder what they should do next.
Putin has not elevated them but degraded them instead. Russians need to acknowledge that. Their economic and cultural development has been stunted by a leader who, feeling diminished by the greater progress of many other countries, came up with the absurd plan to bolster Russia’s position by appropriating Ukraine, no matter how many people, men, women and children he had to kill in the process.
His action was born out of envy and the realization that he had failed as a leader.
He thought the West would shake in fear at his daring but he got it wrong. And now, trapped by his stupidity, he thinks only of how to kill even more Ukrainians as a way out.
But the West will hold.
It will because it’s the right thing to do, and because doing so inspires other nations now under Putin’s influence, to fight for their freedom and contribute to a better world. Countries like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, who may now feel invigorated to strike out on their own.
The time is now to join the Free World.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com, apple podcasts

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