Skip to comments.Putin bites at the west where his predecessors growled
Posted on 03/23/2014 7:04:28 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
In the antechamber of Vladimir Putins presidential office in the Kremlin hangs a large portrait of Nicholas I, who ruled the Russian empire from 1825 to 1855. As Russias annexation of Crimea and the wests retaliatory economic sanctions summon the spectres of hot and cold wars past, policy makers in Washington and Europe would do well to consider why Mr Putin chose the tsar as the historical figure at whose image visitors must gaze before they enter the presidents room. Then they will be on the right road to answering the question: How do we deal with Putin?
The story behind the portrait is not that Nicholas I was some all-conquering military commander or an emperor who transformed Russian society. Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great have stronger claims to these roles. It is that post-Napoleonic Europe, whatever it thought of Nicholas Is autocratic system of government, granted Russia respect as a great military and diplomatic power. As he made abundantly clear on Tuesday when he announced Crimeas absorption into Russia, Mr Putin seethes with resentment at what he sees as the wests disregard, ever since the Soviet Unions demise in 1991, for Moscows status and interests as a leading power.
(Excerpt) Read more at ft.com ...
Cogent observation, and it reinforces my perception that Putin is a Russian nationalist more than an old retrograde Soviet. I think he is smart enough to know that that ship sailed and sank. He could have a portrait of anyone including Marx, Lenin, Stalin, even Gorbachev but he doesn't.
"Mr Putins choice of portrait also reflects his belief that Russia under Nicholas I stood for a rock-solid domestic political order, founded on patriotism, the Orthodox religion, a strong central government and a secret police force that cracked down on dissent. Since Mr Putin first assumed the presidency in 2000, this is the kind of state he has sought to construct out of the political disorder, economic weakness and misguided openness to western values that, in his opinion, marked Boris Yeltsins Russia in the 1990s."
Nicholas I in the wake of the Napoleonic invasion of 1812, carved out a distinctive path for Russia. Russia has always gone in the opposite direction from Europe. It rode out the liberal current that swept Europe in the 19th Century and today it seeks to ride out the era the decadent West. If Russia must sacrifice its place in Europe to defend its national interests, its prepared to do so. In that respect, Putin is not a deviation from but is following a well accepted road in Russian history and that will follow us for a long time to come.
“Putin is a Russian nationalist more than an old retrograde Soviet.”
Yes, and he is basking in the glory of being a real man, whereas, Obambie looks like a spoiled little man-child.
I do not think that Putin has any desire to reconstitute the old Soviet Union, much less the past Communist central Europe. He is, however, trying to consolidate traditional Russia.
Channelling the legacy of Nicholas I is a curious choice for Putin, considering that he ended up isolating Russia diplomatically, which subsequently got its butt kicked by a European alliance in a war over the Crimean Peninsula when he overeached himself by trying to take advantage of the military weakness of a neighbouring state, leaving his successor to clean up the mess afterwards...
There are parallels. But the difference between then and today is Russia is presently a formidable country.
The West is not going to defeat the Russian Bear.
Sounds about right.
Nicholas died suddenly during his attempt to consolidate his grip on Crimea.
Let's hope the historical parallels continue.
Well, they have nukes left over from the 1980s, certainly.
But it took Russia 10 years and 15,000 lives to put down an insurgency inside its own borders - in a region that constituted less than 1% of its population.
It took the U.S. Army over four years to beat an army half its size with no real navy, and they lost more men (365,000) than the rebels (260,000).
Did that happen last year?
It’s Obama that more likely would have a picture of Lenin.