By Volodymyr Kish.
This past week, the Russians engaged in what is shamefully being called an election for President of their country. Of course, it was a foregone conclusion that Vladimir Putin would be elected with an overwhelming majority of “votes”. This happened because Putin has managed to either kill, imprison, exile or subvert any real opposition to his candidacy. To ensure the results even further, over the past decade, Putin and his band of political thieves have also managed to take control of virtually all media outlets in the country. What passes as political reporting in Russia, is little more than a machine focused on promoting Putin as a mythological hero protecting Russians from a global conspiracy to rob them of their natural leadership role in world affairs.
An election in most other countries implies choice. In Russia, it has been a long time since the beleaguered inhabitants actually had one. In fact, it could be argued that they have never had a real choice. They have been stuck in a tyrannical, feudal system of government for centuries. Since the time of Ivan the Terrible, while the rest of the world moved ahead with huge improvements in freedom, human rights and democracy, Russia has remained stuck in a political and moral wasteland where human lives count for nothing, and imperial expansion through aggressive naked power is the country’s only manifest destiny. To accomplish their predatory aims, the nation’s rulers have consistently resorted to state terrorism and brutal repression to keep their citizenry in check. It has become almost a cliché national slogan that Russia is so huge and ungovernable that only an exceptionally strong leader with unlimited powers can hold the country together. This concept has become so ingrained into the national psyche, that no one even thinks to challenge this assumption.
During feudal times, the overwhelming masses of serfs counted for nothing in terms of the priorities of the governing aristocracy who were preoccupied with enjoying their vast wealth and mounting endless campaigns to expand their territorial domains. After the Bolshevik revolution, though the nature of governance and politics changed, the reality for the teeming masses changed not at all. The new elite that governed the country were still preoccupied with enjoying their supreme power and associated wealth, while mounting endless campaigns to expand the Communist empire throughout the world. In the process, tens of millions of the so-called “proletariat” were sacrificed so that those on top could carry out their delusional evil goals and priorities. The Tsars and the nobility carried little for the welfare of the peasants. The Communists likewise, saw the working class as simple resources to be exploited, and when and if they became a problem, eliminated. Putin and his oligarchic cronies have continued this amoral and soulless tradition. They disdainfully rob, cheat and steal the wealth of the country for their own use, while the huge majority of their fellow Russians sink ever deeper into poverty, alcoholism and hopelessness.
To mask their incompetence in the more practical sphere of responsibly governing the country, the Putin regime has invested a lot of money and effort on propaganda focused on persuading Russians that they are surrounded by a duplicitous NATO, EU and other western countries that want to destroy Russia. They hate us, trumpets Putin, and only I can protect you from the corrupt and immoral world out there that is jealous of Russia’s power and Orthodox moral purity.
In one respect Putin is right. There are a lot of people and countries that hate Russia and the Russians. They hate Russia because it keeps waging nasty hybrid wars on it neighbours, trying to force a new USSR under the guise of a “Russkiy Mir” on people who not that long ago escaped from the depredations of Russian rule. They hate Russia for its support of genocidal maniacs like Syria’s Assad or North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. They hate Russia for supporting terrorist movements all over the world. They hate Russia’s nasty habit of assassinating its dissidents both in Russia and abroad in usually very nasty ways. They hate Russia’s state sponsored cheating on everything from sports, business, international treaties and elections at every level. They hate Russia’s congenital habit of lying about everything. They hate Russia’s widespread efforts to destabilize western democracies by every means possible.
It is a wonder to me why average Russians don’t ask themselves why they are so disliked throughout the world. Perhaps an introspective look inwards at where the Russian soul should be, is in order. I would posit that they would find nothing there but a cold and cruel void inhabited by evil. It is time for Russians to go searching for their long-lost soul.