Vladimir Putin’s worldview is rooted in the Soviet Union. He was affected by the fall of the USSR, which he criticised for its Leninist policies of nationalities that led Ukraine to independence. He is determined to rebuild the Romanov Empire. acts as the heir to Stalinist totalitarianism. Thus, his patriotism creates a historical synthesis between the imperial and Soviet eras, whose point of union is the idea of the greatness of Russia. The Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), became the central theme of the discourse about a victorious nation that “rose up” from “erased humiliation”. After the 2014 annexation, this speech was a huge hit with the Russian people.
The idea of Ruskij mir (Russian World), of the union of the Russians beyond the borders, has been very mobilizing in the Ukrainian crisis. It appeals to Russian ethnic nationalism which is a historic break from Russia.It was not in Soviet times or in the tsarist eras.
Putin appears to have been convinced after the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine that he must establish a personal dictatorship in order to prevent any revolutionary contamination in Russia. He believed that the USSR’s fall was due to its weakness in power. After Yeltsin’s decentralization policies, he believed power needed to be strongly centralized.
It was then that terms such as «verticality of power», «dictatorship of the law» or «sovereign democracy».The central power was strengthened against regional governors as well as oligarchs. Opposition was weakened. Putin’s 2012 return to the presidency was marked by protests after his deceitful replacement in 2008. These protests led to an increase in Putin’s power and made him an autocrat.
Stalin was a narcissistic pervert. Putin may be suffering from post-Covid paranoid schizophrenia. Putin is a solitary man in his ivory tower. He doesn’t care about the opinions of his coworkers, but demands absolute obedience and loyalty.
However, the treatment of “inner enemies”, which are not treated better than Stalin, is no different from that of Stalin’s trials in Moscow. There have been assassinations, poisonings of opposition like Navalni, and raids on 15,000 anti-war protestors. Internally, the “special operation” in Ukraine is accompanied by totalitarian measures to manage the Russian population.
Students are required to learn the official line in schools. Internet censorship is an attempt to cut off the public from the outside world.Now, “Putinist” totalitarianism has been imposed.
The “external enemy” is a term that is reminiscent of Stalin’s time. Putin sees the Ukrainian government as nothing more than a bunch of Nazis who must be destroyed. The Ukrainian population must be subdued by bombs and made to accept unconditional surrender. Russian tanks are being allowed to enter the cities in a manner that is similar to their entry into Budapest, 1956, and Prague, 1968. This is the policy of terror and the law of force.
Like Stalin. Putin sees the West as his enemy, along with its democratic regimes. They must protect their potential expansion and danger.The new “iron curtain” was created to isolate the Russian population. NATO, the armed wing that is responsible for Russia’s defensive responses, is NATO. Putin has now returned to the Stalinist vision for the Cold War after years of delay.
Moscow’s autocrat knows full well that the survival of his regime is dependent on Russia’s political elite turning against itself. It is, in other words, the opposite of the Gorbachevian open. Gorbachev made the USSR open to the outside world, leading to the early liberalization of the 1980s. However, he wouldn’t have been able introduce open economic or political reforms if the USSR had not opened to the outside world. They were inseparable. Putin does the exact opposite, in order to secure the consolidation of an opaque, authoritarian regime and close Russia in on itself. Putin’s fate is similar to the Stalinist system, but with the price of a war.