Vladimir Putin believes that he has attached Ukraine's regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson, to Russia. This annexation has no real value in terms of either common or legal sense, and its only result is aggravation of Russia's problems. The country's economy will fail to reconstruct the facilities in the occupied territories due to the sanctions and general economic isolation. Moreover, “rebuilding” the settlements where there still may be combat is a perfect way the people in charge can steal tons of money. Russia's diplomacy is no more, too. Even Putin's most trusted allies consider him too toxic, and all Russia-neighbouring countries realise that someday they might become subject to another “liberation operation,” so they draw conclusions. Ukraine's President Zelensky has said that negotiations with Putin are out of the question due to the annexation, so those Russians who want peace will need to find another President.
Russia's also in socioeconomical agony.
Although hundreds of thousands have left the country, and despite the stagnation of Russia's economy, many people could still live a more or less normal everyday life. The society, however, can no longer live by Putin's rules,
as endless violence and unlawfulness has now teamed up with the commonplace nepotism and corruption. Any enterprise or project in today's Russia can be confiscated in favour of the “Donbass vets”, Ramzan Kadyrov, or Yevgeny Prigozhin. The education has been replaced by “special military operation” propaganda and forced exultation.
Russia's academia is in ruins: Alexander Sergeev, who served as President of Russia's Academy of Sciences up until recently, was forced to withdraw from the latest election for demanding that international co-operation of scholars be preserved. The Russian contemporary culture is now either people who have condemned the war and left the country, or worthless dullards like Alexander Pelevin who fill in the gaps. Another catastrophic thing about Russia is its demographics aftermath of Putin's war: after losing a record (up to 1 million) number people dead of COVID-19, the Kremlin decided to get rid of many more men of working age. Some of them are losing their lives in Ukraine, while others, literally hundreds of thousands, are fleeing Russia to all the neighbouring countries that still accept Russian nationals.
In the past decades, Russia got accustomed to being proud of the fact that its big cities enjoy a better quality of life than most post-Soviet countries as if the reason was hard work and talent, not the oil prices. As a result, the Russian mainstream rhetoric has developed a colonialist picture of the world where all non-Russians, “non-Slavs”, are sort of subhumans. Vladimir Putin has managed to change this: now Russians consider almost any country in Central Asia an attractive place where they can get a shelter from his insane Ukraine War.
No war success for Putin's regime either: Ukraine liberated the city of Lyman in the Donetsk region the next day Russia declared its formal annexation.
It is clear that the mobilisation won't help Putin change things around since Ukraine mobilised their citizens sooner, they fight better, and they have things to fight for.
Moreover, you can see Kadyrov and Prigozhin quarrel with Shoigu's generals, publicly accusing them of incompetency.
Russia's nuclear blackmail has worn thin, too, as both experts like Fyodor Lukyanov or Dmitry Trenin and politicians like Dmitry Medvedev or Vladimir Putin have already directly threatened Ukraine and the world with nuclear war multiple times. This has changed nothing and did not force the West to stop its help to Ukraine, and it has not disturbed Ukraine's readiness to liberate what's theirs either. Obviously, Putin has done the groundwork for the nuclear war, but if he starts it, he will not only kill a gazillion of people, but will also move nearer his own end. No person in Russia's modern history caused more harm to his own country than Putin.
What he did on 30 September was a goetic ritual acting as some sort of love potion for the Russian people. Same as in 2014, the ritual had two parts: a grand ceremony in the Kremlin where he signed the papers, and a propaganda performance in the Red Square. The ritual produced zero effect since the faces of Russia's top officials were joyless as Putin delivered his speech on the “Anglo-Saxons” and “the gender theory,” and people were brought to the Red Square in large numbers by buses from all Central Russia. It seems like Russians started to realise that the Ukraine War was a crime too late. However, there is no way this process can be reversed: nobody loves Putin anymore; his authority is only supported by raw power, and there is no one to inform him of this.
Vladimir Putin has enjoyed a lot of help from countless speech-writers and image-makers during his endless presidency, but after 23 years of his catastrophic rule and after seven months of warfare he decided to reveal his true nature to his citizens, believing that he had achieved perfection and is now irreplaceable. This is why his “historic speeches” cannot be analysed: there is no real difference between Russia's president and a mediocre propaganda talk show pundit. Ivan Okhlobystin, the guy who called on Russians to go to war against the entire world, is but a more vigorous version of Vladimir Putin now.
Ivan Ilyin, a 20th century Russian political philosopher Putin cited in the end of his speech, has no real influence on the putinist ideology because Putin's rule has no philosophical background and is pure radical anti-intellectualism. However, I have a piece of advice for Vladimir Putin. There's a book by Ilyin called Resisting the Evil with Power where he opposes Leo Tolstoy's pacifism. Go on, read it when you have more leisure time. Here's what the book is about: when the evil comes to your house, you need to resist it. Same as Ukraine does right now.
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