By Evgeny Kuzmenko
The first camp rejoices at the western unity and mischievously shout behind the silicone back of the head, "Tally-ho!" Most convinced optimists remember disembarkation of allies in Normandy and readily forgive the sluggish Obama all his previous blunders.
The second camp tries to get into the head of number-one world maniac and predict his steps. Forecasts appear extremely disturbing if not gloomy. Everybody understands the extent of humiliation Vladimir Vladimirovich underwent. Everybody waits for retaliation: as usual, wild, bright, and asymmetric in Putin’s way.
In fact, either party is right. Yes, western leaders behaved towards the Russian dictator with unprecedentedly coordinated rigidity. Yes, Vladimir Vladimirovich is now in extreme rage. Theoretically, he is capable of most radical measures.
The question is what qualities will prevail in the Russian president: professional tendency to cold analysis multiplied by fear of uncontrollable development of the situation – or senile laddism along with the mania, which he developed in the last two or three years, of going down in the world history as one of the most outstanding and powerful Russian leaders.
Alas, dynamics of the situation development so far makes the second option more and more probable. Vladimir Vladimirovich resembles Nicholas I in his late stage: screws are tightened, total centralization of the state administration, power of intelligence committees, horror and disgust from the thinking Europe, domination of bureaucracy, triumph of corruption. And the Crimean conflict as the beginning of an end.
Generally, there are a multitude of features that unite Vladimir Vladimirovich and Nikolay Palkin from the historical point of view. But there is one essential distinction: Emperor Romanov did not have nuclear weapon. And Emperor Putin does.
Well, telling fortunes by Botox begins now. On the one hand, the task is simple: instead of taking into account difficult nuances of interaction of dozens influential groups and students, it suffices to investigate views and actions of one person – Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who has absolute power in Russia.
On the other hand, it is incredibly difficult to get into the head of a person off his head, who was taught at KGB Higher School to deceive everybody and to trust nobody!
Still let us try. Well, are there any guarantees that Putin will make any concessions? Beyond any doubt, he is good at maneuvering – and has demonstrated this ability from time to time. But that was tactical maneuvering within the strategic task. And Mr. Putin seems to have lost the ability to change the strategic course. To be more exact, he has consciously exchanged this ability for geopolitical missionary work with historical background.
Can he turn from this missionary way? Chances are decreasing rapidly. With good reason, the editor-in-chief of Echo of Moscow Alexey Venediktov refers to the principle once stated by Putin himself, "not to make decisions under pressure and in public". If we translate it into argot, it means not to show oneself a "weakling". Otherwise you will be crumpled, crushed, and humiliated.
It is Vladimir Putin’s way of thinking. Now let us get zero hour: is there pressure upon Putin? Yes, and it increases every day. Besides, it increases in public; so serious are sanctions against Russia. You cannot hide anything from the public: time has passed when misunderstandings could be solved in the legal order by one workgroup. Stakes has gone up incredibly, and the carefully nurtured mechanisms of state propaganda is shutting off retreat for Vladimir Vladimirovich. The brainwashed citizens do not perceive any other context different from "Yankees or we: who will beat whom?" Crucified boys, civilians raped by chasteners, the passenger plane shot down by junta are always on the mind of TV viewers. And if the allegedly brutal Vladimir Putin takes a step backwards, an average Russian will treat it with terrible unambiguity: he bowed and scraped before the West, let his people down…
And there are several steps backwards to be made: Vladimir Vladimirovich has done much mischief for the last one and a half or two years...
However, the horror of the situation is that it is less and less often that thoughts of retreat occur to the Russian president. He practically follows Louis XIV's formula in his views, "State is me". So, what is the point in consulting with someone? Genuine greatness, Vladimir Vladimirovich considers, reveals when the governor makes difficult decisions alone, without consulting anybody.
It is how the half-insane governor whips Russia, sitting on the coach box. And the carriage-and-three rushes along a country road, and there is foam on the muzzles of horses – whether from delight of a fast ride or from exhaustion.
Sooner or later, Vladimir Putin will ride his horses to death. Rumor has it in the neighboring village. Everybody is disturbed if someone else will be run down in passing? Insane people are so...