What does Putin be­lieve in?

The Week (US) - - News 11 -

It’s hard to tell. Wal­ter Laqueur, a po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist, sug­gests there is no such thing as Pu­tin­ism be­yond “na­tion­al­ism ac­com­pa­nied by an­tiWestern­ism.” Oth­ers de­scribe Putin as a gang­ster at heart—his pri­vate for­tune is es­ti­mated to be in the bil­lions. But though he is no com­mu­nist, Putin has been con­sis­tent in his view that the breakup of the Soviet Union was “the great­est geopo­lit­i­cal catas­tro­phe” of the 20th cen­tury. Putin has re­port­edly told aides that “the great­est crim­i­nals in our his­tory were those weak­lings who threw the power on the floor—[Tsar] Ni­cholas II and [Mikhail] Gor­bachev—who al­lowed the power to be picked up by the hys­ter­ics and the mad­men.” Putin has vowed never to sur­ren­der power to the rab­ble.

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