On Tuesday Putin gave the keynote speech to investors at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, in the 52-minute speech Putin “identified corruption as the biggest threat to Russia and conceded that the country’s oil price dependence was its Achilles’ heel, Putin also lambasted European democracies for an inability to make effective political decisions and said Russia was leading the world in responsible economic stewardship,” see The Moscow Times.
Russia is hardly the only country in the world straining and showing signs of imminent collapse because of a political leadership that identifies their own wealth and success as the metrics which measures the nation’s standing in the world, but the corruption which Putin and his immediate entourage is now engaging in bodes poorly for the continuance of the Chekist Myth as the underlying creed which can fuel Russia’s 21st century rebirth.
By identifying corruption as the number one threat to Russia, he inevitably focused everyone’s attention, even his supporters, on himself. Putin is simply no longer credible as a great leader of a great country. The great Russian historian Vasily Klyuchevsky in his third volume on the History of Russia, The Rise of the Romanovs summed up Russia’s first Time of Troubles, thus:
“There were two conditions in particular which sustained the Time of Troubles – Pretenders and social dissension…”
At the heart of the failure of the state during the Time of Troubles was the misperception by both the ruler and elite of Muscovite Russia that the state was the “unencumbered’ estate of the ruler, i.e., the state was the property of the ruler. Unfortunately for the Chekists, Putin’s resorting to this primitive and unsustainable ideology does not appear to be playing well in modern-day Russia, especially among the young. Whether his former colleagues will continue to follow him down this rabbit hole of Russian history is now the major question in Russian politics today. Here is a rather amusing and telling Russian take on Putin the Pretender.
Thanks to RE for heads up on video.