Putin Strives to Become Russia’s Über-Patriot

Is Vladimir Putin a Patriotic Man of the People for a New Russia(…..) And yet the man who appeared in Rostov-on-Don was no longer the Putin who entered the Kremlin for the third time on May 7, 2012. Rather, Putin this year has radically changed course and changed his leadership style. To find out who this new Putin is, and what he wants, it helps to meet 3 men: Gennady Gudkov, the sidelined former KGB man who joined the opposition, Dmitry Badovski, Kremlin ideologue and Alexander Prokhanov, a Stalinist whom Putin brought back to the political stage. “Putin has finally seen the signs of the times,” says Prokhanov, 75. “For years, he talked about need for giving the country a jolt, but nothing happened. Now, that is apparently changing and I will use my modest powers to help him achieve this.” Prokhanov is a prolific author of considerable renown and he has been compared to Dostoyevsky. Over period of 40 years, he has written some 50 books: novels, short stories, works of non-fiction and volumes of poems. He worked as a correspondent in Afghanistan and Nicaragua, resisted Gorbachev and his perestroika, later on, antagonized former Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s oligarchs and the nouveau riche elite. Prokhanov describes himself as a left-wing patriot, an “orthodox socialist,” someone who is fighting for the reestablishment of old Russian state. He says that the Russian people are by nature Stalinist: “They will always place greater importance on the state than on the small happiness of the individual,” he argues. For a long time, Prokhanov and his ideas were banished to the political wilderness, but more recently he has been invited every few days to take part in talk shows on the quasi-state-owned television networks. But why does someone like Putin need the support of a Stalinist who talks about a new Russian empire he says is currently emerging? Someone who never tires of warning of “geopolitical disaster” is encroaching upon Russia’s borders, and whose newspaper Zavtra is notoriously anti-Semitic? Prokhanov receives his visitors in the shabby offices of his small newspaper in Moscow. But one shouldn’t gauge his political influence by these surroundings. The rooms are located on the premises of the general staff of the armed forces and he maintains close friends among the generals. He recently received two North Korean embassy staff members and the photo showing Prokhanov next to Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad is only a few weeks old. Putin is a “very dynamic” politician, says Prokhanov: “He began his career in the entourage of the oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who tried to use him as a puppet after Yeltsin left office,” he contends. “But Putin was not the man people thought he was.” He says Putin got rid of Berezovsky, seized control of his media empire, stopped former Soviet republics from seceding from the Russian Federation and enticed Europe to become dependent on Gazprom. It was “powerful geopolitical operation,” says Prokhanov, who adds that in 2008 Putin regrettably strictly adhered to constitution, which forbids presidents from serving more than two consecutive terms. Instead of continuing in the office, he chose Dmitry Medvedev to serve as a nominal head of state. “That was a huge mistake,” Prokhanov notes, “because he wasted four valuable years and weakened himself in the process” (…..)

Link: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/putin-uses-patriotism-to-strengthen-hold-on-russia-a-898170.html

Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

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