Over the years Russia and it’s people have been subject to some incredible horrors, Czarist pogroms, Napoleon’s invasion, WW1, The Russian revolution, the barbarity of Communism, gulags and mass murder, WW2 and much more. But Putin will go down in history as being one of the very worst, maybe the very worst. Here is why:
- The Russian state exists for the benefit of Putin and just over 100 of his cronies. This is a kleptocracy. They steal the wealth of the nation for themselves and keep the vast majority of the population poor. It is a mafia state. Bribery alone totals an estimated $300bn a year. This is worse than the Czars or communism.
- Russia had a chance at democracy. Putin stole this. He knows the result of every election before it happens. Bussing people from polling station to polling station is just one small tactic. Russia is a shamocracy with Putin and his cronies exercising all the power.
- When communism fell the oligarchs stole the wealth of Russia. Putin stole much of this back for himself and his cronies. Boris Berezovsky fled to Britain and died suspiciously. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was stripped of his wealth and thrown into prison. Many others met similar fates.
- Putin is the richest person ever in history. 37 percent of the oil company Surgutneftegaz and 4.5 percent of natural gas monopoly Gazprom are just a couple of his assets. The huge Swiss based global trading company Gunvor is controlled by him, allowing him to accumulate vast wealth outside Russia. But Putin’s official salary was just 3,672,208 rubles ($102,660) in 2013.
- Putin has not developed the economy of Russia. They just suck oil and gas out of the ground and sell it. Siphoning off most of the profit for the mafia cronies. They had a chance to invest in infrastructure and a balanced economy. They didn’t.
- Corruption and lack of development have made Russian oil and gas very expensive to extract. They need a high world price to break even and are in very big trouble when the price drops, as it has now.
- Putin controls ALL the Russian media and fills it all with lies. Culturally the Russian people are used to being a communist state, so they largely accept this, like lemmings. So the Russian people have a world view that bears no relationship to the truth and they have been deluded into thinking that Putin is a good thing. Putin tries to brainwash the West with his RT channel. This should be banned until a Western channel is allowed throughout Russia.
- Putin’s enemies and opponents have two fates. They end up dead or in prison. Putin knows that the reality of his position is so weak that he had to incarcerate a few girls, Pussy Riot. If I published this article in Russia it would be very bad for my health. Guaranteed.
- Putin and his cronies are nasty bigots who barbarically suppress anyone who does not conform to their narrow world view. It is not good being homosexual in Russia today.
- Putin wants to conquer and control all Russian speaking lands, whether they want it or not. We see this in Georgia and Ukraine. This is like the UK invading modern USA, Australia, New Zealand and Australia.
- Putin lies all the time, to everyone. He does not honour agreements, contracts or treaties. He is an unpredictable loose cannon whose main concerns are keeping power for himself and increasing his personal wealth. The people of Russia are just pawns who have no option but to allow him to do this.
- The Russian police and judiciary are Putin’s tools, they do what he tells them. Beat people up, kill them, throw them in prison, hit them with massive fines and run protection rackets for their bosses. There is no law and order, just gangsterism.
- There is no political opposition to Putin in Russia, it is not allowed. Oppose him and your views will not be reported and the legal system will beat you up and lock you up. If you are lucky.
- Russia had a great chance to be part of the global community. To be a thriving democracy with a vibrant economy and the rule of law. Putin has stolen all this from 140 million people for his own narrow personal interests.
The cost to Russia and the Russian people has been horrendous in every way, they are effectively slaves to the Putin mafia, fed lies, brutalised and stolen from at every opportunity. How Russia will ever get itself out of this situation looks impossible.
And worse is to come. Sanctions, a low oil price and an infrastructure riddled with corruption all mean that Russia is a failed economy, in a downwards spiral. Putin is cornered and there is no predicting what he will do. And this is a man with LOTS of nuclear warheads.
Yet another reason why the lefties, who say that the UK should not replace Trident, are utterly mad.
And the West are largely to blame for all this. Being weak, not standing up to him and ignoring his excesses. Thatcher and Reagan would never have allowed this situation to get so out of hand.
Other articles in this series, click on the highlighted text to see them: