I once joked that Vladimir Putin was the re-incarnation of Peter the Great. I am of the same opinion still. Nearly all the principal features of Putin’s speeches, which I have read in Russian language, are geared towards national pride, national independence and national advancement.
Russians have been schooled to be patriotic, self-assertive and wise. They also have a sympathetic heart, which was why they accommodated a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1917-1989.
It was Russian resources that sustained the USSR after the defeat of Adolf Hitler’s monstrous regime. It was Russian resources that provided scholarships for students from 88 states of the world to study in Soviet universities. It was Russian resources that assisted the liberation movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America from 1950-1985.
The burden became excessive for Russia from 1980-1887. Gorbachov assessed that real situation of the Soviet Union and decided on glasnost and perestroika, which simply means “agreement to restructure”.
The Communist ideology was both an accelerator of societal rebuilding, but decades later, it became a retarding factor and had to be jettisoned, so that a more liberal state of affairs could emerge.
Two thirds of the industrial output of the USSR came from the RSFSR. Now that the Russians can keep what they produce, it is not surprising that Russians have shown sophistication in their life- styles.
After the dissolution of the USSR, Boris Yeltsin set a new tone for Russian development after letting go of the various Republics that were a burden, Russia could no longer carry. Since the reign of Peter the Great, Lenin, Gorbachov, Putin and Medvedev, Russia has always thrived on a culture of criticism and revolt.
Gogol’s “Dead Souls” and Solzhenitsyn’s ” A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisova”, portray Russian activism in self -criticism.
Of course, the West celebrated “the collapse” of Communism but they saw Communism in China emerge to create a formidable societal edifice that is striding successfully forward in giving the Chinese a strong voice in world affairs.
In Russia, revolutionary Marxism created an ideological platform for progressive thought that led to the collapse of colonialism and imperialism. was weakened by the Socialist International, which brought about unity, solidarity and internationalism among non-capitalist states which influenced the real-politik of the United Nations from 1945-1980.
Professor Boris Liebzon captured this movement in his book entitled, “Unity, Solidarity and Internationalism” (Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1980).The book advocated strengthening the ideological basis for the unity of socialist states and a strong link with the oppressed peoples in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
He did not “shun sharp political issues”. He discussed them “in style displaying a tactful and constructive approach, while advancing pungent and well-articulated arguments”.
At the United Nations, criticism of the imperialist order gathered momentum and these bitter discussions at the UN can still be discerned in the Iranian leader’s speeches and the attitude of nations towards social injustice in international relations.
Vladimir Putin is a lawyer by training and a military intelligence officer by profession. He ably manned the covert and overt KGB office in East Germany during the Cold War years, at a relatively early age. His “kharbnii” posture was acquired by the dictates of his office.
Putin brought this toughness into the job of Russian presidency and the deftness of a well-schooled intelligence officer can easily be seen in his attitude to his nation’s affairs. The young people of Russia were enamoured by Putin’s invitation to the Beatles to play at the Red Square, a decade ago.
The youths of Russia, unencumbered by the past, support Vladimir Putin because of his embracing the West, like Peter the Great did, which resulted in the building of St. Petersburg, a city of culture and cosmopolitanism.
I arrived in Moscow, in the winter of November 12, 1963. I quickly made friends with a North Korean lieutenant, now a top-ranking general in Pyongyang and Lyudmila , now a high profile journalist in Russia.
I went to study the Russian language at Kharkov University in 1963 and finished my International Law and Diplomacy degree, with Distinction., at the University of Kiev ( 1964-68). Then off to the University of Cologne for a Doctorate degree in Jurisprudence(1969-71).
My ability to read Russian and German languages opened a vista for an intellectual culture. The languages very poetic, expressive and full of wise anecdotes and sayings like the Confucius mystical power.
It is unfortunate that a majority of people in the world are deprived of these veritable sources of wisdom and so cannot listen to the other side in matters concerning world affairs. Many Nigerians are very vulnerably deficient in this regard.
Anyone, who denigrates Russia, does so, at their own risk. The Russians have proved that they possess an indomitable spirit and did demonstrate this in the Great October Revolution in 1917 and the Great Patriotic War.
They lived through hardship, when the West refused to trade with them and built an infrastructure that has facilitated their current economic development, which as a result of their untapped natural resources, will still move the Russian Republic to gain acceleration in the right direction., in due course.
Long before Putin and Sergei Lavrov, Russian diplomacy and its intelligence services had been ably run by Checherin, Dzerzhinsky, Molotov, Andrei Gromyko, Dobrinin, Andropov etc.
Russian diplomats are groomed at the prestigious Moscow School of International Affairs. They are armed with relevant knowledge and witty dispositions. For example, a Russian Ambassador, who was posted to Turkey, was asked by a Turkish diplomat, who said to the Russian diplomat, “Is it true that Russians are “stupid”?
The Russian diplomat paused for a second and calmly told the Turkish diplomat that in Russia, any stupid person was called a “Turk”. Recently, when Senator McCain adversely commented on the recent Russian elections, Vladimir Putin told McCain that a man, who was held in Vietnam in undignified circumstances, was likely to have developed a neurotic disposition.
The Russians are leading in science and space technology. Their material life has improved considerably better than when the Communist Party placed primitive thinking on good fashion and high taste.
By nature, the Russians like to enjoy life more abundantly. So, when a full-blooded Russian has dealt with a pint of vodka, with buttered crusted bread smeared with black or red caviar and mazlo and has a blond “seulka” by his side, “he is in communion with the life-giving forces”!( Epigram from the Ming Dynasty)
It is on record that Putin has created a socio-economic atmosphere that makes gaiety and social festivities available, which is why he will win comfortably in the March presidential elections.
In my article entitled, “Putin on Blueberry Hill” (See Nigeriansin america.com), I pointed out to Vladimir Putin that Russian/African diplomatic and economic relations need major improvements.
. Putin promised that if the April 2011 elections in Nigeria were conducted transparently and were free and fair, Russia could enter into meaningful relations with Nigeria.
Unfortunately, it was the Supreme Court of Nigeria and not the real Nigerian people that decided the outcome of that election. So, we failed the objective test!
Jonathan and the People of Nigeria
The present political melee in Nigeria is very disturbing. If compatriots can visit mayhem on their fellow citizens in such Golgotha form, it is so sad to watch good old Nigeria go bad. I cannot understand the crocodile tears our “dealers” are shedding.
When they misruled with impunity, rigged elections with impunity, embe
zzled funds with impunity, overpaid themselves with impunity, they should have known that the day of reckoning would come. Anger, hunger, hardship, desperation do drive social humans to nuts.
With regards to the recent increase in the fuel price in Nigeria, as Confucius said, “The people may be made to follow our will but they may not be made to understand it” The people are saying that those, who gave the President the suicidal advice to increase the price of fuel, have opened an open rupture with the regime.
The policy is in the high voltage region, which the regime does not need at the moment. The policy merely fuels the existing discontent and perspiration. The People’s Democratic Party must review its ethical and political agenda, in order to remain in power. Its rules of ceremony must change. After all, the state should be the agency that promotes moral perfection.
Chief among the societal abuses that Plato attacked was “the ignorance and incompetence of politicians, which is the special curse of democracies. Artisans know their trade but politicians know nothing at all, unless it be the ignoble art of pandering to the great beast”
At this time, Nigerians were expecting thoroughness and thoughtful reasoning to give them encouragement, not punitive measures that are likely to cause excessive hardship. There is no intrinsic justice in the policy of increasing the price of fuel, which would send prices spiraling in other commodities, transportation. food and rent.
There is already, unfathomable anxiety in the cities and anxiety can lead to sickness, hopelessness and desperation. The arithmetic of the fuel price increase is mind-boggling.
When a government can no longer govern but in the old way and the people can no longer live in the old way, a revolutionary situation is created, which can manifest in outrageous forms of expression.( V.I Lenin)
Under the Putin/Medvedev dualist governance arrangement, Russia presents a strong and an enlightened government, which is capable of strengthening the gains Russia has attained since the collapse of the Soviet Union and which seems capable of standing up to Western geo-politics. Lenin and Stalin also forged a close alliance, while they were in power until Lenin was assassinated in 1924.
The opinion is divided as to whether the last Russian elections were free and fair. We shall watch very carefully the conduct of the presidential elections in March 2012, which would provide evidence of Putin’s popularity or the lack of it.
There is a very serious concern, which pundits rightly feel. If the West stands in Putin’s way, they will make it possible for the Communist Party to re-emerge in Russia.
The protests we witnessed after the last elections in Russia, is in the tradition of the Russian culture of criticism and revolt. If the West fans the embers of discontent in Russia, the world will re-enter the era of ideological politics of rancour and the pursuit of antiquated rivalries and narrow interests.
The Menshevik parties in Russia are interested in collaboration with the West and to pursue capitalism that could lead Russia into losing its identity as a national/patriotic entity. The Communists are eager to return to the unfinished business of the Bolshevik Party-world revolution.
The people of Russia have rejected the Communist Party twice. The Russian people believe that foreign powers are seeking to cause disaffection in Russia, through sponsoring groups of political dissidents and mal-contents. This thinking,whether real or imagined, will give Putin a decisive victory in March 2012.
It is remarkable that God acceptance has become stronger in Russia, unlike when Communist atheism ruled the conscience of the Russian people. The absence of God is the absence of good.
Russian Churches are now full on Sundays. At the time I attended the Church near the University of Kiev from 1964-68, the attendance was limited to old “babushkas and papauskas”.
Today, the Hallelujahs!!! are deafening. Praise the Lord!!!To those, who say that we should not pray, “It is good to praise the Lord, our Creator”, so that we can overcome the evil works of satan in these END-TIMES.