The Tragedy of Putin’s Rule: Turning Decent Russians into Monsters

October 12, 2022

This is Vladimir Solovyev, the current don of the Kremlin propagandists, who spreads hatred of Ukraine and demands blood on his shows, back in 2008. Back when he was a decent Russian who made sense:

Vladimir Solovyev in 2008.

“There will never be war between Russia and Ukraine because anyone who seriously attempts to do this kind of thing would be a criminal, and I can’t even image the extent of that criminality. The people who live in Ukraine are fraternal to us in spirit, in blood, and it common history, and war with them would be the most vicious crime one can imagine. We should not shout “Sevastopol is ours!”, we should not shout “Crimea is ours!”, we must simply make life in our country so attractive so that Ukrainians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Armenians, Georgians, all would want to live with us in peace, to come to us. Because otherwise we say, “You! Come to us immediately or we’ll kick you in the mug! Quickly! Love me, I said! Love me!” Who would love someone like that?”

Note the year: 2008. And note that he was already warning about “Crimea is ours!” and all that nonsense. A lot of people in the West are misled by popular narratives that invariably omit the single most important fact about this conflict: the Russians NEVER reconciled themselves to the “loss” of Ukraine with the collapse of the Soviet Union.


Their elites, including Western darling Yeltsin, who destroyed parliamentary rule and set the foundation for the presidential dictatorship practiced by Putin (and plucked Putin from obscurity to crown him with the rule of the country), even Yeltsin never considered Ukraine to have the right to be independent. At one point during the tense negotiations about the division of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet and the nuclear weapons, he contemplated invading Ukraine.

The post-collapse mythology that developed in Russia was in some ways similar to the pernicious “stab in the back” myth that developed in Germany after the defeat in the First World War. Correcting these perceived “injustices” that had denied the Russians what properly should be “theirs” is a powerful aspect of the new ideology permeating Russian society to this day. This is where the ideas of a national “humiliation” and the need to “rise from our knees” come from. And this is where “taking back Ukraine” goes part and parcel with correcting these historical “wrongs”.

I have no idea why Western commentators so often dismiss Putin when he tells everyone that this is his view of the world and of Russia. I have also been puzzled why people dismissed Hitler when he wrote — at length — about his vision and his plans in Mein Kampf. These kinds of leaders are not shy about their goals because the do not find them repellent and in need of hiding. It’s the opposite, they find them laudable and expect to receive support and admiration from fellow-minded people.

Not every Russian shared in these wild fantasies and misinterpretation of history. Solovyev here certainly did not, at least back in 2008.

And then the Putin regime ground his conscience and morals into the dust, turning him into the blood-spattered zombie he now is, yelling from the TV about the need to destroy more Ukrainian schools, more Ukrainian hospitals, more Ukrainian kindergartens, more Ukrainian playgrounds, and more Ukrainian lives. Demanding, with froth on his lips, that Ukrainians be bombed, starved, frozen, and parched.


Because what?

Because they refused to submit to the demands of a 70-year old dictator in the way that Solovyev himself did. I am not a psychologist, but it seems to me most of Solovyev’s anger today comes from realizing that the Ukrainians are showing him with their lives and their willingness to die the path that he himself was too cowardly and too venal to take. The Ukrainians are the constant rebuke to his existence, and he’s smart enough to know it. So he hates them and wants them all killed.

How many Solovyevs are in Russia today? How many of them are marching off to the fields of Ukraine to became fertilizer?

3 thoughts on “The Tragedy of Putin’s Rule: Turning Decent Russians into Monsters

  1. Could not agree more. Just to add: even Nobel-laureate for literature Joseph Brodsky, expelled from the CCCP in 1972, scolded Ukrainians for their vote to leave “their true home, Russia”. From his poem ‘On Ukrainian Independence’ in 1991(!)
    (translation by Artem Serebrennikov)

    We’ll tell them, filling the pause with a loud “your mom”:
    Away with you, Khokhly, and may your journey be calm!

    It’s over now. Now hurry back to your huts
    To be gang-banged by Krauts and Polacks right in your guts.

    Good riddance, Khokhly, it’s over for better or worse,
    I’ll go spit in the Dnieper, perhaps it’ll flow in reverse,

    Don’t speak ill of us. Your bread and wheat we don’t need,
    Nor your sky, may we all choke on sunflower seed.

    We’ll get by somehow. And if you want teary eyes –
    Wait ‘til next time, guys, this provision no longer applies.

    God rest ye merry Cossacks, hetmans, and gulag guards!
    But mark: when it’s your turn to be dragged to graveyards,
    You’ll whisper and wheeze, your deathbed mattress a-pushing,
    Not Shevchenko’s bullshit but poetry lines from Pushkin. – end –

    With annotation, Russian original and video of Brodsky reading this …. : Brodsky needed no Putin and no Solovyev to go over the edge.
    So sad, so sad.
    O lovely maidens, fall in love, But not with Muscovites,
    For Muscovites are foreign folk, They do not treat you right. (Shevchenko, 1838)


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