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The United States would have produced the war in Ukraine to take possession of Russian territory and settle there the American population that had managed to survive catastrophic eruption of a giant 640,000-year-old volcano parked under Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. This disaster would be of such magnitude that it would turn the United States into a wasteland impossible to inhabit, hence Washington’s desperation.

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This significantly delusional reasoning to explain Europe’s worst war since WWII is not from a feverish popular imagination. It was raised this May by Nikolai Patrushev, head of the National Security Council, equivalent to the body led on the US side by Jake Sullivan, as central an official in Joe Biden’s cabinet as his counterpart is in the Russian structure.

Andrei Kolesnikov, political scientist at the Carnegie Center Russia Eurasiapoints out in an admirable article in Foreign Affairsthat the reaction on the networks to Patrushev’s comment was a sarcasm contest correcting the well-known saying of Tsar Alexander III, who argued that Russia had only two allies – the army and the navy. In reality there were three, the Yellowstone volcano was missing.

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Patrushev, who headed the FSB, the force that replaced the mythical KGB, said that extravagance in line with the statements made in those same days by Vladimir Putin on TV, a manipulated map in hand, showing that Ukraine does not appear there why it is a country that does not exist.

“An injustice has caused a part of the Russian people to remain outside the borders of the historic Russian state, but that doesn’t mean they stop being Russian,” the Russian president warned.

The excess of exaggerations in history hardly hides the urgency and forces us to look more closely at the curious novelty of drone attacks, among other weapons, which Moscow has suffered lately. Especially in early May with white in the Kremlin.

Russian National Security Secretary Nikolai Patrushev AFP

Russian National Security Secretary Nikolai Patrushev AFP

The attacks

Russia accuses Ukraine and the United States of this offensive, admitting that the unmanned planes would fly 500 km from the border with that country, overcoming any defense for shoot the seat of governmentone of the most followed sites in the world and which, among other things, is rarely visited by Putin.

Kiev has said it is not attacking targets in Russia. It is possible, however, that he tried, but drones are unlikely to reach such a destination. It is known that there are militants in Russia who they fight with attacks on the autocracybut this operation seems far from his capabilities.

On May 3, the day of that raid, not even the Russian leader was in those offices, although the official speech denounced that tried to kill Putin and his ministers. A “terrorist coup” according to that narrative, a notion that was repeated this week when Russian flak shot down most of a squadron of drones that reached residential areas of the Federation capital.

Now Russia has added to its complaint the alleged invasion of its territory by the The Ukrainian infantry was even equipped with tanks.

That first attack in the saga happened just before May 9, Victory Day, which commemorates the Russian triumph over the Nazis in the Second War.

In his speech at the celebrations and subsequent statements during that month, Putin, in addition to repeating his growing obsession with the gender issue that would consume Western decadence, he cleared up what he suggested was evil misinformation from his enemies.

It is Moscow that tries “to end a war waged against the Russian people”. Not vice versa, as the facts indicate. It is an argument of enormous lightness that not long ago cost him a concert of laughter Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov when he brought it up in an international forum where he could not continue speaking.

Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister.  photo by AFP

Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister. photo by AFP

These attacks have mobilized all kinds of speculations including its possible arming by the Kremlin to bring the war closer to Russian citizenship. It would be a consequence of the sharp development of the conflict.

For Putin, a ex KGB used only to see the movement of the enemy, the complex fate of war measures its very existence. This is why he underlines that the country is in danger and there is no room for indifference, only absolute verticality at his command.

Kolesnikov, in fact, quotes the ever-present American diplomat George Kennan, who in his detailed vision of Stalin’s Russia, the leader in whom Putin reflects himself most, explained that “the regime justified internal oppression underlining the threatening inequality of the outside world.

The empire

That chronic restlessness is in the Russian soul. To return to Alexander III, the famous tsar argued “everyone will arm themselves against us at the first opportunity.”

If the raids were really a dramatization, they would try to prepare the Russian people a stronger war. “Russia probably organized this attack, the one on the 3rd, to lay the conditions for a wider social mobilization”, hypothesizes the Institute for the Study of Warfrom Washington.

The basic purpose is to strengthen the profile of Ukraine as an existential threat that challenges the country in full national holiday. Sam Greene, an analyst at the Center for European Political Studies in Brussels, points out that by calling the incident a terrorist act and an attempt on Putin’s life, Moscow it “clearly stokes the fires of a public call for revenge”.

This with the chorus of fanatical figures as former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev calls for “physical removalby the Ukrainian government. The strategy has produced some results. According to Greene, “the public seems to be responding the way the Kremlin intends to” by ramping up the pro-Moscow chatter that had been sharply critical.

There are other dimensions to understanding the ultimate meaning of this strategy. One of them is the need to keep the controversy alive because if it ends the way it is being processed, would lead to questioning.

“Putin needs war because unless you win a victory, he pushes it to continue because as war president he is more protected. As long as the conflict goes on, it’s harder to stop it, unless the invasion goes horribly wrong,” says Nina Khruscheva, writer and analyst for the Council on Foreign Relations (see), an American think tank.

The image is of an object exploding with smoke and light above the dome of the Kremlin in Moscow.  Reuters photo

The image is of an object exploding with smoke and light above the dome of the Kremlin in Moscow. Reuters photo

Khrushcheva is the great-grandson of legendary Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev to whom Putin wrongly and spitefully attributes the decision to hand over the Crimea peninsula to Ukraine.

This particularly knowledgeable analyst does not see a imminent sunset for the Kremlin leader. In an interview with the Basque newspaper The mail He argues that “the elite clans have not yet decided who will be in charge and who will not when he leaves. Those clans need you as a stabilizing element”. War achieves the same goal even if it is momentary.

Historians such as the Ukrainian Hanna Perekhoda, point out in this sentence that the Russians, regardless of who rules them, do not like a defeat as any other people would. But also there is the Ukrainian question.

“This war shows how dangerous empires are that want to become nation-states,” says Perekhoda. Control of Ukraine is a cornerstone of the project Russian Empire but also, above all, the project of the Russian nation”.

A useful point appears for Putin for that survival: “The Russian nationalist elites (the clans to which Khrushchev’s niece alludes) believe that Your nation is incomplete and impossible without Ukrainians in it.”.

Khrushcheva, born and raised in Moscow, believes, in turn, that the anti-Western sentiment that has built up in the country “is really strange because it is a contradiction. Russia is a nation that considers itself Western and continues to fight for it. So, faced with the current disaster, she wonders “How could we go back in such an unforgivable way?”

To that reflection he adds a little-known detail with possible tones of resignation. “Putin is many of the things attributed to him. In the KGB they dubbed him ‘the moth’, that dark thing that settles on sweaters; appropriate term for those who live in the dark and when you open the drawer the sweater is totally devoured.
©Copyright Clarin 2023

Source: Clarin

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