“Satirical, vengeful, liar”: is Putin’s character distorted?

So cruel, as the former Handelsblatt editor-in-chief and current columnist for Bloomberg business portal Andreas Kluth, judge Vladimir Putin. The man’s character was disfigured by his job: “His formative years with the KGB made Vladimir Putin cynical, paranoid, vengeful, unscrupulous and ruthless. And above all a liar. Ukraine, the West, and the world should bear this in mind if they strategize against him.” The Russian president does not owe his position in power to run, but has continued his career by “spying, stalking, manipulating and often getting rid of people.”

Now, there are a lot of so-called “experts” who believe that Putin is as “paranoid” as Stalin, and some want to know that this deformity is caused by a “sports injury”. There are also plenty of anecdotes circulating, according to which Russian intelligence of the Federal Security Service, the successor organization to the KGB, “joked” after Putin’s ascension to prime minister in 1999 that the country’s leadership had finally been “infiltrated”.

“His thinking follows a different rationality.”

According to Andreas Kluth, Putin is delirious because it did not occur to him that the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries collapsed due to internal weakness and the protests of their citizens. Instead, he always feels the seditious work of the CIA behind such developments. He is said to have claimed that there are no “former agents of the KGB” because people can outdo the KGB, but the KGB cannot outsmart the people. Kluth refers emphatically to Putin’s more recent “psychological analyzes”, for example by the former German ambassador to Moscow, Rüdiger von Fritsch, speaking in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.

The former diplomat said: “We must be careful not to consider Vladimir Putin’s actions irrational, even, as it is sometimes heard, as delusional.” He showed a tendency to categorize everything in terms of hostilities, intrigues and threats constantly. In some conversations in Moscow after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, I had the feeling that we conquered the peninsula, not Russia. ”

“The KGB was better prepared for capitalism”

In his early years at the helm of the state, Putin was afraid of the power of the oligarchy, and therefore preferred to rely on personnel from the security service, analyzes Nina Krushua of the New School in New York City: “It turned out that the KGB was better prepared for the transition to capitalism than any other Soviet institution. Its employees were unethical and pragmatic, well-connected, unfazed by erratic working hours, and selfish manipulative professors.”

Putin’s arrogance managed to flourish because he no longer had to put up with any contradiction in his personal environment: “The new pillars of the state control apparatus are impersonal structures whose sole task is to cleanse the political sphere of all anti-Kremlin sentiment and punish those who do not show enough “loyalty” Unlike siloviki [Geheimdienstler und Militärs alter Schule] She does not advise Putin how best to deal with Russia’s problems, nor does she explain to him the importance of international cooperation in Russia’s internal development. Instead, they are blindly pursuing Putin’s goal of complete control of Russia at any cost.”

“Putin wanted to reverse the behavior of the West”

Bulgarian expert Ivan Krastev had already said in the Berlin “Tagspiegel” in mid-April that Putin’s weapon of choice is a lie, but in fact he believes every word he says: “Normally, politicians lie only if they assume that their lie will not lie. In the case of the annexation of a peninsula. Crimea, he claimed that no Russian forces were involved, although the opposite was obvious. But Putin wanted to mirror the behavior of the West along the lines: I also lied when I claimed before the 2003 Iraq war that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.”

At a dinner party in Sochi in 2014, Krastev met the Russian president in person as the host. Putin’s sarcasm, in other words sly humor, was the dominant factor: “After the meeting I remembered a picture of an angry man. He kept saying that the West treated Russia badly. You could tell that he was convinced that he had listened to the lessons of the West long enough. He was determined to teach The world has a lesson of its own without listening too much.” According to Krastev in Die Welt, Putin was originally a “vegetarian” in power, a dictator who did not necessarily want to see blood, but he has changed a lot in the meantime.

The Russian soul is incomprehensible.

Perhaps the West and the East are talking about each other when assessing Putin’s psychology. Psychologist Paulina Aronson said in the weekly Freitag: “The Russian soul is a cliché that Russian and Soviet thinkers search for. This soul is supposedly unsearchable and incomprehensible. In contrast to the idea of ​​the soul, which is understood as understandable and controllable when it came Psychological ideas about it to Russia – in Soviet times, long before perestroika – people looked at it with interest, but mostly came to the conclusion that the Russian soul does not need it. ”

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