Vladimir Putin has never been a rational state actor but always a piratical “malignant narcissist” engaged in the cover of a projection of an heroic self with impression enforced by the many methods of perceptual control. As his fear of being “found out” becomes realized, he doubles-down in defense of image and becomes more surreal by the day. As he has never authentically served Russia but plundered her by developing his mafia-style monopoly on power, one may only hope that his own “tire” of him post-haste and with ambition to return to modernity, which some have quite enjoyed, will take the reins in the direction of reform.
This image may tell what is also at hand.
For the time being, the world surrounding Putin’s Imperial Russian Kleptocracy would seem stuck with containment, defense, and deterrence. For Russians who would be modern and well dressed with a Modern Political Mentality: despair, flight, lethargic cooperation, passive resistance; and for some close in with the little monster grown fat, one might hope for treachery.
The end-state desired would seem a modern responsible-responsive Russian state, not Putin’s criminal feudal-medieval monstrosity loaded up with 2,000 tactical nukes (advanced hypersonic missiles and stealthy submarines) x hate, ignorance, and fear to match, not to mention the leader’s criminal — and politically criminal — narcissism.
Some of us are just waiting to see Robert Kraft’s Superbowl ring returned to him. And all of this over that? Could be as that ring is symbolic of the criminal, piratical, and unhinged nature of Putin’s increasingly naked regime.
Anderson, Hans Christian. “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
“This is cool that we have all gathered here today because we came here not on party or state orders, which is also sometimes necessary, but because we all wanted to be together, here and today,” Putin told the crowd, calling them “brothers”.
He ended by shouting “long live Russia, long live Ukraine” and “long live bike” in Ukrainian before heading off to a meeting with President Viktor Yanukovich.
Well, doesn’t that make plain what all the chaos, death, destruction, and suffering come down to?
Now the deluded, deranged, and tyrannical Vladimir Putin wants to restore his biker party no matter how many Ukrainians and Russians prove themselves willing to die for him without their cooperation or consent.
The clip appears to have come from the 2011 Sevastopol Bike Show, and it would appear to show how much Putin loves the Russians and Ukrainians that were his to plunder with impunity before Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity that had the corrupt Viktor Yanukovych skedaddling north to Mothering Russia (as Putin would have her) for reassurance, a kind of “That’s alright, my blubberous little buddy. We’ll get it all back the way it was. Or we’ll destroy it.”
Probably, Putin has been always a malignantly narcissistic, petulant, and posturing little boy.
This story posted today on YouTube turns out as much about OSINT detective work from within Russia as about the internal brutality of the politically criminal and thoroughly kleptocratic regime of Tsar Vladimir the Small.
Tweeted earlier this morning —
While the United States has its own Russian infection with Trump’s own anti-democratic and demagogic and delusional fascist nationalist base, he has yet to turn American national and state military defense and police security services into his own personal goons, Americans on the way to mid-term elections are not waiting for him or his cult to amass that kind of power. Trump represents a diminishing base of corrupt or diminished or greedy Americans who crave his “power” — his appearance of it, in any case — in relation to their own damaged psyches and penchants for absolute and sadistic personal and political control — under cover of Christian zealotry, no less — of all that surrounds themselves.
In addition, I have come to view “9/11” as a primarily KGB-guided Reflexive Control Operation designed to goose patriotism in the west by sparking a war with Radical Islam (mission accomplished!) while inducing the “New Nationalism” in EU/NATO as well as drift and permit for Ultra Nationalist efforts in the same that were to form up and return modern states to deeply conflicted feudal-medieval polities (the democracies most degraded thereby: Hungary, Italy, Poland Turkey, and the United States).
Given Vladimir Putin’s malignant narcissism and Russia’s related self-absorbed messianic (“special truth”) civilizational narcissism, the Russian state may and must be treated as an irrational medieval polity obsessed with its own paranoid want of control and power that has spread corruption and disinformation throughout EU/NATO and the world, frankly, and that has sought also to monopolize basic resources, energy and food foremost, and occupy strategic military regions (like the Black Sea and the North Pole) with and from which it may blackmail and intimidate the world.
Of course, that’s the way the world works, isn’t it?
Or is it not?
Whether it is or not, it is today the west that has the freedom and humanism as well as the obligation, and responsibility to defend Earth herself–and humanity itself and its evolution, no less–and do so by bringing Russia’s barbaric feudal-medieval totalitarianism–sustained by a criminal and most rapacious and self-indulgent KGB/FSB and its leader–to its natural close.
If the west refuses the work, then we may expect to see Russia expand its chaos-and-control program and its related sphere of human disposal, enslavement, rubble, and suffocation without limit.
As a blogger drifting along the contours of institutions and media concerned with defense and national security, I’ve encountered two primary challenges: how to condense, distill, and package strong material for public overview and impact; and, sigh, how to give the “pebble” sufficient weight to get a firm small wave bouncing back and force across the Internet pond.
You haven’t been on my specific poli-sci/poli-psy/poli-spy tour, but the clues in events and personalities don’t reside only my mind: they are all here on the web. My guess: the knowledgeable, say at GCHQ or NSA, have already put them together (well, those cats have got to have better resources and more interesting conversations), but the ordinary public appears to me to be struggling with what has happened–and with what may be happening if it doesn’t come to grips with a strong true representation of cultural and political reality.
Premise-Thirty Years Revenge for ’89 and ’91
I believe Bolshevik criminal elements within the Soviet KGB wasted little time prying their way back into power and prestige sufficient to bend the Russian Federation’s democracy and justice to their own will and for their own ends (ref.: Nekrasov documentary on Litvinenko, Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case AKA Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File).
In addition to focusing on self-enrichment and power, the cohort appears to have been bent on vengeance for the Soviet Army’s defeat in Afghanistan in 1989 and the dissolving of the Soviet Union itself at noon on December 25, 1991, an implication drawn by the manner of Vladimir Putin’s ascent to Russia’s presidency, his legendary affection for Felix Dzerzhinsky, Joseph Stalin, and Soviet Era Russia, and the inadequacy expressed through his “malignant narcissism” (see “Liar, Thief, and Tyrant”, February 20, 2022, on this blog) and related devotion to supporting his own Russian messianic heroic image through artifice (because that’s all he really has). The emperor may have no clothes but neither Russians nor the west are dwelling on that as he has Russia focused on his greatness (or else!) and everyone else his destructive threat.
Moscow’s Development of the East-West Rivalry Narrative
I believe conventional western financial and political leadership took the familiar tack of wanting to help the defeated get back on its feet through the extension of capital, the hand of cooperation, and patient tolerance or understanding for the Russian travail that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Only at the turning point of the Syrian Civil War (2011) did western detente return to play–and then containment. Today, for having accepted the position of responding to Russia’s initiatives and rollout of its own and quite evil narrative arc, EU/NATO have found themselves in various ways somewhat compromised; a little incoherent about corruption, legacy, power, and realpolitik in each state’s own way (for related review, have a look at authoritarianism or nationalism in Hungary, Italy, Poland, Turkey, and the United States) ; and finally brought to face once again a most dangerous confrontation with Moscow and its criminal Soviet-post-Soviet character now on full display in the ethnic cleansing and “rubbling” of Ukraine.
Russia and Russia’s leadership may have a “special” narcissism and enormous compensating vanity, but I am certain that among nations and their full collection of political experiments that it has no “special truth”, for at every opportunity, Moscow has supported criminals, dictators, fanatics, and terrorists–and it has through its Active Measures and destabilization operations put to work similar elements in its targets.
The poster displayed in this tweet appears to have been a gesture of support from within Russia following Trump’s 2016 election win. One may take it as a comment on the medieval mentality and related methods popular with both leaders and their respective followers.
Donald John Trump as Malignant Narcissist
The steps and terms-of-art I’ve picked up in relation to “Malignant Narcissism” have been these, and while practically self-explanatory, academics and analysts have spent serious verbiage on each. I’ll step in most informally to convey the gist.
Narcissistic Mortification: experiences of humiliation or shame to the extent that the identity and self feel damaged, impotent, and small. The discomfort–for what it is to do to the person–may be considered remarkable.
Covering/Splitting: “Covering” refers to the hiding of the damaged self and the packing away of an awful experience; “splitting” refers to the creation of an heroic undamaged self to be both asserted and defended at all costs. With “MaligNarcs”–expressed through authoritarian, dictating, and sociopathic manipulation–the appreciation or recognition and respect for normal boundaries and limits fade before the objectives of the self in hiding damage and asserting extraordinary power.
Control of the Experiences and Perceptions of Others: most well known: “gaslighting”. However, add deceptions and lies without ends or limits. Whatever works . . . works.
Messianic Delusions of Grandeur: Although the MaligNarc creates the chaos–no different from the fireman who sets the fire, so he may show up and put it out as a hero–the vision is to stand astride the same heroically saving his class, creed, gender, race, and religion from all who would diminish any part.
Unlimited Narcissistic Supply: adoration and love unlimited.
According to psychologist John Gartner, Trump clearly exhibits four key symptoms of malignant narcissism — the “most destructive” personality type — including paranoia, narcissism, antisocial personality disorder and sadism. “
This type of leader pops up all throughout history, and they’re always extraordinarily disruptive,” Gartner told AFP, noting that the same label has been applied to Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini.
“What is so strange is that we’re not used to seeing this type of leader in America.”
Medieval leaders love mobs, also secret gangs, behind-the-curtain deals with other “nobility”, dumb but loyal armies, and the idea above all of being as if gods, blessed by religious power, and free to define the law of the lawless land–and in Russia’s absolute “patrimonial authoritarianism”, apparently free to treat persons and property as alike and to destroy either at will and with impunity.
Modern leaders do all they can to minimize and eliminate that mentality from their districts, regions, and states, for the modern world in every facet relies on complex cooperation and the integration of large systems. It may help if they’re devoted to the health and well being of their respective constituencies and not solely the representatives of one patrician class or another.
Thematic on this blog has been “Medieval v Modern”, and, of course, it or I, or the same 🙂 , has posed the question, “In which world do you wish to live? Medieval? Or Modern?”
As the European Union and NATO see more clearly what Moscow has “accomplished” with its barbarous medieval ambitions (or delusions) over the past 30 years of support for the post-Soviet but still Soviet spheres of control and influence–and, finally, in the so-far “ethnic cleansing” of Ukraine–both will have to determine to take apart the Putin’s Olde Regime and nurture in its place a modern Russia that Russians too (as it dawns on them what has been and is being done to them and their children) might appreciate and embrace. In this passage where every day is agony for Ukrainians and an eternity for diplomats and politicians, that day’s on a seemingly far horizon, but it’s there and will become more visible with time. So-called “leaders” like Putin and Trump have made themselves impossibly archaic and in cultural, ethical, and moral terms, if not financial (yet), bankrupt.
Truth be known: neither Putin nor Trump has anything–apart from a little money or laundering service–to offer anyone.
Criminally insane, mad, off the rails, and in the manner of the Malignant Narcissist and Thug in Charge, Russia has lost all sense of boundaries and limits. Putin’s Russian Circle of Thieves has taken from the Russian People their dignity, economy, freedom, and security; it has marched into battle enslaved conscripts and either criminal or leveraged (both) officers.
I’ve made the case on this blog that the “end of the Cold War” became in its underlying reality a struggle for revenge on the west for the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan (shorthand: “’89”) and the dissolving of the Soviet Union in bankruptcy (“’91”). We are now about 30 years out (1992-2022) from Vladimir Putin’s most traumatic political memory (the fall of the SU) and very near direct war against what has become a politically absolute, criminal, and rogue state held in the grip of real mafia and political thugs.
How Close the Prospect of War with Russia?
How Free are the Russian People Under Putin?
Might There Be Some Practical Motivation for Russia’s Conquest by the Destruction of Ukraine?
Excluding Russia’s gas reserves in Asia, Ukraine today holds the second biggest known gas reserves in Europe. As of late 2019, known Ukrainian reserves amounted to 1.09 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, second only to Norway’s known resources of 1.53 trillion cubic meters. Yet, these enormous reserves of energy remain largely untapped. Today, Ukraine has a low annual reserve usage rate of about 2 percent. Moreover, more active exploration may yield previously undiscovered gas fields, which would further increase the overall volume of Ukraine’s deposits.
A Note on the End of the Cold War and Russia’s Persistent Imperial Vanity
I’ve no idea what CIA, GHCQ, NSA, et al. have been doing, but I’ve cause to believe I’ve both found and uncovered The Dots, fuzzy and large though they may be. Here they are:
Motivating Zawahiri to team up with Osama Bin Laden to work on fireworks for 9/11?
Addressing Islamic Extremism (and Osama Bin Laden) may have been something Moscow and Washington thought they might work on together.
Wishing not to repeat myself nor dull the reading with definitions (“Active Measures”, “Destabilization Operations”, “Hybrid Warfare”, etc.), it may do to stop here but with the observation that Russia’s barbaric behavior in Syria starting in 2011 may have also set the stage not only for the invasion of Ukraine but added emphasis to its various nuclear-related civilizational, existential, and political threats: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has no conscience.
Regarding the term “Mafia State” as applied to Russia
These newly established enforcers formed the seedy underbelly of Russian society that expanded upon the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the move towards free-market practices. Since his rise, Vladimir Putin has incentivized gangsters to do his bidding in a new way. Rather than overt collusion, the Russian government, as ABC puts it, “make[s] its views known” and allows gangs to operate within the guidelines set forward by Putin.
As the European Council on Foreign Relations notes, more and more crime networks tangentially linked to Russian actors have appeared all over Europe. Multiple politically convenient assassinations or assassination attempts have been made on anti-Russia figures by gang members who have been accused of being Russian assets. The Russian government, via the Russian mafia, has dabbled in ventures ranging from hacking to money laundering.
The west handled the “end of the Cold War” as if the key elements in “east-west rivalry” had been resolved and returns to the previous state of affairs could be dulled through cooperation, peace, and prosperity.
As much has proven over time an horrendous goof however noble the intents.
Putin & Co.’s Russia presents as nothing less than a most barbaric, criminal, and self-centered enterprise bent, enthralled, and maddened by its own destructive capability, narcissistic paranoia (see “Paranoid Delusional Narcissistic Reflection of Motivation”) and grandiose messianic delusions.
This with Russia’s criminal political enterprise persistent through Putin more from the Bolshevik camp than the Romanov will end in Russia internally–or from without but with consideration for The Russians en masse and for the world’s Modern International Standards in cultural comportment, development, integration, law, technology, and trade, all of which Putin & Co. have chosen to degrade and destroy without putting up anything at all that could be called Good.
Macron fears a nuclear exchange with a deranged Putin, but compromise anywhere along Ukraine’s writ will not damp that possibility. Putin’s criminal narcissistic psychopathy has been such as to compel ever greater distancing from the “narcissistic mortification” that derailed him on to a false heroic course in the first place. The only western solution for him and his codependents will be to reverse the tide in its entirety and get the demilitarized zone on the Russian side of the fence. In no way has Ukraine been at fault in relation to Russia’s aggression and barbaric caste. Putin, whatever demonic fantasia he may have as regards his own medieval revanche and resurgent and thug-reliant absolutism, may have just made himself Russia’s Last Emperor, Rus, and Varangian. Even Ukraine’s modern Russian-speaking citizens hate the onslaught driven by his delusional derangement.
I wrote that comment two hours ago here:
Russia’s despotic President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has escalated his real black politik to threatening the world’s food supply and nuclear security, and to think that encouraging him with a small morsel of eastern or southern Ukraine will appease either him or the weak men fully inveigled in his criminal madness should seem to the cool headed among political analysts and politicians worldwide irredeemably delusional. “Vovo” has succeeded primarily in making himself Russia’s Last Emperor, Rus, and Varangian, and beyond that, he has ruined Russia’s character, credibility, integrity, and reliability as a modern and responsible.
I had heard in the high school classroom of the 1970s that Russia’s history had long involved “taking one step backward before taking two steps forward.”
Although I lack the scholarship for filling out that statement with examples from the 10th Century to this day, I would suggest that Putin’s Feudal-Medieval Revanche has accomplished nothing for ordinary Russians and post-Soviet neighbors (viewed by Putin as still client states or satellites in a cooked-up Russian “Near Abroad”) but to associate the obscenity of breathtaking corruption with wealth (as with Ukraine’s former bullying political mafioso Viktor Yanukovych) while otherwise crawling along, if at all, with modern economic development and law. In place of Russia’s cooperation, friendship, and trade in the international sphere, Putin has through his actions and words put on full display his own brand of barbarism, enslavement (of Russian soldiers, no less), ethnic cleansing, and the crudest leveraging having to do not only with basic energy and food resources but with the pride and spine of greater leaders whose accomplishments he may never hope to achieve.
Putin has ruined himself, his image, and his stature in history while Russians left behind have paid the price for his ambitions and crimes internally–and they will pay a price too for his crimes at war, but with one caveat: Ukraine and the rest of the world need the healthier, modern, and much higher integrity state that a post-Putin & Company Russia needs must become.
Of course there’s much else related online, but at this point, the actively engaged may noodle through the news and opinion themselves. While I may return to bibliography, I wonder if with short opinions whether a need for it remains. With some posts–and some unwieldy writing–the scope of coverage has required reference as dots for connections. Here where Putin has brazenly and stupidly fashioned a gambit that comes to “Step up, step down, or step back–or else!” neither experience, knowledge, prudence, nor wisdom counsel appeasement.
The Rus warlords Oleg of Novgorod and Sviatoslav I of Kiev launched several wars against the Khazar khaganate, often with Byzantine connivance. The Schechter Letter relates the story of a campaign against Khazaria by HLGW (Oleg) around 941 (in which Oleg was defeated by the Khazar general Pesakh; this calls into question the timeline of the Primary Chronicle and other related works on the history of the Eastern Slavs.
Sviatoslav finally succeeded in destroying Khazar imperial power in the 960s. The Khazar fortresses of Sarkel and Tamatarkha fell to the Rus in 965, with the capital city of Atil following circa 967 or 969. A visitor to Atil wrote soon after the sacking of the city: “The Rus attacked, and no grape or raisin remained, not a leaf on a branch.”
Putin’s delusional accusations regarding Nazism in Ukraine better fit description as the “Paranoid Delusional Narcissistic Reflection of Motivation” than any dominant or significant political stance held in modern Ukraine, and the same may better inform Russians and the residents of EU/NATO of the character of his insanity than any truth about international affairs.