Okay, Putinism was always on the roll, though with some rough patches intermittently.
But, it seems the 10 days of break from public life has recharged the world’s most powerful dictator to take on the world again, the world efficiently pressed under his boots and the world that he so eagerly wants to dominate, but is incapable of.
The time after his another stage managed coup to continue on top of everything in Russia has not been good, particularly with his deepening adventures in Ukraine.
Though his bravado, enveloped by his machismo, did earn Russia Crimea and pushed Ukraine to a sustained internal war with rebels, it cost Russia heavily as well.
The meekness of the western world, the European countries and the United States of America, allowed Ukraine to be torn apart, and to save their faces, they resorted to the routine of imposing sanctions.
But even this routine step is proving effective and Russia is reeling under its after-effects.
Russian economy is in bad shape and this derailment may prove out a worse nightmare for Putin than the bad days of ‘toned down economic blitzkrieg owing to the low energy prices’.
The world knows the Russian tiger was running fast fuelled by the oil money and Putinism’s genius had no role to play in it.
Oil prices continue to remain low. And with the Ukraine (mis)adventure, the Russian tiger is increasingly find itself in a quagmire with its pace nailed to a ground that is positioned to remain unstable.
Latest figures show the world a ‘rapid economic contraction’ in Russia, a Reuters report says. Rouble has taken a massive hit and domestic consumption is feeling the heat.
Though the Russian leaders say the ‘worst is over’, the same is not shared by the outside world.
The ‘Crimea Act’ had earned Putin and Putinism brownie points in Russia under the garb of patriotism and nationalism. It was after a long time that Putin enjoyed high popularity ratings and it was in the ‘aftermath’ of his Ukraine calculations.
But the continued downward economic spiral, adding to the bad days of the low oil prices, was a potential trigger to darken the prospects of this ‘patriotic’ Putin. To remain larger than life, Putin needs to push his ‘ultra-patriot macho’ image because this only can give him the leverage to blunt the edge of any potential voice against him in Russia.
Now, since he has crushed the political opposition in Russia, he would like to downplay any development that can give voice to the voiceless political opposition in the country.
But, the developments that can voice another round of political opposition as we saw during 2011-12, during his bid on re-election as the next Russian President (for the third term), are beyond his control – the oil prices and the economic sanctions.
The Russian economy is in shambles and Putin cannot do anything about it. But he can do to make it look normalizing. He needs to create the mirrors of diversions and his experience tells the ‘nationalism of a macho’ can handle it better.
So, after the break that gave rise to colourful conspiracy theories like from fathering a love child to ‘ being ousted in a silent coup by a group of powerful anti-Putinism generals’, he got back with a bang charging the world with his nuclear tongue.
After his ‘surfacing up’ act, he ‘warned’ the world that Russia was all set for a ‘nuclear war’ putting its nuclear forces on alert during Crimea annexation. For the first time, in a voice that would sound ‘heroic’ to the Russians, he admitted that Russian soldiers were in Crimea to take care of referendum and annexation.
Next, his ‘machismo’ found friends in many leaders (read autocrats and dictators, including Kim Jong-Un) to celebrate the 70th anniversary of World War II victory (to be celebrated next month, so time to build up further on the propaganda).
And yesterday, after reappearing act of March 16, Putin threatened Denmark. He threatened Denmark to nuke the ‘warships of the Danes’ if they joined the ‘missile defence shield’ of NATO.
Putinism’s nuclear tongue is on a roll and expect more of his ‘ultra-patriotic-nationalistic-machismo’ speak to colour the pages of geopolitics as Putin’s Russia moves ahead with time trying to address it economic woes.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/