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GAVRIIL GRIGOROV (KREMLIN/ REUTERS)

Putin's Interview: The Complete Image of Russian Nazism

Petro Oleshchuk

7 mins - 11 de Febrero de 2024, 22:00

Russian dictator V. Putin's interview with American T. Carlson aroused considerable interest in the world, although, perhaps, not in the way the Kremlin had hoped. Putin's very long, confusing, and boring historical lectures remained incomprehensible even to those in the West who might have been quite loyal to him.

But behind the ironic comments about the ancient princes of the past, the message that Putin was obviously trying to convey to the Western audience was largely overlooked. And this message is, by its very nature, as Nazi as it gets. It is ironic that at the same time, Putin separately demanded "denazification" for Ukraine, which he himself understands as "banning Nazi organizations." And at the same time, he began to publicly justify the leader of German Nazism, A. Hitler. In Putin's view, it was Poland that provoked Hitler to attack it with its "intransigence". It could have simply ceded the territories claimed by Germany. Interestingly, Russia itself has a legal ban on the justification of Nazism, and if any of Putin's subjects were to say such words in public, they could well end up in prison. But Putin is above his own laws, and he quite frankly publicly admires the Nazis of the past.

And if Putin's amateurish opinions on Russian and world history can be perceived ironically, his justification of Hitler should leave no doubt that Putin plans to do the same thing Hitler did.

Regarding the history of Poland, it is worth recalling that it was not the first state against which Hitler's Germany committed aggression. The first was Czechoslovakia, to which the Nazis also issued an ultimatum: either give up part of your own territories or there will be war. As a result, the leaders of the Western powers got Czechoslovakia to surrender because they were too afraid of war. However, the Munich Agreement, which gave part of Czechoslovakia to Germany, did not stop any war or the occupation of Czechoslovakia, and did not "pacify" anyone. Within a year, Czechoslovakia ceased to exist, and the Czech Republic was occupied and became part of the Third Reich. And as an occupied territory, the Czechs were subjected to all kinds of persecution: from direct repression and concentration camps to the destruction of entire villages as part of the "fight against partisans." So it was no surprise that Poland decided to resist. It was already clear to everyone that it would not be possible to appease the aggressor.

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Another important point that clearly unites Putin's interview with Carlson with any of Hitler's speeches is the idea of some kind of "historical rights" that seem to justify any aggression. This is wild and ridiculous to hear for a twenty-first century person, but for people like Putin or Hitler, it is all completely natural and understandable. They sincerely believe that the stories of some princes and their principalities from the distant past can be a reason to bomb cities, kill people, and destroy their lives today. Because it is "historically just," because it must be so, because once a ruler wrote a letter to another ruler, in which he allegedly asked to annex some territories.

Further, Putin actually devoted most of his speech to trying to prove that Ukraine has no right to exist as a state. Everything was used. Princes of the past, documents from the 17th century, theories that Ukraine was invented in the Austrian General Staff or in Poland. In addition, according to Putin, "Ukrainians still consider themselves Russians." This is all very important because it shows that no agreements with Putin on Ukraine are possible. For Putin, Ukraine is an "artificial state". The same as Czechoslovakia was for Hitler. And if it is an "artificial state," it must be destroyed. Not by capturing some part of it, not by getting it to join NATO.

At the same time, Putin himself demonstratively complained that Ukraine had refused to sign the ready-made agreements in Istanbul because of "Western pressure." And again, he called on the West to make peace, even generously promising not to attack NATO. Is it possible to trust Putin's promises in principle if he does not recognize Ukraine's right to exist for "historical" reasons? What other states does Putin consider "artificial"? The Baltic states, which are NATO members, and an attack on which would mean a direct confrontation with Putin?



Accordingly, the prospects of any "ceasefire" even in theory now seem almost impossible. Putin can sign all the papers he wants, but will it change his worldview? He will obviously continue to believe that Ukraine and other former Soviet republics are fake states created artificially. No matter by whom: Lenin, Stalin, the Poles, or the Austrians. The main thing is that they are wrong, and therefore must be annexed and absorbed by Russia. Consequently, any concessions can only be temporary and tactical. Like the Minsk Agreements of 2014, which Russia signed and then violated at a time when it considered it most advantageous.

When Russia launched a full-scale aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, the Russian regime obviously conceived of this war as something similar to the Wehrmacht's Polish Campaign: a quick defeat of the Ukrainian army and the occupation of Ukraine itself. With the subsequent redistribution of territories and the incorporation of Ukraine into Russia. Of course, on the basis of "historical rights" to do so, and on the basis that Ukrainians can be considered the same as Russians. If some Ukrainians did not like this, they could be declared "Nazis" and destroyed as part of "denazification." As it happened in Bucha and other occupied Ukrainian cities.

But the Russians' plan failed because they overestimated their own and underestimated Ukrainian forces. Accordingly, the war entered a long phase, and the Wehrmacht's "Polish Campaign" dragged on for years. Anyone who has read books about World War II knows what followed the Polish Campaign. There was an attack on Denmark and Norway, the immediate occupation of Belgium and the Netherlands, the surrender of France, and German troops in Paris. Now, Ukraine has managed to prolong the first stage of the war as much as possible, but this has not become a lesson for others. The Western world continues to live with the idea that they will not be affected because Putin does not have enough strength or his plans do not go beyond Ukraine. But the problem is that a hateful ideology is called such because it is characterized by hatred of different peoples and ethnic groups. Not just Ukrainians alone. Putin can make territorial claims to various neighbors and start new wars. From his point of view, this will be "right" because he is simply restoring "historical justice." And he is not interested in how many people will have to be killed to realize these goals, and where these people will be located.

For a long time, a number of politicians, journalists, and other "opinion leaders" in the West have tried to rationalize Putin. They say he just wants to protect himself from NATO. He does not want Western troops to approach his borders. He is afraid of "color revolutions," etc. But the reality was quite different. In Putin's interview with Tucker Carlson, everyone could see a crazed psychopath guided by his own ideas about the history of a thousand years ago as a basis for genocide in the twenty-first century. Who calls entire nations "fictional" and states "artificial." And how can he be perceived as a rational geopolitical player suitable for negotiations with him?

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