What matters most to Vladimir Putin, says Yury Felshtinsky, “is not so much to defeat Ukraine as to demonstrate to the whole world that Russia is ready to erase from the earth all territories that are not ready to subordinate to Moscow unconditionally”. And to a large extent, it succeeds.
The Russian historian of the Soviet security services and their post-Soviet epigones, based in the United States, claims that the destruction that the Russian army under the control of Moscow’s intelligence services inflicted on Ukrainian cities and the cruelty that inflicted on the Ukrainian people is a complete confirmation of this reality (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=62C49403AA7D8).
“The Russian leadership,” says Felshtinsky, “thus plans to frighten the whole world and force it to capitulate; and the argument that the Russian military is unprepared for a major war, that is, prepared for serious casualties, is the very last thing on Putin’s mind. For him, it is completely irrelevant how many tens of thousands of soldiers Russia loses.
“From the point of view of rational people, war is madness and Putin is mad. But here’s the thing: Putin, the Russian leadership, and the Russian people in their current state are absolutely irrational. Was Hitler mad? Was Stalin mad? The answer doesn’t matter if thousands of people supported them and support Putin now.
“Russia is ruled by a corporation of state security agents, the FSB, which finally seized power in the country in 2000 when it was able to install Putin as FSB chairman. Over the past 22 years, Putin has become the first among equals; his power and authority are unlimited.
Putin and his team eliminated those who disagreed with him, says Felshtinsky; and now, “Russia’s leadership is monolithic; and if something happened to Putin tomorrow and he disappeared from the political arena, he would be replaced by another collective Putin and everything would remain the same.
The only thing that could be a game-changer is disbanding the FSB and instituting a ban on its return under any name. And for that, the analyst says, Russia “must suffer a military defeat comparable to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.”
According to Felshtinsky, “the war in Ukraine is the best illustration of the irrationality of Russia’s special services and the Russian leadership that they actually have.” Consider what a good position Russia was in in March 2014 and where it is now, he observes. But Moscow went to war and sacrificed all of that in an attempt to intimidate.
That is what any Russian government dominated by the security services will do, regardless of Putin, even if the Russians or the West want to believe otherwise. Russia has never been a democracy and could not become one in 1991 due to the predominance of the security services.
Only if they are finally defeated will Russia and the world have a chance for a better future.