The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
Russia Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) and head of the Russian army's main department of combat preparation Ivan Buvaltsev watch military exercises at the Kirillovsky firing ground in the Leningrad region, March 3, 2014. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin  

Power, not stability or human rights, is Putin’s priority

Photo of Volodymyr Valkov
Volodymyr Valkov
Human Rights Activist

Russia is manipulating the population in Crimea and eastern parts of Ukraine. It is creating panic through its propagandistic news. There is no fascism in Ukraine. There are no neo-Nazis. There are no extremists who have supposedly seized control of the central government in Kyiv. There is no threat to Russian-speaking population or Russian citizens, except that which might (but hopefully not) provocatively be created by the Russian government itself.

There are even protests by Russians in Moscow against the Russian intervention in Ukraine. Russia — or rather, Mr. Putin, drunk with power and ashamed at losing his game in Kyiv, is only thinking about his personal imperial ambitions of being a modern-day tsar. That is it, he is not thinking about the people.

Power, not people, is on the Russian president’s mind. This conflict is a result of Putin’s aggression.

Just look at the way people live in Transnistria and the consequences of Russian so-called peacekeeping there. I have been there twice and was shocked by they way it has been stuck in time; in the worst of Soviet times. Putin’s strategy only works in the KGB sense, leaving millions of people in Russia and other areas of the world voiceless, penniless, and defenseless.

Ukraine’s diversity is an asset. You can speak any language you want here. Ukrainians are proud to have Russians, Jews, Tatars, Armenians and other nationalities as part of the modern Ukrainian statehood. But for Russia, diversity has always been a liability, a weakness to their population and mind control that is based on intimidation and economic deprivation.

Democracy in Ukraine is another strategic threat to Russia because it is afraid of public dissent and bottom-up empowerment of its people. That is why Russia is orchestrating provocations, as in Crimea, and his so-called peacekeeping mission to suppress the departure of Ukraine from Russia’s authoritarian orbit. Putin’s intervention is about power and control, not about people. Putin’s control in Crimea and parts of Ukraine will only bring more destitution and poverty as his track-record convincingly shows.

Ukraine is yet again trying to leave Russia’s corrupt suzerainty to build a democratic future for all of its citizens, regardless of language, origin, religion, ethnicity or any other basis. Mr. Putin, on the other hand, is desperately trying to hold on to his imperial sphere of influence to show the world he is control. That is why he can’t give up Ukraine.

Power-thirsty Putin wants to be able to hand-pick Ukrainian political leaders and has done so in the past. He has prevented Ukraine’s accession to NATO and hijacked Ukraine’s association with the EU. He objects to Ukraine’s membership in the EU and calls Ukraine a country with “sewn together” borders. He has applied sanctions and shut off gas supply to the “brotherly” Ukrainian nation.

Corruption and intimidation are Putin’s main tools wherever he operates. His geopolitical pride is such that he would rather see Ukraine become a corrupt desert than a democratic and peaceful state whose future success could undermine his eternal rule.