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Obsession and War: Story of Russia

Putin has explicitly described Ukraine as a "historical Russian land". Last summer, at a time when Russian tanks and armoured vehicles were already assembling on Ukraine's borders. We now know it was a dress rehearsal for the invasion. Putin did an extraordinary thing. He became an amateur historian. He sat down, called up books, papers, and essays, and wrote the 5,000-word treatise. In a speech, Putin gave his most apparent answer yet. Ukraine is an illegitimate country that exists on land that is historically and rightfully Russian: Ukraine never had stable traditions of real statehood," as he puts it. He goes on, "the incumbent Ukrainian Government's overtures to the West, as well as its hostile attitude towards Moscow, are an attempt to stand up as a fraudulent government." This combination is unacceptable to Putin: an anti-Russian leadership in the land he considers legitimately Russian, populated by rightfully Russian people. Putin's central assertion that no historical Ukrainian country is worthy of modern-day sovereignty is patently incorrect. The speech is consistent with a Paper from Putin entitled, "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians". The 5,000-word article was published on July 12 and featured narratives favoured by Putin throughout the past seven years of undeclared war between Russia and Ukraine. He declared that "the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster [in which] tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory". Putin genuinely believes in militant Russian nationalism. A broader invasion is not unavoidable. However, it is a mistake to reduce Russia's reason to a single clear grievance - fear of Ukraine joining NATO or a plain aggressive desire to acquire Ukrainian territory. From Putin's perspective, these elements are inextricably linked in a complicated historical and ideological tale. Essentially, he sets out his crucial idea: Ukraine was never an independent country that was always part of Russia.

They are going back to the 10th century and channelling these ideas of reuniting a divided kingdom. Restoring spiritual unity and also teaching the West a lesson. Ukraine's origins go back a long way, and Putin would say that Russia's origins are the same and go back the same distance in time. Imagine a flowing river with a few wooden encampments if one skims through a thousand years. A citadel and Vikings are paddling down from the north. A city-state called Kyivan Rus and Vladimir Prince. Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kyiv, and ruler of Kievan Rus' from 980 to 1015. He admired orthodoxy, and he got baptized. As Putin would see it, Russian civilization was a single united kingdom, and Putin essentially is arguing that we should go back to that. In the 12th century, since Sofia, this kind of wonderful cathedral still stood in the centre of Kyiv and Moscow. For Putin, this proves in his mind that there is unity between these countries and that Ukraine is never really a thing. It has always been historical Russia and spiritual Russia- something he strongly believes in and drives the war today. If you can do Crimea, then why not do more?

On February 21, 2022, Putin held the most extraordinary meeting of his presidency, where he summoned his security council. Putin is in one corner on a little chair, and a bit like naughty school kids, his security council members are on the other. Putin has a plan to recognize independent Donetsk and People's Republics formally. These are puppet-Russian entities in the east of Ukraine- one is negotiating with Kyiv is over, but two, essentially, it means war. It is a feudal exercise in fealty and oath sharing where these essential and powerful individuals have to get up and say they agree with the plan. They all agree that Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russian Foreign Intelligence, gets his lines wrong, and Putin slaps him down. The whole elite says that they will follow Putin's course and what turns out to be what he calls a 'special operation' in Ukraine. Special operation read full-blown war. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has launched a major military operation against Ukraine as Russian troops continue to invade. Ukrainian defence forces are putting up a fight to slow Russia's advancements. This military campaign has not gone the way that Putin thought it would. Putin is convinced that Ukraine was a place run by nazis. But the ordinary Ukrainians were yearning to be liberated by Russian troops. When Russian soldiers came in, they would greet them in traditional Ukrainian fashion with flowers or with bread and salt; instead,

mortars greeted them. They were greeted by babushka fighting for its survival against Russian occupation and what could be argued as essentially Russian fascism.

Vladimir Putin has always been suspicious, paranoid and prone to conspiratorial thinking. He was KGB, after all. It is, therefore, a priori. It is how he sees the world, and the question is, do you know he has gone mad or is he acting rationally within his warped parameters within his fictitious reality? It is not just narcissism constantly being there with Putin but a growing sense of a messianic purpose that god has sent him by history. Unfortunately, one thinks Putin enjoys widespread support for what he is doing now. Even though the version being told to Russians is a lie. One thinks this is the beginning of the end of Putin. This is the last act. If this is a Shakespearean drama, we are in act five, scene one or scene two, act five. There are three more scenes to go.


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