GGreat leaders celebrate and give themselves gifts. In time for his 70th birthday, Putin has announced the entry of more territories into history Russian Federation reported. He can thus claim to have once again enlarged Russia, which has been suffering from phantom pains since the fall of the Soviet Union. This is still not to the extent that Peter the Great managed. But also as a fearless conqueror who unswervingly follows the mission of bringing the Russians in the neighborhood, both old and new, home to the Reich and forcing other peoples back under Moscow’s yoke. Putin would probably not banish anyone to Siberia who would give him the nickname “the Great” even during his lifetime. At best, however, the title that Ivan IV was given in the history books would fit: the terrible.
Putin didn’t just get that in the Ukraine acquired. The Russian president had already demonstrated his unscrupulousness, his brutality and his cynicism in his earlier campaigns. Unlike in the wars in Chechnya or Georgia, however, with the attack on the former “brother people” Putin terrified the whole of Europe and plunged him into a serious energy and economic crisis, the duration of which is not yet foreseeable. The shockwaves from the quake that Putin triggered travel around the world. Wherever they arrive, they destroy prosperity and the sense of security. Instead, they bring debt and despair. Putin’s war is making the whole world poorer, hungrier, and more insecure.
Beijing will never be as naive as Berlin
The Russians themselves are already paying a heavy price for his obsession with fame and glory. You will have to pay him in blood and rubles for a long time. With his war, Putin destroyed Russia’s previous business model: delivering oil, gas, coal and other natural resources to the West in exchange for a lot of money and modern technology. That will soon be over for good. The blown up pipes in the Baltic Sea, whoever punctured them, are a symbol of this. Europa painfully pulls the energy infusion from Siberia out of her arm. It will not become dependent on Russia’s gas and oil again. Moscow may be counting on China stepping in as a customer – if one day new pipelines are built in the Middle Kingdom. But then the Kremlin itself could feel what dependency means. Nobody gets anything for free from the Chinese. And Beijing will never be as naive as Berlin was.
Putin has already largely lost the opportunity to influence the decisions of the “collective West” via the gas tap, although he apparently still believes that freezing Germans in particular would force their government to heave to heel in winter. But because the use of the gas weapon itself did not stop the German government from supporting the Ukrainians with money and then even heavy artillery, which contributed to Kiev’s military successes, Putin is now reaching even higher in his threats: If Father Frost is not enough, to freeze the blood in the veins of the Germans, then surely the prospect of a nuclear winter?
The Germans’ pronounced fear of nuclear power is well known. Should anyone have forgotten them, then the adventurous debate about the last three remaining nuclear power plants reminded them of it. Putin’s statement that his threat with the nuclear arsenal was “not a bluff” was aimed at Kyiv and all of its supporters, including America. However, it is likely to have the greatest effect in Germany, where the chancellor announced immediately after the “turning point” was proclaimed that no matter what the pledge of allegiance to Ukraine, one must avoid ending up in a nuclear war at the end of a spiral of escalation.