"Putin is a foul human being. He will outlive us all"
Vladimir Putin's recent musings have been unusual even by his standards, writes Russian oppositionist Leonid Gozman for Novaya Gazeta Europe.Source: NOVAYA GAZETA EUROPE; DANAS
As he stated, his musings have sparked speculation about his mental state.
He added that it is not just Putin's claim that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was "appointed by the West specifically so that his Jewish ethnicity could be used as a fig leaf for the country's Nazi policies."
Putin also recently claimed that as few as 150 artists had fled Russia since the war began — just two per region, what’s all the fuss about? — adding that their departure was ultimately a good thing for Russia as they had been promoting “non-traditional values” anyway.
As he said, Putin didn’t stop there, also finding time to claim that Boris Yeltsin’s former chief of staff, Anatoly Chubais, was illegally residing abroad under the name Moshe Israilevich, having fled Russia, although Putin admitted he didn’t understand why he had done so, as he had no criminal case to answer. At least not for now.
Then, trying to make a humorous comeback to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's comment that peace in Ukraine takes "two to tango," Putin said that in fact everyone would be forced to perform the barinya, a traditional Russian folk dance, instead.
Gozmán said since the remarks go beyond the general level of exuberance Putin typically offers his audience, some observers expressed concern. "Is he healthy? Is he still capable of carrying out his official duties?". He added that while he believes Putin has been incapable for some time, his health appears to be perfectly fine.
"In fact, he will probably outlive us all. What happened is that Putin stopped holding back and started thinking out loud," he said.
"The mask slips"
Gozman claims that the mask is off, but what caused its fall? There are three main possibilities.
The first is that he is experiencing age-related personality degeneration with psychopathic accentuation, resulting in declining self-control.
A second option is that he has simply ceased caring what anybody thinks: I’ll say what I want, and you’ll all applaud me for it anyway. Serfs only serve one purpose, after all.
A third possibility is the fragile grip on reality he has caused by a constant stream of flattery combined with the utter loneliness of his existence has resulted in profound delusion.
In any case, his comments weren’t intended to manipulate Russians — he actually believes everything he says, which is far worse. While we busy ourselves trying to fathom what’s behind his gnomic statements, it turns out it’s just Putin’s true self.
Putin’s desperate need to be liked has often led him to make poor decisions.
"A Foul Human Being"
Putin’s claim that Zelensky was “appointed by the West” is most notable for what it reveals about his understanding of democracy — the idea that presidents are chosen by an electorate is clearly unfathomable to him.
"This combination of homophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, ethnocentrism, conspiracy theories and disdain for anyone who doesn’t reflexively genuflect before authority might be given any number of scientific names. I personally term it being a foul human being", he said and added:
"Every day we get another peek inside the dark and rather horrifying world of Vladimir Putin. It has almost nothing in common with reality, but Putin is none the wiser. Wearing his mask or not, he continues making decisions and giving orders while the war rages on", Gozman concluded.