Putin Does Not Represent Russia

By George Cassidy*

Vladimir Putin. Foto: RT Noticias

HAVANA TIMES – I think it is crucial to separate the leadership tactics of Vladimir Putin from the people of Russia. Putin is a mobster, grafter, nationalist, and authoritarian cold warrior. His snooping and corruption is not indicative of the Russian people, nor has it ever been.

Historically, Russia is Tolstoy and ballet; space missions and classical music; WWII and Olympic hockey. Russia is a highly educated society that possesses a rich and noble cultural heritage. She has unique nature preserves, marvelous churches, and 15 cities with populations over 1 million.

The list of famous artists, sculptors, writers, and actors, not to mention outstanding Russian athletes, is seemingly endless. Where would the world of literature be without the masterpieces of Dostoevsky? Where would the world of ballet be without the genius of Tchaikovsky? What about the stage without the works of Chekhov? The same question can be asked about art without Chagall, poetry without Turgenev, and cinema without Esenstein.

The contributions to the world of science have been equally prolific.

The first to discover the Law of Conservation was Lomonosov. The inventor of the first photo-electrical element was Alexander Stoletov. The founder of field surgery was Nikolay Pirogov. The Nobel Prize winning founder of physiology was Ivan Pavlov. The greatest woman mathematician of her generation was undoubtedly Sofia Kovalevskaya.

Without Russia, the world would not have icon painting and War and Peace, or the literary theories of Nabokov and super advanced rocket technology.

To ignorantly equate Russia, which is an ambitious, immense, mysterious, powerful, honor bound nation with a man of Putin’s minor stature is not only misinformed but insulting to the greatness of this country. If Putin was an American, he would be a cross between Al Capone, Richard Nixon, and John Wayne.

In contrast, Russia is a vast, immaculate, and infinitely creative place of the human imagination.

Putin is a murderous dictator with no dreams of innocence left to explore. Russia is one of the world’s largest economies (1.3 trillion GDP). Putin is one of the world’s most notorious thieves. Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. As has been shown in Chechnya, Ukraine, Crimea, Syria, and elsewhere, Putin is an existential threat to international peace.

Russia is the largest producer of oats and barley in the world. Putin’s greed means that millions in his oil rich nation must needlessly starve. Russia has the largest forests in the world, the largest unfrozen fresh water reserves, the largest natural gas reserves, and the largest total length of electrified railways.

Yet Putin insists on squandering his nation’s abundance on military buildups and invasions, cyber warfare, and organized crime. Russia is the largest producer of diamonds in the world. Putin treats his treasury like a pawn shop. I could go on.

What is not being talked about in the media, is that US citizens can be against Putin and for Russia. The US can investigate meddling in elections and also give the Russian people the benefit of the doubt. (After-all, our government is doing some pretty nefarious things in other countries that most citizens do not know about.)

What needs to be talked about more, is that US citizens-including our president- can reject the violent and selfish policies of Putin while standing firm and resolute with the people he purports to rule. .

*Guest author George Cassidy Payne is a domestic violence counselor, adjunct professor of philosophy, founder of the Lower Falls Foundation, and freelance writer. George lives and works in Rochester, NY.


9 thoughts on “Putin Does Not Represent Russia

  • Just as Trump represents (part of) America, so too does Putin represent ( part of) Russia. Each represents what their respective nations have become (not that they will remain that way). I’ve just seen the trailer for a film which captures the spiritual vacuum of what Russia has become: “Loveless,” and expectantly am awaiting the possibility of viewing it via Netflix or YouTube (as it will never come to my little “-boro” here in Vermont). I suspect that many Russians have vague spiritual yearnings, like the characters in TChekov’s plays, for a future time when life will be beautiful and much better. So do we here in the States!

  • You are hoping that your letter is supporting your career and/or you are getting a salary for living.

  • Kennedy Earle Clarke: I agree that Russians are a valiant people….and deserve a greater recognition for being so amazing brave during WWII. That stated, i would like to point out to you that 29 million people died during Stalin’s purges. http://www.history.com/topics/joseph-stalin . We also need to be reminded just how awful Eastern Europe was for their populace, especially those fleeing to seek a better life.

  • Good point about Russians being great people.

    But you’re wrong about Putin. You’ve been fed propaganda. Putin has taken Russia out of poverty and put it back on the right track. The accusations you have against him are unproven, anti Putin propaganda from the western media, the same media that lie to us every day. You just have to look at the way they treat Trump, you know the media is an extension of the Democratic party.

  • Very good point Anne, making a difference between being against a government and its policies but not the people of the country. Here’s another example… the USA. One can see many good things in the country and at the same time can be against its president and many of his policies. Equating Cuba = Revolution = the Castros and their policies is just plain ignorant.

  • Brother Ken Heibert, Russia suffered over 20 million dead people in World WarII and drove back the Germans. It liberated Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia and all Eastern Europe and was the first country to reach into Germany having driven back the so-called Invincible German Army. That is why it occupied Eastern Germany. The truth must be told at some time or other. Propaganda will evaporate into thin air when confronted by historical truth!

  • Further on the history of Russia, if you can, watch the series The World at War (narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier). There are two episodes specifically about Russia, Barbarossa and Stalingrad.

    We owe a great deal to those Russians who fought so fiercely to drive back the German army.

  • I found this article so illuminating. Like gold leaf painted on icons. There’s information here that I guess most Americans are ignorant of. Your points are similar to what I’ve told people about a recent visit to Cuba. You can be against the Cuban government policies and restrictions, and for the Cuban people. Same for any country in the world.
    Thanks George

  • Totally agree that President Putin is one thing and that the Russian nation and peoples are another.
    Totally agree with comments regarding Russian arts and culture.
    And totally agree with the bit about the USA doing ‘nefarious things in other countries that most citizens do not know about’ (The countless victims and the human race at large are most certainly aware of many of these horrific acts).

    But suggesting that the current rogue U.S. President is going to reject Russia’s meddling in the US democratic process………?
    So trump is going to act against those that opened the door of The White House for him?
    The rogue US President is Russia’s perfect revenge for the USA’s support of the drunkard clown Yeltsin.
    What goes around comes around.
    The current rogue US President is most certainly an example of fascist promoting scum and a one man black page in the history of the United States of America, but he’s not so stupid as to venture to bite the hand that feeds………

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