Doubts are growing about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mental state. How far will he go? Is he really that irrational?
By Guillermo Cortés Domínguez (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – It is not only in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa that there are those who believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost his mind, or part of it. There are people in Russia itself who also believe it, to the point where one of the Russian oligarchs, Alex Konanykhin, considers him capable of anything, even endangering humanity. Therefore, in the style of the US Old West, he has offered a reward of one million dollars to any soldiers who capture him for crimes against humanity.
There are several takes on the family life of Putin, whose parents suffered the cruelty of World War II and his two little brothers going hungry. The family was left destitute and had to give away little Vladimir so that he would have a better future. And he has had it. But, among other traumas resulting from this family tragedy, he cannot satisfy his ambitions.
The unthinkable decision to invade Ukraine on a large scale, despite the fact that the world warned him not to, alone suggests that Putin is not in his right mind, because he did not care about flagrantly violating international law or ignoring the advice of several heads of state who warned about the terrible consequences for the Ukrainian people, the whole world, and the Russian people themselves.
Then there are the bombings of several Ukrainian cities, leaving nothing in their wake but stones on top of stones, as the former Nicaraguan Minister of Justice Hernan Estrada said alluding to what Daniel Ortega would be able to do in Nicaragua, if he wanted to.
In a gathering honoring General Sandino, Nicaragua’s greatest patriot, for his defense of national sovereignty in the face of the 1927 invasion of U.S. troops, Ortega incongruously supported, almost enthusiastically, the Russian invasion of Ukraine – one of only four countries in the world to do so.
Alex Konanykhin is not alone in his doubts about Putin’s mental state. Experts from intelligence agencies in several countries including the United States have pointed to erratic and illogical behavior on the part of the Russian president. They believe the recent decisions he has made are not normal.
These specialized agencies, especially the ones from the US and Europe, work hard gathering and analyzing as much information as possible about Putin’s current state and how the package of economic sanctions imposed on him by allied countries in their support of Ukraine has affected him mentally.
Recently, Putin’s order to his government to draw up a list of the countries that have shown to be “unfriendly” against Russia since the invasion of Ukraine caused hilarity in the international community, since it is clearly a threat from the standpoint of who would have to answer to justice for their serious transgression of international law. The list was “approved” on Monday March 7.
Perhaps what has worried the world most has been Putin’s irresponsible — and defying all logic — behavior in activating his atomic device, the second most powerful in the world. “I order the Defense Minister and the Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces to put the Russian Army’s deterrent forces on alert,” Putin said in a televised address. “Deterrence” includes nuclear weapons.
All of the above is linked to the bombing, on Friday March 5, of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, located in central Ukraine in the city of Zaporizhia, which had it blown up, the reactors would have caused a radiation leak that would have devastated Ukraine and other countries, and reached all of Europe. Worse than Chernobyl in April 1986.
The Russian nuclear doctrine adopted in 2020 states that it would only resort to atomic weapons in one of the following four cases: when ballistic missiles were launched against Russian territory or an ally, when an adversary used nuclear weapons, an attack on a Russian nuclear weapons site, or an attack that threatened the very existence of the Russian state.
None of these conditions exist, but Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have, at various times, alluded to Russia’s nuclear capability, and experts fear that unstable mental health will throw Putin into a greater madness that would endanger all of humanity.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio recently posted on Twitter: “I can say that it’s pretty obvious to many that something is wrong with Putin.” The former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, went further, saying Putin had “changed” and sounded “completely disconnected from reality and unhinged.”
Body language analysts have also questioned the Russian president’s mental health, including some businessmen in his country who have pointed to his inability to sustain a stable relationship, his coldness, arrogance, haughtiness, self-centeredness, narcissism, cruelty, lack of empathy, megalomania, and essentially paranoid thinking, traits that indicate Vladimir Putin’s personality disorder.
On the other hand, President Vladimir Putin, in an unusual attempt to justify his war, has launched an intense propaganda campaign accusing President Zelenskyy and his government of being “Nazis”, and presenting himself as a purifier and exterminator of fascism in Ukraine.
The fact that Putin embarked on a major adventure against the people of Ukraine without knowing the actual state of the country he would invade also demonstrates serious recklessness, as the blitzkrieg, or his simple “military operation”, has already entered its second week resulting with more than eleven thousand Russians killed and much equipment destroyed by the Ukrainian fighters, between tanks, troop transport and artillery tanks, etc.
Putin believes the country called Ukraine, was “invented” by the Soviet Union. However, its invasion has clearly demonstrated the patriotism and high consciousness of its inhabitants about the Ukrainian national state. While the Russian troops begin to demoralize, the Ukrainians fight with their souls. How far will the Russian president go? Is he really that insane?