Putin, a “communist”? Please! Read his speeches!
Editor’s note: This article was recently posted here in a Portuguese translation by Chauke Stephan Filho. Here it is posted in English, translation by Chauke Filho. Source: El Manifiesto; Author: Sertorio; Original title in Spanish: “Putin, el verbo y la idea”; Publication date: May 6, 2023
The publishing house Ediciones Fides has just published Putin: escritos y discursos [Putin: Writings and Speeches], an interesting selection of the most important texts of the Russian president, dated from February 2000 to December 2022, that is, practically the entire period of government of the Kremlin leader. The book brings as introduction a study by Juan António Aguilar — one of our best experts in Russia and founder of the Spanish Institute of Geopolitics — that deserves to be read, especially for the author’s deep knowledge of Russian politics, a country he has visited many times and with which he maintains intense contact. In these pages, the real Putin is portrayed — quite different from the image of the cancerous, crazy and fanatical man that the Western mainstream media delightfully paint him.
Nevertheless, it is directly from what the Russian president says and does that we can draw the most significant conclusions about his personality and his politics. In February 2000, shortly after his accession to power, he wrote an open letter to his voters foreshadowing how he would act: “Continuing to evade is much more dangerous than accepting the challenge.” The letter contained a message often reiterated during the past two decades, saying that only a strong state could deliver Russia from the dismantling it is subjected to by the liberal experiments of Yeltsin and his oligarchs. Hence its appeal to the citizenry:
Probably each of you has your own idea as to what might be at the root of our setbacks and miscalculations. However, it is high time that the citizens of Russia come to terms with what to expect from the state and how to support it. Now I am talking about our national priorities. Without this, we will again waste time in vain, and irresponsible demagogues will decide our fate.
The restoration of the Russian state and the defense of its interests against external impositions is the main orientation of Putin’s policy. He also draws red lines on the ground in the face of Western meddling in Moscow’s area of influence:
Russia is no longer the truncated map of the Soviet Union […]. A great country cherishes its freedom and respects that of others. It is unreasonable to be afraid of a strong Russia, but the enemy who provokes us must know that he plays with fire.
Regarding Russia’s relations with the misnamed “European” Union, it is sad to read this text from 2006, so full of lost illusions:
Russia, both in its spirit and in its historical traditions, is part of the “European family.” We do not seek to join the European Union. Nevertheless, looking at the issue from a longer-term perspective, I see no adverse areas for an equitable strategic association, an association based on common aspirations and values.
At that time, Putin still believed in a mutually beneficial confluence of interests between Russia and the misnamed “European” Union. It would be a pact between equals that would free Russia from a subordinate condition in its relationship with the overbearing Anglo-Saxons. Today, only ashes remain of that rapprochement. And of the dream of an integrated Eurasian space from the Azores archipelago to Vladivostok, it seems that the ashes themselves have been burned.
Converted into the backyard of the Yankee empire, Europe is now just the name of a corpse.
In another speech, this one on September 30, 2022, on the occasion of the admission of the republics of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzia and Kherson into the Russian Federation, Putin emphasized that the elites in the United States were engaged not only in shooting down Russia, but also in “destroying national states.” He continued, “This applies to Europe, this threatens the identity of France, Italy, Spain, this is an attack on other countries with long historical tradition.”
And, still in that same message, he added:
Washington demands more and more sanctions against Russia. Most obedient European politicians agree with this aggression. They clearly know that the United States, by forcing the EU not to buy energy and other resources from Russian suppliers, causes the deindustrialization of Europe […]. The European elites are fully aware of what is going on, but they prefer to serve the unacknowledged interests of foreigners. More than subservience, there is direct treasonous action against their peoples.
Putin’s opinion of the West has changed radically in recent years, not only because of considerations of a strategic nature. He states:
We note with surprise the processes taking place in countries that for centuries enjoyed the self-concept that placed them at the forefront of progress. Evidently, however, the socio-cultural upheavals in the United States and Western Europe are not our business, we don’t meddle in it.
Despite the caveat, the Russian president did not fail to express his astonishment at the insistence with which Westerners indulge in insane theories and practices, of which he gives examples:
The aggressive cancellation of entire pages of their own history, the ‘reverse discrimination’ of majorities in favor of minorities, the abandonment of the traditional understanding of the family and the pretended cancellation of the very obvious differences between Dad and Mom.
From his own historical perspective, Putin links this social engineering of European liberalism with the experience of Russia’s past. On this issue, he says the following:
All this has already occurred in Russia, we have already been through it. After the Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks, relying on the dogmas of Marx and Engels, also announced that they would change all life, not only political and economic aspects, but even the idea of human morality, the foundations of the existence of a healthy society. The destruction of secular values reached faith, relationships between people, culminating in the complete rejection of the family — this was what induced and stimulated ideological denunciations between loved ones in the core of the families thus disintegrated — and all this was declared a step towards progress and […] had a lot of support all over the world, it was fashionable. Nowadays that fashion is back. In addition, of course, the Bolsheviks also showed absolute intolerance for any opinion other than their own.
Reading these pages, in which he expresses his admiration for Alexander II and Alexander III, for [General Anton Ivanovich] Denikin , as well as for [General Alexei Alexeievich] Brusílov, I doubt that anyone feels anything but contempt for the lying story that talks about a communist Putin. This lie can be exposed by the following passage from the Message of February 21, 2022, much criticized by real communists:
From the point of view of the historical destiny of Russia and its peoples, Leninist state-building principles proved to be more than just a mistake, it was something worse. After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, this became very evident.
And, of course, there is more than enough material in the collection for the study of the crises in Ukraine and Syria. Reading Putin’s speeches and articles, the reader will realize that efforts for a negotiated solution with Ukraine were only abandoned shortly before the Special Military Operation began.
In his speech commemorating the 1,160th anniversary of the Russian statehood, Putin made very clear his idea of Russia and the policy needed for it. He said the following:
For more than a thousand years, history has taught Russia that relaxing its sovereignty or giving up its interests, even for a short time, poses mortal danger to itself. When that happened, even briefly, Russia’s existence was threatened.
Let no one expect us to repeat those mistakes [of the 1990s]. We will not succumb to any blackmail, we will not give in to any intimidation, we will not disloyalize and we will not lose our sovereignty. On the contrary, by strengthening it, we will be developing our country.
Sovereignty is the guarantee of freedom for all. According to our traditions, no one will be free if his people, his homeland, if Russia is not free.
Having thus assimilated the lessons that history has taught Russia, Putin put them into practice once again on February 22, 2022. The Russian leader testifies that he tries to live as he thinks. Putin has not betrayed the words and ideas of his writings and speeches.
From the above-linked Wikipedia page on Alexander III:
- Alexander was hostile to Jews; his reign witnessed a sharp deterioration in the Jews’ economic, social, and political condition. His policy was eagerly implemented by tsarist officials in the “May Laws” of 1882. These laws encouraged open anti-Jewish sentiment and dozens of pogroms across the western part of the empire. As a result, many Jews emigrated to Western Europe and the United States. They banned Jews from inhabiting rural areas and shtetls (even within the Pale of Settlement) and restricted the occupations in which they could engage.
- From the above-lined Wikipedia page on Denikin:
Antisemitism and anti-Masonry
White Russian anti-Bolshevik propaganda poster, c. 1919. Senior Bolsheviks (Sverdlov, Zinoviev, Lenin, Trotsky, Kamenev, and Radek) sacrifice an allegorical character representing Russia to a statue of Karl Marx.
During the Russian Civil War, an estimated 50,000 Jews were killed in pogroms. Ukrainian forces, nominally under the control of Symon Petliura, perpetrated approximately 40 percent of the recorded pogroms, although Petliura never ordered his forces to engage in such activity and eventually exhorted his troops to refrain from the violence. The White Army is associated with 17 percent of the attacks, and was generally responsible for the most active propaganda campaign against Jews, whom they openly associated with communism.The Red Army is blamed for 9 percent of the pogroms.
In the territories it occupied, Denikin’s army carried out mass executions and plunder, in what was later known as the White Terror. In the town of Maykop in Circassia during September 1918, more than 4,000 people were massacred by General Pokrovsky’s forces.[ In the small town of Fastov alone, Denikin’s Volunteer Army murdered over 1,500 Jews, mostly elderly, women, and children.
The press of the Denikin regime regularly incited violence against communist Jews and Jews seen as communists in the context of treason committed by Red agents. For example, a proclamation by one of Denikin’s generals incited people to “arm themselves” in order to extirpate “the evil force which lives in the hearts of Jew-communists.”
Religious and faithful to the Russian Orthodox Church, Denikin did not criticise the pogroms against the Jewish population until the end of 1919. Denikin believed that most people had reasons to hate Jews and wished to avoid an issue that divided his officers. Many of them, intensely anti-Semitic, allowed pogroms under their watch, which turned into a method of terror against the Jewish population and served to earn the favour of the Ukrainian people for much of 1919.
Western sponsors were dismayed at the widespread antisemitism in the Whites’ officer ranks, especially as the Bolsheviks sought to officially prohibit acts of anti-Semitism. Winston Churchill personally warned General Denikin that:
[M]y task in winning support in Parliament for the Russian Nationalist cause will be infinitely harder if well-authenticated complaints continue to be received from Jews in the zone of the Volunteer Armies.
John Ernest Hodgson, a British war correspondent with Denikin’s forces, said the following of Denikin’s and his officers’ antisemitism:
I had not been with Denikin more than a month before I was forced to the conclusion that the Jew represented a very big element in the Russian upheaval. The officers and men of the Army laid practically all the blame for their country’s troubles on the Hebrew. They held that the whole cataclysm had been engineered by some great and mysterious secret society of international Jews, who, in the pay and at the orders of Germany, had seized the psychological moment and snatched the reins of government. All the figures and facts that were then available appeared to lend colour to this contention. No less than 82 per cent of the Bolshevik Commissars were known to be Jews, the fierce and implacable ‘Trotsky,’ who shared office with Lenin, being a Yiddisher whose real name was Bronstein. Among Denikin’s officers this idea was an obsession of such terrible bitterness and insistency as to lead them into making statements of the wildest and most fantastic character. Many of them had persuaded themselves that Freemasonry was, in alliance with the Jews, part and parcel of the Bolshevik machine, and that what they had called the diabolical schemes for Russia’s downfall had been hatched in the Petrograd and Moscow Masonic lodges. When I told them that I and most of my best friends were Freemasons, and that England owed a great deal to its loyal Jews, they stared at me askance and sadly shook their heads in fear for England’s credulity in trusting the chosen race. One even asked me quietly whether I personally was a Jew. When America showed herself decidedly against any kind of interference in Russia, the idea soon gained wide credence that President Woodrow Wilson was a Jew, while Mr. Lloyd George was referred to as a Jew whenever a cable from England appeared to show him as being lukewarm in support of the anti-Bolsheviks.
3. These figures are presumably meant to show Putin’s admiration for figures of the Russian past despite their opposing political views—Alexander II the liberal reformist, Alexander III the conservative; Denikin, utterly opposed to Bolshevism and Brusilov who cooperated with the Bolsheviks in establishing the Red Army.