Is Vladimir Putin using a policy of what US and NATO officials call “slow annihilation”[i] on the Ukraine? And if he is, why is he doing it? Why are Putin’s troops performing what even Putin-lover Donald Trump calls a holocaust?[ii]
Vladimir Putin’s first week of war in the Ukraine did not go well. Putin took only one Ukrainian city: the southern city of Kherson. When Putin first invaded, he apparently intended to take Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, in 24 hours. Eight days later, Kiev was still stubbornly resisting Vladimir Putin’s army.
To solve this problem, Putin sent a 40-mile-long convoy of military trucks, artillery, vacuum bombs, rocket launchers, and tanks to Kiev. An overwhelming force. But that convoy was bogged down for days, making no progress.
Then Putin apparently became frustrated. If Ukrainians would not come out on the streets and welcome his troops with flowers, he was determined to smash their cities to bits. So increasingly, Russia has been attacking civic buildings, apartment buildings, schools, and hospitals[iii] driving over 1.5 million women and children to flee to neighboring countries in just the first seven days of the invasion.
Meanwhile, the economic sanctions that we and our allies had imposed were taking their toll. The ruble plunged. A year ago a ruble was worth 20 cents. Today a ruble is worth less than a penny. On February 26th, Russians waited for hours at ATM machines to yank out their savings. Those were early signs of an economic crash. And reportedly over 8,000 people were arrested in just eight days[iv] for demonstrating against Putin’s war in over 35 Russian cities.
Anti-war demonstrations also flourished on Twitter and Telegram. One Russian online petition to stop the war got more than a million signatures in just its first few days.
Meanwhile 145 members of the UN General Assembly voted to demand that Russia stop the war.[v] Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil company, called for the end of the violence. Topping all off, a Russian businessman offered a bounty of a million dollars to any Russian military officer who does his constitutional duty and arrests Vladimir Putin as a “war criminal.”[vi]
But to understand Putin’s war in the Ukraine, you have to understand why Vladimir Putin feels that the destiny of all of humankind is in his hands. In 312 a.d the Roman emperor Constantine saw a vision of the cross in the sun and a few years later made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine also moved the capital of the Roman Empire from the original city of Rome in Italy to a city approximately 1,400 miles to the east—the city of Byzantium. So in Russian lore, the first Rome was Rome. And the second Rome was Byzantium.
Byzantium was more than just the new capital of the Roman Empire. Byzantium was the city through which God transmitted his orders to humanity It was the center of Orthodox Christianity. What’s more, Byzantium was a huge success. It was the lynch pin of the Roman Empire and of God on earth for an astonishing 1,200 years Then in 1453, Byzantium fell to the Muslims and was renamed Istanbul.
At that point the Russians felt that God’s contact point on earth had moved to, brace yourself, Moscow. Russians were certain that Moscow was the third Rome, the third center of Christianity and of world civilization. Which meant that Moscow had a destiny…to rule all of humankind.
One of the men Vladimir Putin apparently listens to most is Aleksandr Dugin. Dugin is the founder of Eurasianism, a philosophy that says that the Russian people “ appeared at the dawn of time, before any other people on the planet[vii] and hence deserve to rule.
Dugin preaches that Russia’s role is to defeat the United States and become leader of the planet. A leader of the planet that will cleanse the earth of the ungodly sin that Dugin calls “liberalism.” By liberalism, Dugin means democracy and human rights.
It is highly likely that Dugin’s philosophy is churning through Vladimir Putin’s mind as he plots his moves in the Ukraine. And it is highly likely that Dugin’s ideas are in Putin’s mind as he demands control of all of the Eastern European nations that were once part of the Soviet Union. Yes, it is highly likely that Dugin’s ideas are in Putin’s mind as Putin unfolds his moves to take nearly 40% of Europe.
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