At this very moment, as I sit at my keyboard writing this article, under the guidance and direction of one man, President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Federation’s brutal assault on Ukraine continues. . Putin’s army is razing the homes of innocent people who did nothing to provoke such actions. In a relentless campaign, the Russian armed forces continue to target hospitals, schools and homes with cluster bombs, and continue to threaten to use chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons over the heads of Ukrainians. Under Putin, Russian troops are blocking the delivery of basic necessities such as food, water and humanitarian aid to the war-torn Ukrainian people who desperately need them.
The whole world now knows that the Russian armed forces have carried out the execution of countless numbers of innocent Ukrainian civilians while they continue to target civilians; innocent women, children and old people. Truth be told, official Kremlin statements that have recently spoken of the withdrawal and withdrawal of Russian forces are not so much a retreat, but more of a regrouping and repositioning tactic. Make no mistake, in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, the worst is yet to come.
As the world witnesses the atrocities and barbarism unfolding across Ukraine, the question that arises in the collective mind of the world is who is that pale little man in the Kremlin with reptilian eyes and swollen cheeks from Botox. which works with a stiff and clipped door. Who is this man who looks at others with eyes devoid of the slightest trace of warmth and humanity for anyone other than himself? Who is this man who has so ruthlessly mastered the art of total power? Who is the man behind the public mask? Watching him and witnessing the brutal attack and extraordinary level of aggression and genocide he mounted against the friendly and non-threatening neighboring nation of Ukraine, it is crystal clear that, in his mind, his sole and overriding goal is to build a world order where a new Soviet empire reigns supreme.
It would seem obvious to anyone with a pulse that the ultimate goal of this former KGB agent who, in effect, made himself Tsar, is to not only destroy Ukraine, but to annihilate Europe while dividing the NATO in the quest to resurrect what it sees as the glory days of the long-dead Soviet Empire. Above all, it appears that what he covets most is to marginalize the United States and the democracies of the European Union.
Born in 1952, Putin’s worldview of ambition, pragmatism and ruthlessness was certainly shaped by his time as a KGB spy in the old Soviet system. Today he is often compared to Adolf Hitler, Stalin and Saddam Hussein. These infamous leaders all had very difficult and traumatic childhoods that took place against a backdrop of crushing poverty, war and disadvantage. From the ashes of such a troubled upbringing, Hitler, Stalin and Saddam became dictators who became men of marked antisocial behavior and pronounced narcissism. As a youth, Putin reportedly roamed the streets of the city of St. Petersburg (then called Leningrad) committing petty crimes and acts of violence. I’m definitely no psychiatrist, however, even as a layman there definitely seems to be a disturbing pattern that sets the stage for certain personality types to grow up to be overachievers with a constant need for attention and praise. , and act as bullies. The fact that Putin holds a black belt in judo, is very competitive and can’t stand losing in any field is quite telling. To use the title of an old James Bond movie, for people like Vladimir Putin, “The world is not enough.”
He began his political career as mayor of St. Petersburg and rose through the ranks during the chaos of the disintegration and collapse of the Soviet Union to become president in the year 2000. He is the Russian leader oldest since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. died in 1953. Like Stalin, Putin is a stone-faced chameleon who controls all facets of the Russian government with a dictatorial iron fist while keeping his personal life completely private. With Putin pulling all the strings, the Duma (Russia’s parliament) recently passed a constitutional reform bill that will give him the power to stay in power well beyond the end of his current fourth term. This translates to giving Putin the title of “President for life.” What is far more concerning is that it provides him with a pathway to achieve his dream of resurrecting the former Soviet Union and bringing back the days when Russia was a powerhouse on the world stage.
He repeatedly went into the public record describing the collapse of the former USSR as, “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.” This statement says a lot about what might be spinning in his dark mind. By most accounts, he is one of the richest men in the world, however, top financial investigators have been prevented from trying to find out how much he is really worth and where his vast fortune lies.
In the end, today, after more than 20 years on the world stage, people around the world still know little or nothing about who Vladimir Putin really is behind his public mask. Faced with being called a war criminal, a sadder and a psychopath, he still remains the ultimate enigma; for all intents and purposes, it’s a mystery within a mystery. However, one thing is pretty clear. Through his self-confident and level-headed personality, exaggerated sense of pride, and sense of grandeur, he managed to feed his insatiable appetite for power and all of his personal wants, needs, and desires. .
When I think of this man’s cruel and bloody rise to power, and what he is now doing to the people of Ukraine who certainly do not deserve what is happening to him and his country as he continues to to fight valiantly to hold on to his nation and their freedom, I am struck by a single and overriding thought. Meeting Vladimir Putin would surely be like shaking hands with darkness.
Paul Collins is a freelance writer from Southborough, Massachusetts.