The Russian President, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) on the 7th October 1952. He studied law at Leningrad State University, graduating in 1975. He worked as a KGB foreign intelligence officer based in Germany for 16 years, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel before resigning to join politics. He briefly served as Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and Secretary of the Security Council, before being appointed as Prime Minister in August 1999 by the ex-President Boris Yeltsin.
After the resignation of Boris Yeltsin as President, Putin became acting President. And months later he worked his way to the presidency as an elected President. His sudden rise to the pinnacle of power in the Kremlin could be compared to that of Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria but the difference is that while the former was prepared for power armed with almost all the ingredients required for success the latter came in unprepared delivering little and quitting the stage upstaged.
Since 2012 the strongman has been repeatedly barring his fangs, killing opposition elements sometimes abroad, jailing others at home (including remarkably Alexeï Navalny, his fiercest critic and opposition figure) and intimidating anyone that goes against the ‘putinic’ interest or ‘doctrine’.
Under Putin’s leadership, Russia has changed for good or worse depending on the side of the great divide one belongs. Under his rule Russia has since shifted to authoritarianism. Many around the world do not consider Russia to be a democracy. With the jailing and repression of political opponents, the intimidation and suppression of the free press a glorified dictatorship has fully blossomed producing a narcissist and misogynist as leader.
President Putin is a crude and rude dictator, a killer without conscience, apology to the US President, Joe Biden. He is self-centred, corrupt, arrogant and haughty. No doubt, he is almost omnipotent, if not the most powerful leader in the world yesterday and today. He rules over a country statistically classified as a nuclear superpower!
Russia may not be rich as the United States but in terms of nuclear power Putin and his Russia are invincible. A man with such a nuclear arsenal could do whatever he pleases. That is why today Putin wants to invade Ukraine and prevent by force her future membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Russia and China represent everything wrong with modern democracy in the civilized world we are all living in. China’s ‘doctored’ democracy inspires no one nor constitutes a system of government to be proud of. Russia mouths democracy a la Putin but it is one tailored to suit the dictatorial whims and caprices of the executive occupant of the Kremlin State House.
Putin mesmerizes world leaders with his intelligence and sharp tongue. His background as a lawyer and former spy master has helped him to demystify world leaders placing them wherever he wants them placed in his domineering orbit. He listens more and talks less! He knows his presidential onions and masters the art of leadership hailed at home but scorned abroad.
In Africa Putin and his mercenaries are trying hard to displace traditional imperialists, especially France. In the Central African Republic the Russian mercenaries otherwise called Wagner are governing the poor country with President Faustin Archange Touadera. Without their military help the rebels led by the former President, Francois Bozize, could have since seized power by marching to the capital, Bangui.
In Mali following the ouster of the late President Ibrahim Keita from power by young military elements led by the mercurial Col. Assimi Goita the transition programme has become controversial because Col. Goita and his boys, having tasted executive and legislative power, are poised to remain in power for another five years. They have already spent close to two years doing nothing.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders had weighed in rejecting the 5-year transition programme the junta proposed and imposing a battery of sanctions on the country. However, it seems Goita and his junta are emboldened by the arrival and deployment of the Russian Wagner military contractors to some parts of the country.
The Malian Wagner controversy had forced the colonial power, France, to announce the gradual withdrawal of her anti-terrorist intervention force, Barkhane, from Mali. Indeed it is incompatible for a state force to cohabit with a non-state paramilitary force with little or no rules of engagement.
President Emmanuel Macron has witnessed two Francophone African countries with cultural assimilated ties with France almost slip out of his control. Yet it goes without saying that imperialism and neo-colonialism has its limits. But those championing the African renaissance cause, Goita, Touadera and co, cannot be described here as heroes.
Recently, President Putin had announced to international reprobation his decision to recognise as independent states two Donbas breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine. He ordered troops to move in warning Kiev that blood would flow if any attempt is made to provoke the troops!
Russia had been invading Ukraine since 2014 when it helped pro-Russian separatists to launch a war in the east. After invading and annexing Crimea some years ago Putin wants to bring Ukrainians under his command and control. And no better way to do this than passing through the diputed areas.
Putin believes Ukraine is part of Russia and should not have been an independent sovereign state. He desperately wants to ‘unify’ the two countries against the will of majority of Ukrainians.
With the Ukrainian crisis developing into annexation of some parts of its territory occupied by rebels sponsored by Moscow the Western powers (led by the US) must unite their strategies and efforts to contain the Russian aggression and expansionist tendencies. If Putin succeeds in his expansionist ambition in Ukraine then other ex-USSR independent states may well be his next target.
Is Vladimir Putin another Hitler? The answer is yes and much more. Like the later Adolf Hitler he feels he is above any international law having conquered his country. Like the late German warlord Putin is all out to demonstrate his capacity for military nuisance.
Putin’s desperate attempt to exploit the differences in power to foster his politico-economic ambition must be halted by those who can, Presidents Biden and Macron, PM Johnson and Chancellor Scholz. The Russian President is a great danger to the global community.
Putin must not be allowed to destroy the world! With the arsenal of nuclear war-heads in his command and control he can, of course, destroy this beautiful vast garden we know better if his impetuosity and irresponsibility are not checked.
This monster must be tamed!