8 мифов, которые привели Россию к войне / @Максим Кац

8 мифов, которые привели Россию к войне / @Максим Кац

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Before we start, I must make a short announcement. YouTube has disabled all content monetization options, including sponsorship from Russia. Most likely, within a month or two independent channels will be closed, since they will not be able to finance editorial offices. We will try to keep working. You can help us a lot if you live outside of Russia and you have a working foreign bank card, subscribe to my Patreon. All right, let's start. Terrible news came yesterday from Mariupol.

Russian troops are trying to capture at least some major city by the end of the second week, and Mariupol has been in the blockade ring for several days, under constant bombardment. Yesterday those were especially severe. During the silence regime established for the exit of refugees, an air raid was carried out on the city hospital and maternity hospital. 17 people were injured. Footage of the evacuation of pregnant women in blood spread around the world. Before the war began, Mariupol was one of the fastest growing Ukrainian cities. The city had a very good attitude towards Russia — a large opinion poll showed that only 28% of the inhabitants had a negative attitude towards Russia.

Today, the city center has been reduced to rubble by Russian artillery and aircraft. People live in basements without electricity and water, and according to eyewitnesses, the bodies of the dead lie on the streets. That's Putin's way of denazification of Ukraine. And although it seems that the goal is not yet to wipe them off the face of the earth, it is already clear that no one in Russia cares about casualties within civilians and destruction. Look what the Russian invasion has turned Ukrainian cities into. This is Kyiv, a residential building. A Russian missile hit it.

Here is the ruined central square of Kharkiv, and here is another square in Kharkiv. It is the largest Russian-speaking city in Ukraine. That's the city of Borodianka, near Kiev, it was almost completely wiped off the face of the earth by Russian troops. Look at these footage. This was not done by fascists or “Benderites”, but by Putin’s Russian army, which invaded Ukraine for no reason and destroyed the city where civilians lived. Here is a residential apartment building in Chernihiv, see before and after. It's a complete disaster.

Here is another big house. How many lived here, 500 families? It's all destroyed. Even if noone died now these people have no home. Here is a satellite photo of almost an entire village burned down by Russian missile strikes. That's how it works: a Russian missile flies in, hits a residential building and, if people didn't hide in a shelter, enture family dies.

This will not be displayed on Russian TV, but it is important to understand the facts — we are destroying the peaceful cities of Ukraine, we are doing this for no reason. This war unleashed by Putin is taking lives and destroying infrastructure in Ukraine. And there is no reason for this.

Russian troops are suffering heavy losses. Yesterday I came across a video that demonstrates the attitude of the Russian state to these losses, and in general the approach to this war. Propaganda-heavy approach.

Speaker: some of the people here have the real combat experience, they've been in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Donbass. In reality our guys from both Donetsk and Lugansk and the special military forces are dying right now, and our country is... Host: no no no no no, no I don't want to hear this. Speaker: but they die anyways Host: Stop it! Stop it!

Speaker: hold on a second Host: can't you just stop or what? Speaker: i just want us to stand up and commemorate our boys with a moment of silence Host: what are you doing? Speaker: those guys are fighting for Russia and for Donbass Host: can you stop it or not? I will tell you what our guys are doing there. Our boys are smashing the fascist bastard there! Speaker: that is correct Host: let me finish! It's the triumph of russian weaponry, it's the triumph of russian army and its the renaissance of Russia! The triumph of Russian weapons, they say. Now let's move on to today's main video, but first let's see how Ukrainian sappers defuse a huge triumphant Russian aerial bomb, which fortunately did not explode in a residential area. Now let's get to the main part of the video. In general, after two weeks of the war, we understand very little: we cannot accurately assess the victims of both sides, it is only clear that those are huge, and we are forced to carefully check any message about anything, no matter who it comes from.

But we can clearly see that a completely different world exists in Putin's head. And there is a different Russia, different Ukraine, and in general different whole planet. This world in the head of our president is full of its own myths, and yet these myths are pushing him to real action! We will analyze eight such myths — it is painfully obvious that they have clearly been manifested in recent days.

Myth # 1 – support in Ukraine Apparently, there is a myth in Putin's head that he has, or at least had before the war, enormous support in Ukraine. That he, relying on this support, will be able to carry out some kind of his own policy there, that his troops will be greeted with flowers, and the Ukrainian army will scatter. 8 years ago, a significant part of the Ukrainian society really had an idea of ​​Russia as the best version of their country. Everything is the same: the same people, the same Soviet buildings,the same cultural environment, but wages and pensions are higher, roads are better, communal services are cheaper and there are more social benefits. It seemed to many residents of both Crimea and Donbas that with the advent of the Russian Federation, their life would remain the same, but with a significant benefit from the bounty of a large oil driveb budget.

As a result, all the regions that became part of or under the actual control of Russia simply lost the meaning of their existence. If in Crimea they managed to maintain give ir take the previous standard of living, compensating for the absence of foreign tourists with a powerful pumping of budget money, Donetsk on the other hand has turned from a city that subsidized the country's budget and industrial support into a depressive hole, where a salary of 15 thousand rubles is considered very good. Donetsk, like Luhansk, was in limbo for a long time. They were torn away from Ukraine, but they were not annexed to Russia, unlike Crimea. Neither here nor there – life outside the legal field and on a permanent front line. That's how Ukraine saw what happens in those territories where the “Russian world” came — there is poverty and lack of rights, and it is deadly dangerous there.

But it's not only that. Over the past 8 years, Russia itself has changed. Do not forget about the general language environment. They saw how much our country has degradated during this period. How they dispersed the rallies, how they imprisoned people for their opinions, they see foreign agency dies, which are forced to put up independent media and even some individuals. There is no more economic growth, and the differencein living standards has disappeared. Yes, if we compare the average salary in Kyiv and Moscow, the difference will be great.

But let's compare the comparable, for example, an average Russian large city with an average Ukrainian city — Khariv with Chelyabinsk. In pure dollars at the pre-war rate, the difference would be no more than a quarter. For 8 years, Russia, with its tightening policy, state violence, economic stagnation and a damaged external image, has made itself attractive, perhaps, only to elderly veterans of the special services. Russia is no longer a place with good wages, the economy growth and were new markets are being created, Russia is a country of permanent president, where the minds of an aged leader are increasingly controlled by the security forces.

This is a country where political opponents are killed, and free opinion is threatened with prison. Everyone saw the occupation of the center of Moscow by people in masks a year ago, and hardly anyone is ready to live in such world. Would you move to live in Pyongyang for an extra $300 in salary? Probably not. Russia from a blooming garden of the 2000s became a bleak and unfree place already in the 2010s, and in the early 20s it got even worse. And this is visible not only from the inside.

If 8 years ago someone could really believe that the Russian occupation is just a change of jurisdiction with a possible increase in prosperity, today people understand that the price of defeat is life in a territory without rights, ruled by the most gloomy personalities. And people fight to the last and defend their right to a free life in a country where Putin does not rule. This is an extremely interesting moment: it was precisely by those actions that were aimed at seizing foreign territories that Russia did everything possible to seize something for it became oh so difdifficult. Perhaps only 80-year-old grandmothers did not take up arms to stop the liberators.

Sitting in a trench, defending your city or living under the leadership of some Pushilin, when there is a risk that your apartment will be taken away and you yourself will be put in the basement — this is not a choice between war and peace, it is a choice between an urgent war and an endless war. The second myth is “weakness of the West”. The notion of “weakness” in Western countries comes from an understandable narrative: democratic governments really care about every penny in the pockets of their citizens and their businesses. The task of punishing the villain will always face the possible damage to their economy. They depend on the voter, they don't have monopoly propaganda mouthpieces, they can't convince the majority that it's a good idea to cut off one's leg to make the enemy's mood worse.

Vladimir Putin was convinced that Europe was so dependent on Russian gas, and the world market on Russian oil, that no one would go for serious sanctions, because some would go bankrupt, while others would freeze. But if he looked closely, then in this reality he could be dissuaded literally two previous years. Yes, the economy is important, jobs are important, the price of fuel is important, but in emergency situations, when people's lives are at stake, democratic governments are ready not only to increase costs and ruin enterprises — they are ready to put entire sectors of the economy on the brink of survival. Yes, right now we are not talking about the lives of their citizens, but these citizens, like the whole world, are in real shock and politicians will certainly meet their expectations. Russia is just under two percent of world GDP, but it is a very important part of the global energy market, and cutting it off the world map would be painful. But this is nothing compared to 2020, when global GDP fell by $3 trillion at once, for two Russias, when governments had to go to an unprecedented expense, hang up a lot of debt, and accept the long-term consequences for their economies.

This is exactly the case when with consciousness was confused with weakness. Yes, no one cuts off his leg fir no reason, but the West went for it in order to end the war in Europe. The third myth is that Chechens are thugs.

The Chechen forces play a very significant role, asymmetrical with their numbers, in the public representation of this war. The Chechens are portrayed as heroes that if anyone is capable of taking Kyiv in three days, it is them. It seems that this is a very local and insignificant detail, but in fact it tells us not only about this war, but also about the structure of the Russian state in recent times. Now before we talk about it let's insert an ads here. I already said, we do it even in such videos so that the channel can exist. Let's continue. The power of the Chechen forces is a myth in the head of the President of Russia. Let me explain where it came from.

The war in Chechnya, which was planned to be the same special operation as the current war in Ukraine, turned into a disaster: both military and political. The New Year's assault on Grozny on the night of January 1, 1995 is one of the most shameful pages in our military history. But it didn't end there, Russian troops got bogged down in Chechnya, and it became the main news story for the next 10 years. And it happened for the same reasons that Russia is bogged down in Ukraine today. Firstly, it is very difficult to fight in hostile territory.

On a territory where there is no significant difference between the army and the civilian population, where a schoolboy can throw a grenade at you, and where they will defend their own to the last, and shoot you in the back. Secondly, the Soviet army, of which the Russian army is the successor, has always been built on the basis of a new world war. The war, where tank wedges will converge again on the Kursk salient. Tanks and self-propelled artillery are very powerful things. But if you have heard, read, played games about them, then you know a simple fact: such armored vehicles are very well protected from the front, and not at all to the same extent from the sides, stern and roof. The tank must meet the enemy head-on — this is a weapon of blitzkrieg, a global offensive.

The tank is poorly suited for combat in conditions where the enemy is not in front, but everywhere — in front, behind and above, when grenades fly from windows, and incendiary mixtures from cellars. The main forces of either the Soviet or the Russian army are not intended to solve local problems in urban conditions. Everyone who watched the preparations for the victory parade in Moscow could notice how clumsy these formidable combat vehicles become even on the wide Moscow avenues, how difficult it is for them to maneuver there. A huge country was losing a war to a republic the size of a thimble, with a hundredfold difference in population, simply because this country did not know how (and still does not know) to fight such wars.

Admitting this publicly is a politically bad idea. After all, it came out that such a war was not worth starting. Out of this political impossibility to recognize reality, the myth of the invincible Chechens was born. Fierce people, born warriors, whom no weapon can take, who will fight to the last. Propaganda always works both ways, and because of its consequences, a very special position has arisen for Ramzan Kadyrov in the Russian power hierarchy.

After all, the Akhmat regiment is not just a division of the Internal Troops of the Russian Guard, these are super-soldiers who can solve tasks with one company that an entire division cannot cope with. Now we understand what Kadyrov's inadequate influence was based on, and why he so easily got away with something that no one in Russia would have gotten away with. It was not only a matter of “appeasement of Chechnya”, the point was that in Putin's head Kadyrov is like a red button — this is the man who created the invincible guard. But in the real world, infantry is always just an infantry, Kadyrov's guards do not fly, and do not tear apart tank armor with their arms.

Yes, apparently, some of them are well trained and armed, they have better morale, but it is not particularly clear that they are making any significant contribution. The Chechen units have only one advantage over other combat units of the Russian army: if the majority of other Russian military personnel see Ukrainians as people like themselves, and therefore the resistance of local residents causes them confusion, then the military from the Caucasus have no such shortcomings. The fourth myth is “the wealth of Russia” Our country has been desperately accumulating its reserves in recent years.

The word “desperately” is not for beauty here — even during the period of the coronacrisis, when the whole world was spending reserves and getting into debt, Russia continued to fill its moneybox. In 2020, the National Welfare Fund has grown one and a half times, from 120 to 180 billion dollars. Then it looked absolutely crazy. What kind of dark day are you waiting for? How is it possible, while people are losing their jobs and incomes, to cynically replenish their piggy bank? In hindsight, it becomes clearer why this was being done, and what they tried to prepare for. Once upon a time, a feeling of wealth came. In the national welfare fund — 12% of GDP, plus huge reserves of the Central Bank,

we can pay the annual federal budget with this stash, which means we will live under any sanctions. But no one expected such a scale of sanctions. All Biden's threats, his entire package of «sanctions from hell» look ridiculous and even naive today. This is not about the fact that one restriction was imposed on Russia here, another there. The point is that Russia is being cut off from world exchange, and this time private companies are not looking for tricky schemes to comply with everything and stay here to work, on the contrary, they are running ahead of their governments. This is the most unexpected. Business, and even more so big business, which is responsible to millions of shareholders, should not fight for world peace, it should earn money.

Ensure the growth of dividends and market value. In an ordinary situation, the imposition of sanctions would lead to the convening of hundreds of lawyers who would parse the document to the letter and come to a decision to both eat fish and ride in a boat: transfer business in Russia to a separate legal entity and change the brand, re-register, reduce or change the assortment and continue to provide services in a truncated form. And it would turn out that there is no Ikea in Russia, but there is a “Planet of Furniture”, with headquarters in Kazakhstan, offers the same fluffy rugs and even the same meatballs, but you can’t formally dig through. But now private companies have realized that this is not the case, that if they do not leave on their own, ahead of sanctions decisions, then the damage will be greater than the benefit from saving the market. Nobody expected this.

No one could think that Russia would be left without international payment systems in two weeks, that the buyers of its energy resources, the largest suppliers of currency, would break off deals, that everyone would run, from auditors to electronics manufacturers, that civil aviation would end by one, two, three, and there will be a risk of closing a significant share of the industry. And these are only «initiative» sanctions, and governments compete every day in legislative ones. Now there is a high probability that we simply will not be able to conduct foreign trade activities with anyone except China. That is, the scale of the hole that needs to be closed is significantly larger than one could imagine. The reserves that seemed endless yesterday in such a situation will quickly exhaust themselves, and there will be no new revenues.

But this is not the main thing. The main thing is that the reserves that were so counted on turned out to be under sanctions themselves. This says a lot about Putin's thinking — to keep the stash of sanctions in the assets of those countries that impose these same sanctions.

As a result, we see something unimaginable: the government, which only yesterday, two weeks ago was literally swollen with money, today fell into a pre-default state. Even the most pessimistic economists, even at the beginning of the war, predicted that the reserves of the NWF and the Central Bank would be enough for at least two years. Now we are talking about mid-April, this is when the country may cease to fulfill its obligations, in other words, go bankrupt. According to the Central Bank, since February 28, it has not sold a single cent on the domestic market, watching the dollar rate rapidly go into space, despite the frantic rate and all measures to limit foreign exchange turnover.

It is impossible to imagine that if the Central Bank had the resources and opportunities, it would silently watch national currency risks falling into a spiral of free devaluation along the path of the Venezuelan bolivar, when nothing can be done. Have the Russian authorities done everything possible to protect themselves from external shocks? Yes, they did. It's just a completely different shock. Getting vaccinated against covid is good and right, but it won’t help if a concrete slab falls on you.

The fifth myth is the split of the West. In recent years, Vladimir Putin has watched with pleasure and actively supported the split in the Western world. He did this through the financing of the most extreme parties and through the export of propaganda.

Yes, the European Union has recently been torn apart by a variety of contradictions, from the issue of climate change to migration policy. The calculation was simple: the countries of the Western world have infinitely different economic structures, different dependence on Russia, different energy balance and foreign trade structure. Even within the European Union: if Spain can afford to impose any sanctions against Russia and its economy will not notice this, then Finland is 100% dependent on Russian gas.

And gas is not only heat in houses, it is the production of electricity, it is industrial production. The complete opposition of interests is a prepared springboard for conflict, it is a mass of countries that will either torpedo at the start, or, conversely, sabotage any restrictions. And while Russia will be busy seizing foreign territory, the US with the EU, and the EU with Japan, and Japan with Australia and Korea, and then everyone will discuss whether it's a war or a special operation.

From that moment nothing but a weak skeleton of the severe sanctions would remain. And, apparently, if everything went according to plan, if it really became a bloodless occupation in three days, until everyone figured out what exactly happened, then some kind of reaction from the world community could be expected. In such a situation, sanctions, of course, would have been introduced, but no one would have really noticed them, at least at the macroeconomic level. Plus, a nice side effect – everyone would have quarreled to hell in the process of these sanctions, and then someone else would have left the EU.

In practice, the opposite happened. All the plots, according to which a month ago diplomats fought to the death, and countries experienced internal political crises, are now completely forgotten. In the video that came out in the last pre-war days, I already repeated this simple idea: there is no such reality where the Western world, while voters are watching blood and dead people on TV, will finance this war.

On this occasion, there is an absolute consensus that unites not only the conditional West, but the whole world in general. We have never seen such unanimity in a UN vote before, we have never seen sanctions before, not only from the US and the EU, but even from Japan, Switzerland and South Korea. Of the top ten Russian foreign trade partners, only China did not impose sanctions. The developed world has not had such a unifying idea for a long time. Even Covid did not become one — there were also a lot of contradictions. The unifying idea was disgust for Putin.

The sixth myth is support for China. If you listen to what the propaganda says about China, then you will get the image of such a rich grandfather Xi, who is just waiting to treat us with pies, buy all the oil, all the gas, give us money and hug us. As if the Chinese leadership said: yes, guys, treat yourself, do not deny yourself anything, fall under terrible sanctions, unleash wars, we have money growing on trees here, we will pay for everything. So far, the whole form of love and friendship that China has gone for has been reduced to inaction.

At the UN, they abstained from voting and did not impose sanctions. Now this is enough to be considered Russia's greatest friend. Except Eritrea. The reality is that Russia ranks 13th in Chinese exports, 10th in Chinese imports. South Korea, for example, whose population is 3 times smaller than Russia, and GDP indicators are close to those of Russia, this country is twice as significant of a partner for China as Russia.

The export of South Korea is 112 billion, and Russia – only 50. But the United States for China is almost 600 billion dollars of foreign trade turnover — this is five times more than Russia gives. And all of China's main partners, with the exception of Vietnam, India and Malaysia, are the countries that are now competing with each other in imposing sanctions against Russia. Yes, Chinese commodity producers, Chinese exporters, in theory, probably do not mind that a market falls into their hands where they can work on monopoly conditions — supply products and technologies at whatever prices they can think of.

But this is only as long as it does not cost them anything. Everyone sees the scale of the imposed sanctions, everyone understands that today dealing with Russia and its money and banks is a real risk of sharing their fate and losing the rest of the planet. This, of course, is not about country sanctions against China itself.

But if a Chinese bank has to choose between European, US, South Korean, Australian or Russian markets, it certainly won't have second thoughts. The notion that China would risk its own macroeconomic stability in order to stand shoulder to shoulder with Vladimir Putin in his imaginary idea of reshaping the world is some fundamental misunderstanding of how the world economy and international relations work. China already has a lot of problems, including with the banking sector, China is heavily integrated into the world economy to the limit, it depends on foreign investment, and first of all — investment from Europe and the United States. The Chinese authorities are ready to utter any ritualistic phrases, abstain from voting in international organizations, shake hands and smile, but are not going to risk anything significant in the name of Putin. Roughly speaking, the Chinese will not mind conducting looting-type trade with Russia: supplying oil rigs to us three times more expensive, because no one else can buy them from anyone else, and buying our oil three times cheaper, because there will be no one to sell it to. But unprofitable operations that can cause problems, China will not perform.

Actually, this is what the whole story is about. “Reorientation to China” is an idea born in 2014, since then the share of the PRC in Russia’s foreign trade has not grown significantly, because it couldn’t have done much. Almost all of Russia's exports to China are energy supplies, and China is a huge country with a huge economy, but it's still smaller than the rest of the world. Russia is not a monopoly in China's energy market, China will definitely not clean up its imports in order to leave the only supplier. Russia, which received export currency from the whole world, will now have to share one single significant market with many other exporters. The seventh myth is support in Russia.

Back in 2014, this dramatic difference emerged: if Crimea was accepted by public opinion with a bang, then Donbass was not even close to arouse such emotions and therefore was quickly thrown out of propaganda. It's not just that Crimea is a flourishing resort, while Donetsk and Lugansk are heavy industrial cities like Perm or Norilsk. Of course, a peninsula with a unique nature is not the same as gray Khrushchevs to the horizon, even purely in the picture.

But Crimea was a clear victory, carried out in two days from beginning to end. While the LDNR is some kind of muddy meat grinder, it’s blood and dirt stretched out for years, where it’s not clear who is fighting with whom, and all the news are about another completely unknown village being transfered from one military to another. Since 2016, the word “Novorossiya” has disappeared from the propaganda lexicon, and “militia” fighters, who failed to become folk heroes, returned to Russia, where they filled prisons. There is one thing that public opinion dislikes more than death and impoverishment,and that thing is defeat. This sounds very immoral, but public opinion is still ready to accept an unrighteous war of conquest, it can be sold as a liberation campaign. But the war lost – no.

Moreover, defeat does not have to be in the form of surrender. A protracted conflict with no end in sight is also a defeat. Now propaganda is trying to shut everyone up with the question “where were you for 8 years?», but the truth is that for at least 6 of these 8 years, propaganda itself has forgotten that the “Russian world” of eastern Ukraine is our everything. And forgot for obvious reasons — everything that happened there did not at all look like a victory, but rather the opposite.

Yes, in recent months, “Novorossia” has been pulled out of oblivion, but it doesn’t work like that — such a manual needs to be promoted for years, and not in the spirit: remember 8 years ago there was such a topic? Well, now it's important again. Hence such a terrible pace of change in propaganda manuals. In two weeks, we went from protecting the Russian-speaking population, denazification and demilitarization, to the idea that Ukraine would attack first the very next day, and today we generally live in the reality of a nuclear threat. This is done because the pathos of defending the “people's republics” does not find sympathy. Even wartime polls, which are de facto on the topic: are you for the war or a traitor to the motherland, even the polls of FOM and VCIOM, which are supposed to show 200% support, but instead show just a majority — not the majority with which you can go into battle.

And these are surveys in the first days of the war, when the dead bodies had not yet arrived, and when the sanctions had not yet climbed into our pocket. And most importantly – when the war had not yet dragged on and did not look like a defeat. The eighth myth is a strong army. The Russian army under minister Shoigu is an absolute victory for PR, the unconditional surrender of everything else.

Television relishes the images of well-equipped and trained soldiers, shows “tank biathlon”, the Russian army has a logo and identity, a branded merchandise stores are located in every airport. But what we see now is much more reminiscent of a gloomy perestroika movie about overall darkness and degradation than peppy army reports. And it's all in the very nature of the army. There will always be more chaos and corruption in any army and any special services of any country than the average for the country. The reason for this is the lack of transparency and weak accountability of such institutions.

When you see that in the center of Moscow, fresh tiles in a couple of winter days began to look like tanks drove over them — this is obvious corruption and obvious incompetence. You can download prices for laying tiles from the manufacturer's website, compare them with contracts and say: so much was stolen here, you can invite specialists who will investigate and conclude: this happened for such and such a reason. The army is organized in a fundamentally different way. It is impossible to calculate anything there, and from all sides at once and for many reasons. Firstly, the army simply will not tell anyone what, from whom, for how much and how it purchases, where it spends money. Secondly, even if you knew this, it is not clear what to do with this information.

If you can see market prices for simple small rifles, cars, clothes, food, as Navalny did in the case of the National Guard food supplies, then neither a tank, nor a multiple launch rocket system, nor a fighter jet simply has a market price. Correct answer: it has no price because it is not in the market. Moreover, the submarine does not even have something comparable to it. it costs just exactly as much as specified in a deeply classified contract. Thirdly, the complete impossibility of accounting. No matter how shamelessly they steal during the construction of the bridge, the bridge must appear in some form.

And how many bullets were fired during the exercises? How many missiles? Those grenades that were decommissioned — did they once exist physically, and not just on paper? Was the tank really upgraded or were the indexes just rewritten? The army, especially in non-democratic countries, without an independent parliamentary audit, alas, is arranged in such a way that everyone can steal there, from the minister to the last ensign-copter. When you steal something in public, you have to rub glasses on everyone who sees it. When you steal in such a black hole as an army, where you can hide both income and expenses, then you only need to rub glasses in a small group of authorities, who are happy to be deceived themselves and once again tell the population about the “revival of the army”. Minister Shoigu has always been a PR master. A purely civilian man who did not serve in the army,

he was the first of Putin's defense ministers to put on a tunic, hang the shoulder straps of an army general and a full iconostasis of orders and medals. The PR was so powerful that even Putin's opponents believed in the revival of the army. Their claim was not that it was ruined, but that money impossible in peacetime was being spent on it.

No one, and first of all Putin himself, did not notice the reality all this time, and the reality was that by investing in PR, the army only became more closed. Statistics on deaths, on cases of hazing, were more and more closed, expenses were more and more secret. The paradox was that the more we saw the army, the less we knew about it. And closeness is always degradation. The degradation that we have seen. The degradation that led to such an inadequate reassessment of one's own strengths. This is the huge problem of corruption and insularity.

After all, all those people who fed Putin stories about the country and the world for years, who planted in his head that image of Ukraine, where local residents with loaves will meet the Russian military, all of Russia will merge in a victorious ecstasy, and the West will silently watch. All these pseudo-historians, pseudo-political scientists, pseudo-experts on the region – they didn’t want anything particularly bad. They wanted to master the money. You can endlessly steal in preparation for a war that will definitely not happen.

It's like selling bunkers in case of a nuclear war, because if it happens, but bunkers are bad, no one will come to claim money back. No one, not only from above, but also from below the power vertical, thought that the war would begin. But, unfortunately, noone did realize that if you keep a person in a fictional world for a long time, he will begin to make decisions based on it. That is exactly what happened with russian President. And now we're done See you tomorrow.

2022-03-12 07:50

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