NATO’s Anti-Putin Strategy Goes Down in Defeat

The re-election of Vladimir Putin for six more years was met in the West with the same hackneyed comments that could have been written weeks or months ago (autocrat, undemocratic, election fraud, etc.) Nonetheless, those who are in contact with Russian society must admit, however reluctantly, that President Putin enjoys a high rate of popularity. The election was also a referendum on the war against Russia which many Russians have come to realize is being run by NATO, and not by Ukraine. Ironically, while the media here are full of reports on the devious means used by “the Kremlin” to subvert the democratic process and elections in the West, they have nothing but praise for the methods used by the West to meddle in election results in Russia. Methods such as the war itself, or in the days before the election, the increased drone attacks and incursions on Russian territory proper, not to mention the financial sanctions, the freezing of Russian assets abroad, or the funding of supposed opposition figures.

And yet, the result of theses measures was not what NATO intended. The Russian economy is stronger than before; sectors of Ukraine have voted to join the nation of Russia; and Vladimir Putin enjoys an even greater degree of support now. Even more alarming for the geopoliticians of the West, Russia has gained great respect among the nations of the “Global Majority”, particularly in Africa, because it has not only refused to capitulate, it has advanced. Thus, attempts by the trans-Atlantic world to convince the Global South to denounce Russia have failed repeatedly.

As for Vladimir Putin himself, he took the occasion of his re-election to reaffirm his policy. Asked by Reuters on March 17 about French President Macron’s comments on the potential deployment of NATO ground troops to Ukraine in the future, the Russian President commented that “Everything is possible in the modern world.” However, he continued, “It is clear to everyone, that this will be one step away from a full-scale World War Three. I think hardly anyone is interested in this.”

He added that NATO military personnel are present already in Ukraine, saying that Russia had picked up both English and French being spoken on the battlefield. “There is nothing good in this, first of all for them, because they are dying there and in large numbers,” he noted. Nonetheless, Vladimir Putin hopes that Macron will stop seeking to aggravate the war in Ukraine, but rather play a role in finding peace: “It seems that France could play a role. All is not lost yet.”

That last comment is perhaps more optimistic than what the statements of the relevant leaders seem to indicate (cf. below).

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