Putin’s nationalism ” “that the West likes ” “

The politics of the Russian president is supported by various political forces in EU countries " "

A politics based on lies, provocations and violence can have no success in time. Sooner or later Russian president Vladimir Putin will discover it too. While initially he was acclaimed by his people for the conquest of Crimea and the destabilization of Ukraine, and was admired in the West by a few “followers of realpolitik”, precisely because of these initiatives that shattered peace in Europe, he is now loosing credibility as a statesman. The loss of credibility leads Russia to isolationism, a situation whereby no nation has ever felt at ease for long. That’s why also the Russian population could rebel against him one day, starting with the economic and social costs that isolation, for any country, whether large or small, implies. In the era of globalization, which also for Russia envisages the possibility of opening national borders and tearing down old walls, a self-isolation policy is particularly harmful, as it is counterproductive. Evidently, in the minds of the inhabitants of the Kremlin, those walls that are still viewed from a bygone perspective, imprisoned within an old way of thinking, are built with indestructible cement. Western observers – who think they understand Putin – tend to defend him, granting him the right to a geopolitical claim motivated on the grounds of the Russian soul, history, and self-understanding as a great power. However, Putin’s politics, whose manifold internal manoeuvres were marked by the violation of civil and human rights, in its recent external manifestations infringed international law, endangered European peace and brought war in Ukraine. Indeed, such aggressive foreign policy is not unprecedented. Already a few years ago, in a dynamics that resembles that of contemporary Ukraine, Georgia was attacked by Russia and forced to hand over part of its territory to its neighbour. Significantly, nationalist and anti-European parties, which gained relative success in the elections for the renewal of the EU Parliament in a number of countries, justify and acclaim such politics. Prior to Election Day Marine Le Pen made a pilgrimage to Moscow to clarify with whom the Front National is siding with. Also nationalist supporters in Western Europe base their policies, ideology and propaganda on demagogy and slander. They share with their idol in the Kremlin not only nationalism but also xenophobia, as well as a paranoid perception of the reality they live in – marked by enemies conspiring against them, who become the scapegoats of all their problems. The agreement between Russian nationalism – deflagrated by violence in Crimea and in east Ukraine – and the virulent nationalism present in certain West European countries, expressed in recent election results, is paradoxical. In fact, nationalism always refers to one’s nation and people, while other nationalisms are viewed as sworn enemies, unless they share the same enemy. For Putin as well as for the EU member States’ anti-European, national-populist political parties, the European Union is the enemy. On the one side, its politics and the EU’s very existence hamper Putin’s geopolitical dream of restoring the great Russian empire within the borders of former Soviet Union; on the other, the European Union is hated by West European nationalists because it hampers their nostalgic aspiration of nation-State restoration. Lies have a short life! And are eventually found out, especially in the case of self-deception. Those who use nationalist and xenophobic political arguments based on a distorted perception of reality won’t go very far. Unfortunately though, many mishaps occur in the meantime, until the castle of cards will fall, determining self-ruin.

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