Putin’s Goals

Putin pursues several goals with his invasion of Ukraine. Showing the Americans how little he cares what they think is always personally gratifying and politically useful. Distracting the people of Russia from the plummeting value of the rouble is also an important goal.

And there is something else. In his efforts to preserve the Federation intact, Putin has alienated the Russian extreme nationalists (or neo-Nazis). The neo-Nazis hated Putin for pandering to the Chechens, for paying trillions of roubles to Chechnya and Dagestan so that they don’t try to leave the federation, for refusing to require entrance visas from non-Slavic neighboring republics, for permitting a huge non-Slavic immigration into Russia, for punishing xenophobic statements that endanger the Federation with a prison term.

However, in these last few weeks, the neo-Nazis have developed a guarded warmth in their discussions of Putin’s most recent actions. The official discourse about Ukraine that is coming out of Kremlin has every ingredient to gladden the heart of a neo-Nazi.


12 thoughts on “Putin’s Goals”

  1. OK, that clears some things up. But why is the ruble falling? I thought Russia had lots of oil and gas and a captive market. And who are these people who want to immigrate to Russia?


    1. There is a massive immigration into the European part of Russia of people from Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Transcaucasia. And into the non-European part from China. In Moscow, for instance, the racial tensions are very similar to what you see today in Belgium and France.


    2. “I thought Russia had lots of oil and gas and a captive market.”

      Here’s where I go all libertarian, there are no (and effectively have never been) property rights as you and I understand them in Russia.

      “Russian property rights are tricky; property has never been distributed, but only confiscated and awarded on a cyclical basis. For the big players property exists, as it always has, only where there is power”

      “The Russians’ failure to accept the Roman concept of private property has compelled them to suffer the coercive powers of the state so that at the very least a civil order, if not a civil society, might be established and sustained. The hackneyed idea that Russians have some special longing for tyranny is a pernicious myth. Rather, they share the common human need for predictable event undergirded by civil and state institutions and their difficult history is the result of their struggle to achieve both in the absence of private property.”



      1. Yes, that’s absolutely true. The example of Khodorkovsky showed the bandits that they could only hold on to “their” fortunes as long as it suited the higher authorities.


  2. One fact you cannot deny is that Putin is shamelessly pro-Russian in every fiber of his body. Americans can only dream of having such a patriotic president!

    America’s political system in 2024 has come to resemble Russia’s. We still have elections, with the National Unity Party winning 90% of the vote and the Libertarian, Constitution, and Green Parties dividing up the rest. No one’s really sure where the NUP stands on the political spectrum. When asked about it, most people shrug and say they don’t follow politics.

    In 2021, Congress balanced the budget and ended hyperinflation by voting unanimously to abolish Social Security, Medicare, and all welfare programs. They plan to introduce a “new dollar” equal to 1000 old dollars, bringing prices roughly back to 2014 levels and the national debt to a manageable $100 billion. The 2020 census never took place, so population estimates vary from the official figure of 340 million to as low as 250 million.

    After a few “accidental” deaths, the news media quickly learned to treat the NUP with the utmost deference they once lavished on Barack Obama. Drugs, guns, and prostitutes are illegal but very easy to get. So many men in various uniforms carry high-capacity assault weapons that one hardly notices them.


    1. Yes, it is totally pro-Russian of Putin to allow a small group of rich bandits to steal and export all of the country’s resources and to buy palaces in the South of France while Russian children are dying for lack of medical care.


      1. America’s 19th-century “robber barons”, accumulated vast untaxed fortunes, then spent them building public hospitals, libraries, universities, and such. Russian oligarchs are not so charitable, but how is Putin to blame for that? Higher taxes, if anyone paid them, would merely transfer wealth from one group of thieves to another, and the children would still be sick and hungry.


        1. No, I’m not “blaming” Putin for the bandits’ lack of charitable activity. I’m informing those who somehow managed not to know this that Putin was brought to power by the bandits.

          And your comment about taxes shows you don’t know anything about the situation in Russia.


    2. I do not know about 2024, but right now the ways of thinking of the US leaders and of Putin are nearly identical. US leaders believe they have to do “something”, or their allies will not trust the US, and the enemies will not be afraid of the US any more. But Putin thinks exactly the same way – “if I will allow those Ukrainians to do whatever they please and ignore my wishes, our allies will not trust us, and our enemies will not be afraid of us”…
      I hope one good thing which may happen as a result of this crisis is that the West will learn to develop policies with more integrity… Otherwise it is not about who is right or who has more integrity, it is about who manages to grab opponents balls more successfully…


      1. I don’t want to sound paranoid but since November Yanukovich was acting as if it was his goal to provoke disturbances. Of course it’s also possible that he is that much of an idiot.


  3. “I don’t want to sound paranoid but since November Yanukovich was acting as if it was his goal to provoke disturbances. Of course it’s also possible that he is that much of an idiot.”

    What I saw of his tv speech from Russia he seemed dazed and disoriented. The tone of voice and body language reminded me of a drunken father trying to explain why he blew his family’s inheritance and how his wife and children shouldn’t resent all the money he spent on his mistress.

    There’s also this, maybe a bit too far down the spider hole, but interesting…


    My own thought is that Putin isn’t going to do more militarily than he has already – he’s going to abkhazize/transnistrize the Crimea – have defacto pro-Russian people running the place without any attempt at formal unification and the western leaders won’t have the slightest idea how to deal with it because they’re stupid and playing a different game than Putin is.


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