Can Russian President Vladimir Putin win- the new cold war with the United States of America – in Ukraine or in Syria?
Here is GLOBALO’s analysis of the strengths and weak points of Vladimir Putin.
What are the strengths of Vladimir Putin?
1. He has courage. He dares to try something new.
2. He is self-confident.
3. He knows how to smile, attack, win- everything he has learned in his loved judo over decades.
4. He is the number one, and the only one in Russian politics. No competition, no opposition.
5. The Russians love this strong man.
6. The Russian population is used to suffering and being quiet – for around 500 years.
What are the weak points of President Putin?
- His system is ossified- too little oxygen of freedom, not even small debates, almost no political creativity.
- Corruption eats all. The Chinese communist party is fighting corruption, Mr. Putin isn’t.
- The bureaucrats paralyze the whole country. The economy is not free, but needs endless papers and time.
- The elite and young generation are losing hope and vision for a better life in Russia.
- The Chinese dragon is 8 times bigger and much more vital than the ailing Russian bear. The planing of the new Chinese Silk Road without Russia shows that there is no love in this relationship.
- The adventure in Ukraine and Crimea has cost more than $ 300 billion in values and assets. Still no way out.
- It is easy to send jets to Syria, but what is the endgame and the victory in a bloody civil war?
- Russia has a fast-growing Islamic population and no plan to integrate them. The country could loose its Christian character in 2050.
What is to be done?
- Putin blames everything on the US, but nothing on his own political mistakes. This must change to reform Russia from inside.
- Putin’s approach is too short-term. Without radical reforms like Peter the Great did, Russia cannot flourish in the long-term and Putin will be forgotten. Until now he missed the chance to be come Vladimir the Great.
- Russia is too small compared to China and the United States and too stiff to win an equal status. Its economy and population are shrinking. The dependence on oil and gas is a dead-end-road.
- Putin needs to find a compromise in Ukraine- like proposed by the World Security Network- and play a positive role in Syria to end the war as well. The Kremlin must build up trust again.
- Any successful economy needs freedom. To be powerful you need a strong economy. Therefore Russia needs more freedom, not less, and the human rights protected to be strong long-term.
Putin needs regional compromises and small victories in Ukraine and Syria first, radical reforms in Russia in a second stage.
He needs a reset of the important relations to the EU , the US and even NATO and find compromises of peaceful coexistence. An arms race with the United States and China is a judo-mission impossible. The military has already reached the limits of capacities.
In a nutshell: Putin needs a u-turn now, like a good judo champion has trained many times to win at the very end.
Or Putin and Russia will lose the historical judo fight long-term, as the American and Chinese forces will strangulate a weak Mother Russia slowly, as it happens in judo.