Putin needs a dictionary

Comments like this really get my goat:

“It’s their brains, not our Constitution, which need to be changed. What they are offering to us is a clear remnant of colonial thinking. They must have clearly forgotten that Britain is no longer a colonial power, there are no colonies left and, thank God, Russia has never been a British colony.”

Vladimir Putin – Russian Dictator President

Not just the fact that yet another country is having a pop at the greatest Empire this world has ever seen, which at the moment it seems fashionable to do, nor the fact that Russia was never actually under the control anyone else’s empire and so wouldn’t know so called ‘colonial thinking’ if they started printing it on vodka bottles, but the fact that Russia was itself one of the worst colonial powers! Talk about pot and kettle!

Admittedly Russia didn’t have any overseas colonies per se, but it certainly had colonies, afterall the definition of colony is:

colony

• noun (pl. colonies) 1 a country or area under the control of another country and occupied by settlers from that country.

Oxford English Dictionary

In fact after Britain they were the worst (or most successful depending on how you look at it) colonial power, acquiring a huge amount of land and taking over countless other nations and peoples from 1613-1917, admittedly they were all on the borders of Russia, at least they were after Russia had conquered all the other nations in between, but colonisation is colonisation. Most importantly none of the territories were handed their freedom after the glorious Revolution that ended the Russian Empire either.

Russia, a massive colonial power right up until 1991, that is still fighting a war against freedom fighters in one colony (Chechnya) and I believe is the worlds only colonial power in the 21st Century, accusing another nation of backward colonial thinking. Do the Russians even have a word for irony?

This is all because Putin thinks that he is able to assassinate people in Britain with impunity and to be fair he may well have gotten away with it, but to poison someone with a radioactive material, exposing hundreds if not thousands of innocent people to at best an early death due to cancer at worst a slow and painful death is going too far. If anything that kind of complete disregard for innocent civilians is something not from colonial times, but from the days of Stalin.

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13 responses to “Putin needs a dictionary

  1. “Most importantly none of the territories were handed their freedom after the glorious Revolution that ended the Russian Empire either.”
    If that would be true there would be no Poland, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. All this countries got independence after Russian Revolution. The rest of your remarks are not less imaginative rather than true.

  2. Thank you for the comment Alex. I was of course referring to the Revolution of 1917, in which the anti Imperialist Bolsheviks seized power and then continued to manage the Empire.

    As for Poland, Finland etc, they weren’t given up without a struggle, do you not remember or have not heard about the Hungarian revolution? And the other attempts by Eastern Europe to throw off Communism? They were given their independence more because Russia could no longer hold onto them (and daren’t risk a bloody put down), than anything involving a Revolution.

    As for 1991, that was more of a collapse than a Revolution. This ended the Soviet Empire, the Russian Empire continues to this day with millions on non Russians living under Russia rule.

  3. You want to be another one liberator after Napoleon and Hiltel, do you?

  4. Well, I’m Russian and live in Russia. History is history, but I have to say you know nothing about current situation in Russia. Vladimir Putin is not a dictator, not even close, he just tries to keep order here. Now it’s much safer here after chaos of ’90-’01 years and still getting better. And 80% of russians (including me) supports his policy – isn’t it impossible with dictatorships where everyone hates ruling class?

    You wrote:
    “…that is still fighting a war against freedom fighters in one colony…”
    First of all, that war has ended already. And – Freedom fighters? What a hell are you talking about? They are pure terrorists. I don’t know why your mass media is still showing them as “rebels” or “freedom fighters” – it is wrong point of view, thrust me. Read an article in Wiki about Chechnya carefully.

    “As for 1991, that was more of a collapse than a Revolution.” – correct, that was more of a mess.

    “This ended the Soviet Empire, the Russian Empire continues to this day with millions on non Russians living under Russia rule.” – so what? Many of non Americans living under American rule. Small countries can’t be absolutely independent – let’s call it influence, not ruling.

    “This is all because Putin thinks that he is able to assassinate people in Britain…” – oh lord, why are you so certain? Who told you it was Putin? TV said it? Then you should say – “I was told Putin assassinated people…”. You don’t really know what happend there, neither do I. Dig deeper.

  5. Hi Anton, thanks for commenting. I’d have to disagree about Putin, there’s no way that the Polonium would have been able to leave Russia, let alone fall into the hands of the assassin, without the Russian Government being aware of it.

    If he didn’t explicitly order it, he must have at least been made aware of it. I don’t see the Russians turning over every rock looking for Litvinenko’s killers in Russia. As I said taking out former agents is par for the course, it always has been but this wasn’t a clean hit, it was some kind of message, either by Putin or his supporters.

    The British Government will never openly state that it was a Russian hit, that isn’t how the game is played.

    As for Putin not being a dictator, there is no longer any free press in Russia, he doesn’t get criticised, so how would you know that he isn’t popular?

    Hitler was elected and popular when he first become Chancellor, his first step was to claim that a firm hand is needed, to sort out the chaos. Then anyone that didn’t toe the line was unpatriotic, newpapers and television stations closed down, dissenters were rounded up and deported or worse. Sound familiar? Putin even has his own Hitler Youth. I am not claiming that Putin is anything like Hitler, but dictators tend to follow a pattern. It will be interesting to see whether he steps down at the end of his term.

    They are called Patriots and Freedom Fighters when they win independence, when they lose, they are rebels and terrorists.

    I think the countries and people themselves would disagree about it being influence but as you say America is little better and still has colonies too.

    My original point wasn’t so much that there is a problem with colonies but that a nation such as Russia (or Putin to be precise) was taking the moral high ground about colonialism, and having a dig at Britain’s past, which to be fair is somewhat whiter than that of Russia, when they were and still are a far worse colonial power than Britain. Mentioning colonialism seems to be a standard line when dealing with Britain, but Putin really has no reason to bring it up and apart from being hypocritical and undiplomatic, his comments just don’t make any sense.

  6. Hi again, Charlie

    I agree, Putin had no reason to mention colonialism. He is just a politician and tough speeches is a part of it. But Litvinenko’s death – all that story is just irrational to me. It was highly predictable that his assassination will worsen Putin’s reputation. And why such a strange method – by polonium. Slow death with many visible symptoms and a large pictures of his injured face in all newspapers. There’s a lot of poisons with a much faster “action” and easier to use and harder to detect. I just don’t get it. It seems to me Putin won nothing.

    “Putin even has his own Hitler Youth.” – yes, you’re right. It’s “Nashi” and others. I don’t like them – they are too brainwashed and aggressive. But I don’t think it’s a sign dictatorship – any regime has its supporters, blind patriotism.

    We have a free press in Russia. Although main tv channels and newspapers are 100% pro-kremlin, others are not. Internet is free to use. I live in Moscow suburbs and it’s not a problem to buy any foreign newspaper here (if you know the language, of course). I prefer Herald Tribune. By the way, I recommend to read this article:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/07/19/opinion/edschmemann.php

    From this article:

    “For all the moralizing about peace and democracy, the United States, and the West in general, made little effort to help Russia when it was down and instead seized the moment to expand NATO up to its borders and in many ways treated Russia as a defeated enemy. [..] So for the Russians, now awash in oil income, it’s payback time – in Kosovo, in Europe, in Iran, wherever…”

    Maybe, that is the reason of all problems?

  7. I agree that the death of Litvinenko was quite bizarre and that there are certainly better ways of despatching defectors. Obviously the method of killing Litvinenko was well thought out and planned and so the killers must have been well aware and aiming for that kind of exposure and publicity, the question is why? I can only assume the Putin’s (or whoever killed Litvinenko) message was “Don’t fuck with Russia”

    Interesting article. I admit I have always been surprised by the way that Russia is referred to as defeated and the way the press continuously say “America won the Cold War” when in reality Bush and Gorbachev reached an agreement to end the Cold War. I had always believed that the Cold War and the Soviet Union ended due to political change in Russia, rather than any direct American actions. But then the US have always had a knack for rewriting history in their favour.

    I do think that Russians have a right to feel aggrieved, after all they seem to have gone from a Super Power to a nobody overnight, the US particularly and I suppose NATO too no longer saw them as any kind of power. Which is absurd really as they still have the second largest military in the world but it seems the US have the final say as to who is and who isn’t in their club. I don’t think that the West or the US did enough to help the fledgling Russian democracy. I remember seeing on TV the huge queues outside near empty supermarkets in Russia and the people complaining that democracy is worse than communism. I think that the lack of help was intentional though, I think that the US and perhaps the rest of the West wanted to make sure that Russian power was crippled. The US had done it before at the end of Word War II, when they made sure that the British Empire was dismantled and continued to ensure that Britain was no longer able to have much influence in world events.

    I can also see why NATO must seem like a slap in the face to Russia, particularly as every one seems to be able to join, except of course Russia. I don’t think that NATO is needed anymore.

    The question is whether Russia is playing for pride or trying to be a counter balance to the US (which in my opinion is desperately needed), the world doesn’t need another super power doing whatever it wants in the world.

  8. Pretty pathetic article. So is the U.S. a massive colonial power because it expanded from its 13 colonies?

  9. Hello Golosha, perhaps not expanding the original colonies, at least not technically as the Indians didn’t actually have their own state, but certainly when they took parts of Mexico, conquered Hawaii, the Philipines and Cuba. You could claim that Hawaii is still a colony today and if not Hawaii then Puerto Rico certainly is.

  10. Alex & The Unknowns

    Interesting,
    and the map is beautiful.

    But still, I agree with Anton that you should reconsider your opinion on Chechnya “rebels”. As 90% of local Chechnya population don’t support them.

  11. It isn’t my opinion that the Chechen Separatists were freedom fighters, that is just the way it goes. If there is a group fighting for autonomy for a region, particularly against a colonial power, then they are classed as freedom fighters or rebels.

    Take the American Revolutionary war for example, known as the War of Independence in the US, they were considered by the British as rebels but they called themselves Patriots and Freedom Fighters.

    Also the Philippine Insurrection, known as the War of Independence to the Filipinos fighting it, the US considered them rebels, revolutionaries and terrorists. They considered themselves freedom fighters, but they lost.

    For me personally the Chechen Separatists were/are terrorists, any group, no matter how noble the cause, that kills innocents, particularly women and children, is a terrorist group. But as the saying goes, ‘history is written by the victors’.

    Israel for example was set up by a terrorist group, the first Prime Minister was head of said group, but who remembers that now? Had the Chechen Separatists won, I am sure that they would be heroes now in Chechnya and considered ‘Freedom Fighters’ even those that wouldn’t have liked their methods would have liked the results.

  12. Pingback: Putin let’s the mask slip « Charlie’s Space

  13. I’m reading some post about Chechnya , I see here some of russian or whatever people trying to say that Chechens don’t support chechen freedom fighters or whatever lie is coming from russians or whoever-U WRONG.

    Since 1994 in Chechnya, Russia killed 345 000 chechens including children but nobady mention about that why word is so cruel to Chechen people? Who don’t see the real terrorist is RUSSIAN GOVERMENT who first started war in Chechnya. Why do you think some of chechen became terrorist because Russian killed their fathers mather suns doughters sister.

    Russia is not freedom country and no democracy, dictators country, and now Chechens want independent state from that cruel dictator and kgb country.

    World must support Chechnya! Chechens want to live in free democratic chechen state.

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