As a man in charge of a nation Putin epitomizes Russian history, culture and soul informed by echoes of old imperial hubris and state chauvinism. Russian empire was not a nation, it was first of all a state that held or strangled if you will, the society in a Byzantine style of perpetual, bloody revolution within ruling elite, in western terms a form of political process. The winner, who remained alive after struggle for power, became entitled to set (not negotiate) the rules of new social contract with his subjects, however harsh or cruel the rules may be he appointed himself a guardian of social order against abuses of Russian aristocrats, oligarchs, clergy and foreign powers.
In Russian political tradition one does not call for change of leadership who do not measure up to expectations, however, one calls for leadership to change their actions or attitudes so original social contract imposed by the power is respected. So in this sense power is vast but not absolute. The notion of gravity and poise of leadership, a requirement of father-like figure of tough but just ruler, is the foundation of government power base within population, not lies, empty promises or catering to particular interest or gain of particular political formation as within western democratic tradition.
In a sense, Russian state political tradition is morally authoritarian and constitutes the glue that holds the nation together.
The Russian leader takes ALL the power and ALL the responsibility for the nation very seriously, at least in minds of Russian people, otherwise looses legitimacy.
Having said that I am not saying that Russian state political system with its intricacies is isolated in the international forum. In fact for over 200 years Russian elites have been integrated to the pan-European aristocratic elites, interbred and developed historical cultural, political and economic connections with the West. Even soviet leadership belonged to global ruling elite, although somewhat estranged form calcified Anglo-Europeans snobs due to their middle class or peasant roots, and played important role in global historical process of shaping world’s elites.
Only in such a context one must see Putin struggles as a member of world power elite, a country club of world oligarchic class which internal saloon-like squabbles or brawls often end up with global wars and millions dead.
It is a proven fact that there is no tranquility in the global country club lounge and halls and some members clearly want more power prestige and influence challenging imperial leadership dominated by US. However, there is no irreconcilable hatred or irresolvable conflict among them so far.
The latest round of US imperial wave of regime change started in late 1980-ties starting with Eastern Europe and USSR is a manifestation of this conflict and hegemonic drive of western elites to further stratify the global elite membership and to expel all those who refuse to submit their populace directly to western control.
The Syrian war is just a hotspot of those elitist conflicts that took already on a form of confrontation between nuclear powers and only in this framework and free reign of Russian foreign policy and military command Putin may be judged. A tough, unwavering but measured stand against threats of western aggression only increased his legitimacy and support at home.
The conflicting bundles of so-called news from every direction that are being proliferated across the media give a picture of utter confusion, not surprising on the western side that is just covering up their imperial motives but also on Russian side and hence can only be understood as deliberate misinformation war, typically a prelude to a larger scale conflict.
Such a small bites of news such as Israel supposedly bombing Syria with no Russian official response even diplomatic to condemn blatant bridge of international law aggression on the official ally while Russian jets routinely flying over Israel after bombing raids in Golan Heights and draw only mute Israeli response of “non threatening incident” while the same Israelis now warmed up to Turkey that ambushed and shoot down the Russian warplane in Syrian airspace. Or Russian cooperation on Syria with NATO while it is deploying weaponry and establishes new bases in the central Europe directly aimed against Russia.
Also Putin political moves in Ukraine, are puzzling at best or acquiesced to Kiev fascist regime at worst, regarding dramatic situation of people due to Kiev regime economic blockade of Donbass and stalled the electoral process in DPR and LPR that led to political volatility and deadly internal struggle for power among militia’s leadership. But politically abandoning people living there without official recognition by Russia, leaving them in limbo of not knowing whether or not they will be sold out in some global political deal to the pro-American fascists of Kiev regime who want them dead as a revenge for their killed comrades, is nothing short of cruelty.
A Rwanda like massacre scenario is a possibility if Russians cut the Donbass support. Impossible? So why in September of 2014 after Donbass militia soundly defeated Ukrainian army and were poised to move on Kiev unopposed, Putin interfered and demanded cessation of hostilities and even forced them to withdraw from hard fought positions
NATO was helpless unable to do anything back then, while chance to end the fascist regime and eliminate the cause of Ukrainian civil war was very real.
More on Russian role in the Ukrainian War:
(07/31/2015) UKRAINIAN WAR UPDATE: Geopolitics of Ukrainian “Winter Revolution” 2014 Part 2: The Role of Russia;
How may we understand Putin attitudes without understanding Russian state and its political traditions and his relation with world oligarchs’ elite? We can’t. We know one thing, Russian policies and actions, as any, are not based on any universal principles but on the self-declared commitments and objectives of the leadership undertaken to the best of national interest as country leadership sees it i.e. ultimately their own interests within global elite.
On a brink of direct confrontation between Russia and the US why Putin, previously insisting of showing his tough but reasonable and rational side, always sending clear direct messages about his intentions, now seems to play this old political game of misdirection, innuendos and confusion?
Under pressure from the western elites marching to the US drumbeat into abyss of war, we never figure out what would be Putin’s next move unless we figure out first what game he is playing. And that’s a bulwark of Russian intricate political tradition.
SYRIAN WAR UPDATE:
SOUTH FRONT Review and analysis. The operation of cutting of terrorists from the Turkish border continues. Offensive stalled in Palmyra after British warplanes cowardly attack on SAA while in south Aleppo small progress towards cutting of Allepo-Hama road is being made.
Death of Palestinian PLF leader due to Israeli air raid in Damascus suburb.
More News from SANA English.(18+)
Bombing in Damascus area:
Latakia strategic Hill lost by SAA after Al-Nusra Front retook it.
Allepo, lucky truck, lucky driver outmaneuvered the TOW missile.
Abandoned dead bodies of terrorists and civilians decomposing on the streets of liberated Daarya; clip from Anna News and Marat Musin.
Turkey sends more troops to Turkish Kurdistan territory, more slaughtering of own citizen to come.
Meanwhile, Kurds in Syria prepare to move against ISIL at Tishrin dam.
Russian bombing in Hama:
Houties ballistic missiles lauched against Saudis invasion forces.