Thursday, September 18, 2014

Russia, Ukraine and Europe have been into Vladimir Putin's black hole of fear

 Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Photograph: Alexey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/EPA

18 September 2014 ( Mikhail Shishkin theguardian) The formula for saving any dictatorship is universal: create an enemy, start a war. We are back in Soviet times of total lies. I remember that as a child I read about black holes in a popular science magazine about space and it scared me. The idea of our world being sucked into these breaks in the universe kept bothering me until I realised that it all was so far away that it would not reach us. But then a black hole tore our world very close to us. It started sucking in houses, roads, cars, planes, people and whole countries. Russia and Ukrainehave already fallen into this black hole. And it is now sucking in Europe in front of our eyes. This hole in the universe is the soul of one very lonely ageing man. The black hole is his fear. TV images of the demise of Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi were messages that fate sent him from exotic countries. Protest rallies that gathered hundreds of thousands of people in Moscow ruined his inauguration and signalled approaching danger. The disgraceful flight of Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovych earlier this year set off alarm bells: if Ukrainians could oust their gang, it could serve as an example for the brotherly nation. The instinct of self-preservation kicked in immediately. The formula for saving any dictatorship is universal: create an enemy, start a war. The state of war is the regime's elixir of life. A nation in patriotic ecstasy becomes one with its "national leader", while any dissenters can be declared "national traitors". 
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