By Paul Goble
The horrific scenes coming out of Bucha, Irpen and other Ukrainian cities “not only make Putin a war criminal” but “show ‘the quality’ of the Russian army,” one so indisciplined and prone to criminal actions that it will be a serious threat to Russia itself once its million members return home, Vladislav Inozemtsev says.
The behavior of the Russian forces is not that surprising in one sense, the Russian commentator says. After all, it was sent to fight by an organized criminal group, the Putin regime, and “if one such group steals, why shouldn’t another specialize in murders?” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=624BC9D4B3FEA and gordonua.com/blogs/vladislav-inozemcev/posle-vozvrashcheniya-svoih-voennyh-rossiya-paru-desyatiletiy-budet-rashlebyvat-kriminalizaciyu-obshchestva-90-e-pokazhutsya-obrazcom-dzhentlmenstva-1603286.html).
But in thinking about the future, it should be obvious that the several tens of thousands of Russian rulers will simply flee if and when Russia is defeated, but the million veterans of the Ukrainian war won’t leave and what they did there will bleed back into Russian society in horrific ways.
Consequently, “even if Putin meets his next birthday in the Hague or doesn’t live that long – and the chances of both these scenarios are growing today with unimaginable speed – the rapists, murderers and marauders will be returning to society and will significantly change its nature,” Inozemtsev says.
The veterans of Afghanistan and Chechnya were not as dangerous for Russia society not only because they were fewer and came back gradually rather than as is likely now more or less all at once but also because the social rules of the game were better and exercised a greater influence on the behavior of veterans, he continues.
“During World War II, the inhuman German commanders understood that the organization of mass murders must not be a task for regular armed services but instead should be assigned to the SS.” But for today’s “’effective managers’” in Moscow that is too sophisticated a concept.
“And this means,” Inozemtsev concludes, “that even after the departure of Putin, the country will have to deal with the criminalization of society that he sponsored over several decades” and one “in comparison to which, the ‘accursed’ 1990s, will appear a model of gentlemanly behavior and decency.”