By Paul Goble
The actions of Russian troops and Russian propagandists in Russian-occupied territories reflect the fact that Vladimir Putin is “not just a dictator and war criminal but a real maniac and psychopath” who enjoys “bullying the defenseless and subjugated,” according to The Forbidden Opinion telegram channel.
“It is not enough for him to kill, capture and destroy,” the Kremlin critic channel says. Putin “needs to humiliate” his opponents, to “force them to their knees,” and to acknowledge and accept “their moral defeat” (t.me/TheForbiddenOpinion/6288 reposted at kasparov.ru/material.php?id=6291A4DD0AF70)
Because that is the case, the channel says, “the clash between Putin’s Russia and Ukraine is more than a war between two countries. It is about the desire of absolute darkness to extinguish a piece of light that by some miracle remains near him” and illuminates the horror he represents.
And as a result, “Putin’s victory cannot be allowed, if only because that should he achieve that, the darkness he presents will no longer be stopped. The last barrier to its spread will collapse, and it will break free, gradually spreading over one territory after another, The Forbidden Opinion concludes.
Ever more often, observers are comparing Putin’s war with Hitler’s and the Russian dictator with the German one. The Forbidden Opinion has gone further in this direction than most; but even if its comments seem hyperbolic, they capture something about the Kremlin leader that is often neglected: the way in which what he is doing is all about him and his demons.
That is perhaps the most important aspect of this situation. What Putin is doing is trying to achieve goals set not by Russian national interests but by his own unstable mental state. And that means something else: Putin and those like him must not just be defeated. If the world is to have peace, they must be removed from power.