Vladimir Putin: What’s going on inside his head?

The Russian president’s intentions are now clear. The psychology behind them has been years in the making• Ukraine crisis live• Read more: how Putin built his career on waging warYou’ve all seen it now. The small, mean, vicious yet weirdly blank eyes. The stubby stabbing fingers that jab as he humiliates his underlings, making them shake with fear. The joy he takes in sadism. It’s almost comedy villain stuff. But cliches exist for a reason. And we need to stop kidding ourselves about Putin – and start taking steps to deal with him.For decades we’ve wanted to avoid the challenge. Not so much appease as just hope he goes away. It’s a headache having to face up to the blunt fact that Putin is trying to utterly change the world. His aims are impossible to ignore now. The Kremlin’s foreign policy thinktanks are already churning out articles about how his invasion of Ukraine means the start of a “multipolar world”. Ignore the geopolitical PR. All multipolar means here is emboldened fascism. Before the political scientists among you get all carried away debating endlessly what “fascism” means let me explain my terms. Continue reading…

The Russian president’s intentions are now clear. The psychology behind them has been years in the making

• Ukraine crisis live
Read more: how Putin built his career on waging war

You’ve all seen it now. The small, mean, vicious yet weirdly blank eyes. The stubby stabbing fingers that jab as he humiliates his underlings, making them shake with fear. The joy he takes in sadism. It’s almost comedy villain stuff. But cliches exist for a reason. And we need to stop kidding ourselves about Putin – and start taking steps to deal with him.

For decades we’ve wanted to avoid the challenge. Not so much appease as just hope he goes away. It’s a headache having to face up to the blunt fact that Putin is trying to utterly change the world. His aims are impossible to ignore now. The Kremlin’s foreign policy thinktanks are already churning out articles about how his invasion of Ukraine means the start of a “multipolar world”. Ignore the geopolitical PR. All multipolar means here is emboldened fascism. Before the political scientists among you get all carried away debating endlessly what “fascism” means let me explain my terms.

Continue reading…

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