Monday, April 25, 2005

Putin Gets Nostalgic

Vladimir Putin makes an address to the Russian nation, in which he laments the fall of the Soviet Union, calling it the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century". Now I understand that there have been a lot of problems to overcome since the wall fell, but I could think of some other "catastrophes" that happened in the 20th century. Perhaps Stalin, for one. Or the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. It looks like Vlad's KGB training is starting to kick back in.

Oddly enough, CNN covers the speech with the rather optimistic headline Putin: Democracy is top priority, and makes no mention of his "catastrophe" statement. Maybe those people who have been calling it the Communist News Network all these years were on to something?

UPDATE: Not to sound paranoid, but doesn't this sound a lot like an old Milosevic speech?

"As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory."

Keep an eye out for Putin to make his Kosovo Polje speech.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers to my humble blog. I am honored to be linked. Feel free to comment. Nobody ever leaves me comments. Even my dad just calls me up asking questions on posts...

UPDATE: Even Pravda runs the headline Vladimir Putin: The Fall of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. How sad it is when Pravda is more accurate than CNN?


Sean O'Se said...

How can they possibly use that optimistic headline? In the text there is one quote that sounds remotely pro-democracy: "[H]e said that parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year in Chechnya should lay the basis for stability and democracy in the region."

But the article gives not even the slightest hint of Putin's anti-democratic "electoral" reforms of the past two years, like ending popular election of oblast governors, or replacing competitive district races with national slates. This latter was the only way independents could mount an effective campaign.

I just don't understand the absolute lack of perspective in the article and the headline.

Anonymous said...

Sean o'se:

It might depend on what makes you or I term something "Optimistic" compared to what CNN defines as "Optimistic."

Somebodies bad news is somebody else's good news. Especially if the papers find out.........:)


James B. said...

Not all news sources ran Putin's "catastrophe" comment as a headline. The NY Times for example used the more hedging "Putin Pledges a Democratic Path, though at His Pace
", but at least they mentioned his more strident comment in the text of the article.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Whatever Putin really meant with the bit about millions of Russians, he could have been speaking in the general pre-Communist Russian Empire sense.

Rob S. said...

The real question is why is Putin saying this? While we can’t know that for sure, his reasons probably do not include any attempt to re-create the USSR by force. So what does that leave? Undermining newly democratized former satellites would be my guess for the most likely action he would take, bringing these states back into the fold. Working behind the scenes to slow down or scotch deals that would help their economies, for example. Also, he might try sending in provocateurs to pit rival groups against each other or discredit the regime. I think that despite anything Putin says, he is very limited in what he can do — not that undermining new democracies is not bad enough. But don’t expect to see Russian tanks in Vilnius any time soon.

I agree with Sean o'se that Putin is getting a pass in the MSM. And apparently from Bush, too. They may have different reasons, but it has to stop.

Anonymous said...

It certainly reveals something about Putin's character inasmuch as he is more the character of Ceasar weeping for Rome than Marx weeping for the defeated masses of the workers' paradise.

I guess only Stalin, Mao, and Castro care(d) about the working people.


dadahead said...

I didn't even realize Pravda still existed. I would have thought it went the way of the old regime.

Chase Dickinson said...

I dont think that our news papers are doing any thing wrong they are just putting out what they think is going to sell the most papers. they may have changed what he had said and it may seem like they did wrong but i dont think that the news network is any thing close to being communist