Två nya böcker om Putin

Mats Björkenfeldt

Den första Putin-boken har skrivit av en fransk filosof: Michel Eltchaninoff, Inside the Mind of Vladimir Putin (Hurst & Co 2017). Här återges två citat vars innehåll kan ifrågasättas:

”They may be members of NATO and may have received the public reassurance of then President Obama, but it should not be forgotten that the Baltic States are also a target of choice for Moscow.”

”The philosophical origins of Putinism, however diverse they may be, all rest on two pillars: the idea of empire and the justification of war. This is the ideological core common to the Soviet system, the ‘White’ imperialism of Ilyin, the conservatism of Leontiev (in several of his works), the Pan-Slavism of Danilevsky, and Eurasianism, both the founders’ version and Dugin’s today.”

Vad gäller franska filosofer kan noteras följande ur Max Blumentals bok The Management of Savarage (Verso 2019): ”At a March 14, 2011, meeting in Paris arranged by the French celebrity philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, a dedicated interventionist who claimed credit for the West´s intervention in Libya, Clinton made up her mind to push for war.” (s. 145)

Professor Mark Galeotti, We Need to Talk About Putin. Why the West Gets Him Wrong  (Penguin 2019), är dock mer övertygande än Eltchaninoff när han skriver:

”Putin has committed himself to restoring both the central authority of the state and also Russia’s status as a great power, but this is not simply an exercise in geopolitical archaeology, rediscovering and restoring ancient glories. Rather, it is envisaged as creating something new. Recreating the old USSR would not only mean a war with NATO over forcing the recalcitrant Baltic states back into the fold; it would also mean taking on responsibility for five unstable, corrupt Central Asian countries. There is no evidence that Putin – let alone the Russian people as a whole – has any interest in that. Even in Ukraine, a country much closer to Moscow’s heart, had he wanted to annex the ethnically Russian Donbas region, he could have done that in 2014. Indeed, when Putin made it clear that this was not going to happen, he disappointed and angered many Russian nationalists who had seen him as their champion. If he does not want to restore the USSR’s boundaries, what does he want? […] He wants to cherry-pick the bits of history that fit his narrative of a Russia that has been perennially battered and belittled by foreigners, yet strong when it stands together – so the Soviet victory in 1945 is included, but Communism isn’t…”

Vad gäller ”the philosophical origins of Putinism”, det vill säga bland andra Ivan Iljin (Iliyin) och Alexander Dugin, noterar Galeotti:

”Ivan Ilyin was a White, or anti-Bolshevik, émigré who died in 1954. In The Road to Unfreedom, the historian Timothy Snyder paints him as a man who ‘ignored or despised: individualism, succession, integration, novelty, truth and equality’ and at the same time as an intellectual inspiration for Putin. This characterisation of Ilyin as a ‘fascist’ is pretty questionable – after all, this is a man who believed passionately in the rule of law and wrote that ‘freedom of the will is essential’ and that ‘self-determination in spirit is the deepest law of this life’. But regardless of such philosophical debates, the real issue is whether there is any evidence that Putin reads, let alone follows, Ilyin – or any of his other supposed inspirations.”

”Alexander Dugin is a writer, pundit, philosopher and enthusiastic self-publicist who delights in such Western descriptions of him as ‘Putin’s brain’. He espouses ‘Eurasianism’, the idea that Russia should be the heart of an empire spanning Europe and Asia, committed to fighting Western ‘Atlanticism’ and the liberal values it represents. At various times, he has eulogised fascism, Stalin, Neopaganism and then Putin, saying, ‘Putin is everywhere, Putin is everything, Putin is absolute, and Putin is indispensable.’ In early 2014 his views were useful to provide some kind of intellectual rationale for the Crimean land-grab, and when Putin was toying with either creating a puppet pseudo-state of ‘Novorossiya’ (‘New Russia’) in south-eastern Ukraine, or annexing that land, too. But by summer of that year, Putin had backed away from this idea, and Dugin was suddenly no longer useful. His appearances in the media dwindled dramatically, and his contract at Moscow State University was not renewed.”


Så ska man läsa en bok om Putin i hängmattan får det bli Galeottis. På svenska har just utkommit hans bok Vory. Den ryska supermaffian på Bonniers förlag, även den klart läsvärd.