Monday, August 06, 2018


Putin wants to shore up Russian army patriotism:

Vladimir Putin has created a new directorate inside the Russian army to promote patriotism, evoking memories of a Soviet practice that once saw soldiers taught the precepts of Marxism and Leninism by political commissars.

The move, approved by Putin in a presidential decree published on Monday, will affect Russia's around 1 million active military service people and appears designed to ensure soldiers' loyalty at a time when Moscow is locked in a geopolitical standoff with the West.

I'm sure that in the definitions section, "patriotism" is defined as loyalty to Putin. Commissars in the Soviet system enforced army loyalty to the communist party, which the top dog controlled. There will be no such nuanced indirect effort this time.

Given the problem Putin has in sending anybody but seconded "volunteers" and mercenaries rather than Russian army units to his wars in Syria and Ukraine where their deaths would prompt outrage at home, I imagine he'd like an army a little more willing to go the extra mile. For patriotism, of course.

It's been a long time since the Great Patriotic War when Russians were willing to endure 30 million casualties to win a war.

Add this to the creation of a personally loyal second army, the National Guard, and I think we can safely say that Putin has no intention of ever retiring.

And if this loyalty effort works, Putin could start a war of conquest over an easy target to stay in power if he thinks that is his best alternative.

If this is the idea, I'd say the properly "patriotic" army invades ... oh, to take a name at random, Belarus ... to take it and then Putin's National Guard pacifies the people.