Russia: What You Don’t Know

One of the more interesting aspects of the ongoing conflict between Russia and western countries relates to the question “why”? Why is Putin pushing this agenda? The answer, btw, is that we (without direct access to Putin’s brain) don’t know. We can only speculate based on what we do know.

Despite this, we see a flood of opinions about what the west should or should not do based on “certain” conclusions about why Russia is doing what it does. These range from the argument for discussing a broad deal BECAUSE Putin believes he has valid complaints to the argument for resisting Russia’s advanced BECAUSE it is part of a broad anti-NATO strategy.

But what if there is no strategy? What if Putin is basically unaware of the larger issues that concern us? What if he is like Chauncy Gardner in the film “Being there”? Hmmm … at least one person (a Mr. Pugachev) thinks that this is what Putin is really like.  Consider this excerpt

Pugachev suggests that the Russian leader might not be making economic decisions strategically.

“Vladimir Putin does not understand economics. He does not like it. It is dry. It’s boring to hear these reports, to read them,” Pugachev says. “He likes clear things: Russia’s moving ahead; how great everything is. He does not have a deep understanding of what is happening.”

Right now, Russia is facing serious economic problems. Not to mention, the Rouble keeps plunging. Pugachev says that Putin doesn’t care.

“Putin’s close circle understands that he likes good news, so they always bring him good news. Whatever is happening, it’s good. For him, it’s enough to be in a good mood,” Pugachev told TIME.



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