Staunton, April 9 – Germany lost both World War I and World War II, but it lost them in different ways, Abbas Gallyamov says. In the first, it lost in a way that suggested to many of them that there was room for revenge; but in the second, it lost so totally and completely that no German could ever think that such revenge was possible.
That distinction must be kept in mind today about Russia, the former Putin speechwriter and now commentator says. If Putin loses only a little, he or some future Russian leader will remain convinced that the Kremlin can launch something similar in the future in an act of revenge (publizist.ru/blogs/112974/42658/-).
But if Russia loses so completely and massively, Gallyamov suggests, that prospect will be less likely. Consequently, “the more graves that are dug now, the more destructively sanctions will hit the Russian economy, and the more catastrophic the consequences of the current course appear, the fewer chances future Russian führers will convince Russians” to back a new war.
Only if defeat becomes so large that responding to it as the Germans did after 1918 will authoritarianism be so discredited that no one will champion it once again. One can only pity the Ukrainians who, having understood before the Russians that authoritarianism is bad, are the ones who are having to teach Russia a lesson.
But they at least, Gallyamov says, “can console themselves with the fact that it is with their hands that the de-Nazification of Russia is now being prepared.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series