• ricky posted an update 1 week, 1 day ago

    Was this this Putin’s long game, putting an unstable president into power and destabilizing Europe through Brexit and the displacement of peoples through wars in the Middle East. Was he a malign genius, actively shafting the West, or a convenient scapegoat for our failings? Or both?

    • “actively shafting the West”

      Mostly this.

    • I’ve read that he doesn’t see western stability and unity being in Russia’s interests.

      • The latest bad news of course are the imminent trade wars, initiated (or so it seems on the surface) by one D. Trump.

        It’s wrong to speculate but as you get jaded by each new revelation you do begin to wonder if it’s Moscow that is pulling the strings.

    • I’d agree with the malign part but I don’t think it requires genius to spot obvious existing problems and disagreements in our politics and poke at them.

      Also, the evidence that he was interfering seems pretty clear to me but the extent of his success is much harder to judge and I doubt that anybody will ever know whether things would have gone differently without Russia’s assistance. Having said that, Brexit and Trump were both quite close calls so he didn’t need to shift opinions very much.

      • Intriguingly NYT has just published an article – Trump Tries to Destroy the West By DAVID LEONHARDT

        “There’s only one explanation that fits his behavior: He wants to break up the alliance that has dominated the past century.”

        ..and that’s all I can read as I’ve now used up my 5 free articles for this month

    • I don’t think the idea of Putin the malign puppeteer working step by step through a detailed master plan in pursuit of a clear and detailed goals makes much sense. I suspect the reality is it’s lots and lots of little bits of opportunistic intervention working broadly toward a goal of a relatively stronger Russia and a relatively stronger Putin. His retirement plan and legacy is more interesting, what comes next, a clean-up, reform and real development or as seems more likely more militaristic nationalism covering the cracks caused by kleptocracy as conditions worsen for ordinary Russians and their neighbours.