Vladimir Putin as Ivan the Terrible
Via Lara Marlowe in the Irish Times:
Prof Lucjan Fac traces the cause of the war, and a pattern of Russian aggression, back to the 16th century.
“Vladimir Putin is the reincarnation of Ivan the Terrible,” Fac said as he showed me through the local branch of the Polish National Museum yesterday.
Ivan the Terrible (1547-1584), also known as Ivan Grozny, was the first tsar of all Russias, who tried to unite fragmented territories held by Slavic tribes.
“Ivan believed the religious and political doctrine which saw Moscow as the Third Rome, after the ancient Roman empire and Constantinople,” Fac explains. “This doctrine caused wars for centuries, and Putin is steeped in it. He thinks like the tsars. He sees democracies as unstable, because presidents and prime ministers come and go while he remains in power.”
Fac’s friend and fellow historian, Jan Jarosz, the director of the National Museum, believes Putin wants not to reconstitute the Soviet Union but to create “Great Russia”.
“In the tsarist mentality,” Jarosz says, ‘Big Russia’ [present-day Russia] plus ‘Little Russia’ [Ukraine] and Belarus equals Great Russia. Putin wants all eastern Slavs to unite in one Great Russia.”
Jarosz cites a press conference given by Putin five years ago. When asked what he would do about Ukraine, Putin responded: “Have you read the memoirs of General [Anton] Deniken?”
The early 20th century Russian general wrote that whoever rules in Moscow must consider Ukraine to be a part of Russia.
Ironically, this absurd tweet suggests you’ve fallen for Putin’s propaganda. The guy’s the new Hitler – stop providing cover for him. https://t.co/64I4hzR7yr
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 3, 2022
You are such a toddler, Piers. Just way too old to be seriously entering in a “literally Hitler” analysis.
Keep yourself contained to mean tweets about Meg and Harry while the adults discuss foreign affairs, NATO, and western hegemony. https://t.co/XSTtMblCpa
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) March 3, 2022
Illustration by Tahni Österman