View from Delhi: Putin’s victory is a geopolitical reality

12:07 26.03.2024 •

Thousands of people gathered on Moscow’s Red Square to celebrate President Vladimir’s election victory, March 18, 2024

The Russian presidential election has vividly brought out the fault lines in international politics in a way that seldom happens. That is because the political personality of President Vladimir Putin fills the global stage today like a Colossus. The extent to which the West has gone to demonise him shows what a morbid obsession this has become for them, stresses M.K. Bhadrakumar, Indian Ambassador and prominent international observer.

In retrospect, the single point western agenda was quintessentially about Putin whose historical role to regenerate and resurrect ‘post-Soviet’ Russia and bring it back to the centre stage of global affairs as a world class power remains an unforgivable turn in current history.

If Nato expansion is about the perpetuation of US hegemony and de-dollarisation is about the burial of the western financial system that underpins that hegemony, Putin is playing a pivotal role in that historical process. If Putin fulfils even one half of the ambitious blueprint of social and economic programme for Russia that he outlined in his landmark speech at the Federal Assembly of the parliament, the global strategic balance will have shifted irrevocably and cemented a multipolar world order as the anchor sheet of 21st century politics.

The West knows it, the Russian people know it, the vast majority of nations realise it. That said, it must be understood as well that this is not only Putin’s victory personally but also a consolidation of Russian society around him. And that accounts for the election turning into such a high-stakes affair.  

With a popularity rating consistently crossing 80% in the most recent years, especially as a Russian victory in the Ukraine war began to look a plausible reality, the outcome of the election was a foregone conclusion.

Hence the covert operations and terrorist acts to create disturbed conditions within Russia and discredit or undermine the election process. (This comment was published a day before the terrorist attack on Crocus City in Moscow).

No sooner than Putin’s landslide victory was announced in Moscow, the collective West attempted to trash the outcome as “rigged,” “stage-managed,” a “rubber-stamp presidential election,” “pre-determined” and so on. The fact that Putin is indeed an immensely popular, widely supported, and well-respected leader among the Russian public has been completely ignored.

Curiously, the Yuri Levada Analytical Center, Levada Center’s franchise in Moscow, which receives US government funding through the National Endowment for Democracy, and claims to be “an independent polling agency that is well-known for its surveys on sociopolitical issues both within Russia and worldwide” had estimated that Putin’s approval rating as of February 2024 stood at 86%.

But this silly campaign is doomed to have a short shelf life. The world is moving on. The US does not want to get locked into such a futile charade as Green leader Baerbock’s. The Russian-American tango traditionally involved the loser keeping the head beneath the parapet to lick wounds and re-engage another day.

The frenzy in the western mind reached a crescendo over a Putin victory. What emerges is that the current election reflected the sentiment of the Russian public, which even the US government-funded polling confirmed. No wonder, the western world apart, the global majority have felicitated Putin, ignoring the collective west’s orchestrated smear campaign. The theatre of the absurd reached such a point that German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock apparently resolved she would no longer refer to Putin as Russia’s legitimate president!

Photos of French President Emmanuel Macron, posted on Instagram by his official photographer, Soazig de la Moissonnière, coloured in moody black and white, and showing the diminutive leader with teeth gritted and biceps bulging as he works out, are being interpreted as a clumsy act to show off his sporting prowess vis-a-vis Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has of course won a black belt in judo and is known to be a fitness freak whose preferred way of relaxing after a hard day’s work is playing ice hockey.


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