Guest Post: Deena Stryker – Carnegie Endowment’s Analysis of Putin Address Distorts Russian President’s Priorities & Message

Vladimir Putin

By Deena Stryker

It would be too bad if the few Americans who pay attention to foreign policy took the Carnegie Moscow Center’s review of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s State of the Union speech, seriously. While it clocks in at just under a thousand words, Carnegie devoted 500 words to debunking it without a single quote. Tatiana Stanovaya faults Putin for failing to discuss Belarus and Ukraine, the only things Western governments are interested in, ignoring the raft of social measures that interest the Russian people:

“A sting operation by the intelligence agencies against members of the Belarusian opposition becomes, in Putin’s telling of it, a dangerous coup against his Belarusian counterpart, organized by the West, with Putin guilty for not revealing the contents of his subsequent meeting with Lukashenko.” (Never mind that most Americans could not find Belarus on a map.)

“Putin pledged that Russia ‘wants to have good relations with all participants of international society’, even as he noted that Russia’s modernized nuclear weapons systems were at the ready. ‘The organizers of any provocations threatening the fundamental interests of our security will regret their deeds more than they have regretted anything in a long time,’ Mr. Putin told a hall of governors and members of Parliament. ‘I hope no one gets the idea to cross the so-called red line with Russia — and we will be the ones to decide where it runs in every concrete case.’”

A more accurate review of Putin’s speech would show him chiding the gas company for failing to provide lines for residential areas, (a situation that he promised personally to check up on, while musing: “What good will this do, if it doesn’t change anything about life in villages or small towns, but only gives people a chance to watch high-speed trains and vehicles rush past,” calling for the development of a modern network.)

Health care is obviously a major focus of the Russian President, who announced new efforts to combat hepatitis C among young people, as well as a 20% discount on rail tickets to health spas, (which multiplied under Communism). The ‘wide-ranging action’ justifying accusations of authoritarianism included a pledge to provide more school buses, to ensure that all Russians were vaccinated against Covid 19 and that doctors give more heart and vascular tests.

While Americans can only dream of such government solicitude, the president of a country that covers 11 times zones considers it normal. Where the Carnegie Endowment sees ‘threats’ against a West innocent of provocations, Vladimir Putin sees “unfriendly moves, an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often for no reason at all, a competition to see who can shout the loudest, for which the nuclear countries bear special responsibility.”

Putin responded indirectly to Biden’s hope for a one on one by reminding his listeners that he had proposed a meeting of the heads of state of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, confirming Russia’s view of a multi-polar world instead of one with a sole hegemon.

For the Carnegie reviewer alas, it’s:

“too early to tell whether Mr. Putin, 68, was pulling back from the brink. Now in his third decade in power, he appears more convinced than ever of his special, historic role as the father of a reborn Russian nation, fighting at home and abroad against a craven, hypocritical, morally decaying West.

“This sense of superiority mixed with arrogance gives him a feeling of power, and this is dangerous. When you think you are more powerful and more wise than everyone else around you, you think you have a certain historical mandate for more wide-ranging action.”

Although they will not be consulted on matters of survival, comments by American readers on Russia Today’s website are unlikely to agree with the Carnegie Endowment’s learned analysis.

Deena Stryker is a journalist and analyst, focused on geopolitics. She is the author of Russia’s Americans available at Amazon. In the 1960’s she conducted a multi-part interview with Fidel Castro and his associates. She has lived in Cuba, France, Poland and Hungary.

4 thoughts on “Guest Post: Deena Stryker – Carnegie Endowment’s Analysis of Putin Address Distorts Russian President’s Priorities & Message”

  1. Sadly this all we can expect from western lame stream corp. owned Amerikan press. I haven’t had time to read the transcript except what was posted here and as usual what V. Putin says and what Amerikan press writes about are 2 different things.

  2. “This sense of superiority mixed with arrogance gives him a feeling of power, and this is dangerous. When you think you are more powerful and more wise than everyone else around you, you think you have a certain historical mandate for more wide-ranging action.”

    I could not find this quote in either of the links above, but it is a classic example of projection combined with exceptionalism.

  3. Usual drivel. Nothing new hear. Putin spends 80% of the speech addressing the Russian people but this isn’t enough for the vainest country in the World, no, we must talk about THEM and THEIR concerns. Lets be honest what IS there to say about Belarus? Another (of the many) failed US coup/regime change ops and another set of nobodies (self appointed rulers) are banished to the sidelines or in their utmost bravery immediately run away to the west to become fully paid up members of the ‘wailing wall’ in Europe.
    The truth is that the West and the US in particular haven’t got a clue about Russia, too much talk about ‘gas stations masquerading as countries’ etc. To be honest it simply isn’t worth reading this stuff any more, Russia is happy to go its own Eurasian way, they don’t need the US and they don’t need Europe both of whom collectively seem to be committing slow suicide, slouching to extinction one might say. American foreign policy (such as it is) is still stuck in the 20th century, Russia (and China) have moved on, Eurasia is where the money is, where the wealth is moving to and where the future power is, maybe the Americans should stay at home and deal with their many self inflicted but constant crises. We’ve dealt with Biden before and the Blinkens, the Nulands and the Kagans and they have nothing to say that we didn’t hear under that other failure Obama. Come back when you’ve got something constructive to offer. Until then good luck with your domestic Nation building – you’re going to need it!

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