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Dugin’s Blood and Putin’s Wounds

Dugin’s Blood and Putin’s Wounds

Monday, 22 August, 2022 - 09:30
Ghassan Charbel
Ghassan Charbel is the editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Russian Thinker Alexander Dugin has the right to mourn the murder of his daughter. The killing of children is the most terrible punishment that can be inflicted on parents. The death of one’s child is a wound that not even time can heal. Bitterness amplifies when a son or a daughter is killed due to their parents’ ideas and policies… when the father understands that he was the real target, and that fate saved him from death, but not from torments.

It is obvious that the killer wanted to use Dugin’s blood to send a painful message to the father of the new Russia coming from the womb of the Russian war in Ukraine. The message is very dangerous. We can imagine the extent of the anger that swept Vladimir Putin’s face when he was informed of the crime, which took place in the heart of Moscow. The assassination means that a party decided to cross all the red lines and transfer the confrontation to an even more terrible stage.

The incident raised a series of difficult questions. Who is behind it? Did a party from the internal opposition decide to launch a life-or-death challenge in the face of the man holding the decision and all the threads? Did an external intelligence service play a role in inflicting a blow to the country’s master? Which apparatus would dare to move the confrontation to this level with the leader who came from the ranks of the KGB? Who can withstand a response the size of this slap or more?

Which parties can penetrate the tight security belt around the vast country, its capital, and the surrounding areas? Who guarantees that the architect of Dugin’s assassination would not plan to target a high-ranking official in the country?

Conspiracy theorists will not miss the topic. They will argue that the incident, despite its seriousness, may be designed by an internal body that wants to make the Russians aware that their country is in real danger, and that they must rally around the authorities who sent the army to Ukraine to thwart a plot and deter the threats.

However, if Moscow accused Kyiv of being behind the assassination, this would mean that severe punishment is coming and that President Volodymyr Zelensky should count his days; especially after reports that the Ukrainian security services had so far thwarted more than one plan to remove him from the equation.

Targeting Alexander Dugin is a dangerous matter, due to his weight in the country. I will not join those who call him, “Putin’s mind”, but the man has certainly left his mark on public opinion and perhaps on the president’s policy itself, especially in terms of hostility to the West and its liberalism, the Eurasian destiny of Russia, and his refusal to recognize maps, in particular those that were born from the ashes of the Soviet Union.

What is more dangerous than the assassination is the growing feeling that the fate of the world depends on one man’s mind. The repeated talk about the conditions for resorting to nuclear weapons, and the production of new generations of unprecedented missiles, constitute a convincing reason for concern.

Putin is a man of many wounds. He sustained the first injury when he was asked to destroy his papers and leave East Germany, as the Berlin Wall was collapsing. It was not simple. What collapsed were the borders of the empire and the fence that protected it from the temptations of the Western model, which both Dugin and Putin despised.

The second wound came with the suicide of the Soviet Union when Putin saw republics racing to jump off the Soviet train, washing their hands of its history. The officer, who returned to the intelligence headquarters in Moscow, saw these escapes as acts of treason.

Putin was wounded for the third time when Yeltsin’s Russia looked poor, hesitant, and fragile, and the US ambassador in it deserved the title of “strong man” in a weak country.

Those wounds overwhelmed Putin’s soul. He felt bitter whenever a “traitorous country” joined the NATO alliance, which was approaching the borders of “holy Russia”. The scenes of Soviet tanks burning in Iraq and Libya with US or Atlantic fire also tormented him, while the former allies of Moscow were behaving like orphans at the table of Western victory.

Wounds accumulated in the soul of the Soviet warrior. Many in the military and security establishment, in the church, and university circles feared for Russia itself.

Dugin was among those who panicked, looking forward to the great vengeance. The war in Ukraine was an opportunity to celebrate the massive coup. He hastened to call for the annexation of all of Ukraine, but the war lasted more than expected and many believe that it is causing more wounds.

The aura of the Russian army, whose soul and capabilities were restored by Putin, led many to believe that the war would be a blitzkrieg. Some speak in this context of a terrible intelligence failure. It is said that Russian services expected the Ukrainian regime to collapse quickly and Zelensky to bow and hide… For Kyiv to fall into the hands of the Russian army, or to swiftly pass into the custody of a man loyal to Moscow, who guarantees its submission and buys its safety.

Six months after its outbreak, the war seems costly and long. The recent strikes that reconnected Crimea to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict certainly added a new wound, preceded by the sinking of the Russian battleship, Moskva. The resistance operations in the areas controlled by the Russian army give the confrontation another dimension. Western weapons doubled the resilience of the Ukrainian army and helped it target places that were far from its line.

There is another wound caused by Western experts’ words that the Russian army was incapable of crushing the Ukrainian forces and could not engage in a direct confrontation with NATO. They add that Putin, who is trying to escape American hegemony, has made his country dependent on the Chinese giant.

Is Putin betting on the harsh European winter to force the world to accept a settlement that would allow him to talk about victory? Will he insist on completing the great coup, or will he accept a decent exit?

Putin’s sense of victory is dangerous. But his sense of defeat would be even more perilous. The fate of the world is tied to what is going on in the head of one man, and the world will certainly pay the price for Dugin’s blood and Putin’s wounds.

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