Commentary by Brandon Martinez
By saying he has “Russia’s interests” at heart, fans of Vladimir Putin justify their support for the tyrant. This wordplay is a trick because phrases like “Russia’s national interests” or the “interests of the Russian people” are never coherently defined by the speaker. Therefore, Putin allegedly having the interests of the “Russian people” at heart in his policy making decisions is just a flaccid platitude that Putinists throw around without providing any serious proof to justify the statement. What “interest” exactly do the “Russian people” have in their country’s military involvement in Syria? Virtually nothing. And in what generic “Russian” interest was there for Putin to institute all kinds of oppressive laws restricting the freedom of speech and assembly of Russian citizens? None. The “interests” Putin serves are: 1) first and foremost his own power; 2) that of the clique of oligarchs and fellow KGB bureaucrats who slavishly back up his rule. Moreover, this idea of a uniform common interest amongst the “Russian people” is a communistic delusion. The differing strata of Russian citizens and their financial/social status make such a concept illusory. The different classes of people in Russia obviously have different interests, so Putin cannot possibly be fairly representing the “interests” of all sub-strata of Russia’s citizenry simultaneously. That would be virtually impossible in a country of 144 million people.