British historian: That is why Putin is right to fear for his life | Policy

British historian: That is why Putin is right to fear for his life | Policy
British historian: That is why Putin is right to fear for his life | Policy

The Roman Emperor Domitian is remembered in history with only one joke when he said “It is a terrible thing to be an emperor, because everything makes you think your panic of assassination is groundless, until you are actually killed!”, and soon after Domitian was assassinated.

In this context, the British historian Simon Sabbagh Montevoire says, in an article published by the American magazine “Time”, that extreme vigilance is the basic mood of tyranny that must settle this situation, not only because the tyrant is already at risk of coup and surrounded by enemies, but also Because his tyranny requires that his people be afraid and isolated, and then the extremist solutions. And Russian President Vladimir Putin is living proof of this puzzle.

Montevoire commented on the recent attack with a march on the Kremlin that it may have been the work of the Ukrainian factions or from within the broader internal Kremlin apparatus, or a “phony” operation by the regime itself, but it was inevitable that the dictatorship would claim that it was an assassination attempt on Putin.

He considered the attack absurd because everyone knows that the president does not live in the Kremlin but outside Moscow in his venerable Novo-Ogaryovo mansion, and yet the Russian president will have the sympathy of Emperor Domitian because Putin has every reason to fear assassination.

Victory makes the Russian ruler invulnerable and almost sacred, but defeat makes him vulnerable to his closest entourage, ministers and generals.

absolute systems

The historian believes that it is a vulgar image of Putin that is filled with the Western press, as well as of his predecessors Stalin, Peter the Great and Ivan the Terrible. They are paranoid, and it is a cliché that ignores and misunderstands the nature of dictatorship, especially in Russia.

He stated that all absolute regimes in world history rely on coercion to crush opposition and cling to power, thus creating internal enemies who can only use violence to overthrow the ruler. And all of these regimes spread war and xenophobia to inspire and control their people in a way that creates yet another legion of enemies.

Montevoire hinted that Putin knows the history of tyrants, and has been asking historians in recent years: “How will history remember me?” He said that his isolation during the Covid pandemic made him one of the most dangerous people in history.

But history also reveals what happens when czars fail. In 1964 Khrushchev was lucky to only be overthrown and retire after risking nuclear war and achieving unprecedented national humiliation in the Cuban Missile Crisis, even though his successor Brezhnev suggested he be assassinated.

The historian continued that victory makes the Russian ruler invulnerable and almost sacred, but defeat exposes him to danger from his closest entourage, ministers and generals. As one thinks of the Caesars who were overthrown by the masses, most of them had already been destroyed by their closest colleagues in the depths of their palaces.

The article concluded that when Russian leaders fall, revenge usually comes from the closest associates, and as Stalin joked, “When you walk in the corridors, you never know when it will come to you.” Putin is not crazy with suspicion, he has every reason to be vigilant, and then Domitian will sympathize.

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