I was surprised to see this video of Russian people protesting in Moscow ... and not a little alarmed at the reason one Muscovite said that they are not protesting in larger numbers.
While the collapse of the oil market and the ruble may eventually bring the Russian mafia down, in the process it is bringing misery to millions who are mere pawns in high-stakes games of international finance, as we see clearly in the above video.
There are many other reports about the fallout of Putin's demagoguery in articles like this one about shopkeepers and mall owners losing their livlihoods at the hands of the state, and this one about Russian-owned gas stations closing in Poland and the Baltics.
There is plenty of misery to go around at the hands of the Putin regime, and I do feel sorry for the Russian people, but only to an extent. Some see the light but the vast majority, if the polls are to be believed, don't.
They trust a mafia boss to deliver a decent standard of living, as this video clearly illustrates.
They believe that Ukrainians are “fascists” for wanting a better life than what they could have under Kremlin lackeys.
They refuse to believe their own friends and relatives in Ukraine who tell them life is vastly different from what the Russian state media tells them.
So, now they are reaping the reward of their blind faith in a moneyed, criminal egomaniac. And, perhaps, in their own egos.
But will they eventually face reality? Or will they look for scapegoats, as happened in Nazi Germany?
As for the mafia-run government they still trust, how likely is it that Putin & Co. will go down quietly, much less alone?
The reality is that (Ras)Putin will cause as much damage as he can trying to hold on to his ill-gotten gains and position of privilege. Sort of a post-modern twist on the "scorched earth" tactic the Russians have used extensively in their imperialist ambitions, especially against Ukraine, most recently by Stalin in WWII.
But the western military-industrial complex won’t allow the global economy, to crash. Recently financial gurus have been opining about how "war is good for the economy."
So I'd say there's a good chance that another world war is on the horizon. And with nukes in the hands of rogue states it doesn't bode well for humanity.
Still there is hope. According to this recent article, mercenaries fighting for Putin are starting to see the light.
Former Russian insurgent calls those whom he was fighting against in the Donbas patriots of his country and says he regrets coming to Ukraine with weapons.
This was stated by former Donbas militant Alexey in an interview with Russian website Rosbalt...
"I can only say of the armed forces of Ukraine, those poor creatures who had been drafted to the army and forced to protect their Fatherland - they are good eggs and patriots. I really regret about having to shoot at them. My enemies are not there! That's the TV that made me think so.
"It's a pity that I'm not the only one deceived by TV propaganda. It's a good thing that many of those who had been there started to realize that's not our war, that's the war of other people and their interests. Many of my comrades realized that we had been deceived and betrayed."
Not so much that people merely stop fighting, because that just makes it easier for tyrants to continue their oppression and totalitarianism. Which is what Ukrainians have been fighting for centuries, and still are fighting... mostly alone as they always have been.
Rolling over and giving in may end the use of heavy weapons, but it won't end the oppression of tyrants.
No. War will not end until people stop allowing themselves to be used as instruments of evil. This calls for some hard decisions, honest introspection, and sacrificing of egos on an individual, personal basis. No finger-pointing or assigning blame ... except to the person in the mirror.
Is the human race up to it?
Well, we can only hope.