One can support President Putin without “deifying” him, and self-censoring oneself from constructively criticizing anyone is a disservice to those that you really care about.
Let me come out and say it — I’m a pro-Putin anti-“Putinist” and it’s about time that Alt-Media acknowledges that we exist. I deeply admire what President Putin has done for Russia and the world at large, but I’m not going to “deify” him as a “secular god” and self-censor myself from constructively criticizing him whenever I feel that it’s appropriate.
This might all sound obvious to most, but if you’re reading this, then you’ve probably come into contact somewhere at some time with what we can call the “Putinists”. They’re a uniquely foreign phenomenon that doesn’t exist inside Russia itself but survives in cyberspace where they’ve formed a cult of sorts that practically “worships” the Russian President.
Here’s what I wrote about them in early 2018 in a piece about how “It’s Okay To Constructively Criticize Russia, Even President Putin Does It!”:
“Russia, like any country in the world, isn’t “perfect”, but just like the object of anyone’s desire, its devotees have a tendency of seeing it that way regardless, especially if they’re not from there themselves but are attracted to it for geopolitical reasons or simply as a statement of principled opposition against the policies of their home country. Whatever the reason may be, and it’s irrelevant in this context to conduct a psychoanalysis of this trend, the end result is that many people across the world who truly appreciate Russia’s efforts to forge a Multipolar World Order that’s fairer and more just than the unipolar one that it seeks to replace often overlook some of the country’s unpleasant realities.
This is more often than not due to both a combination of cognitive dissonance in refusing to accept that their “deified” “role model” doesn’t rule over “paradise” and a deliberate move to avoid unintentionally playing into the runaway Russophobia that’s come to dominate the general discussion. For however “noble” this may or may not be, it nevertheless has fed into a growing online cottage industry that wrongly portrays Russia as having no problems at all.
This artificial narrative has gone viral to the point where an increasing number of people in the Alt-Media Community adhere it as though it’s a “secular religion”, complete with its own “churches” (certain websites and forums), “priests” (narrative writers and promoters), “congregation” (their fellow “believers”), and “heathens” (those who “sacrilegiously” question the “sanctity” of Russia’s “infallibility”).
There’s nothing innately “wrong” with this so long as the “cult members” keep their beliefs to themselves and don’t “proselytize”, but the issue arises once they attempt to aggressively enforce their views onto others and/or disseminate them as indisputable “truths” that axiomatically form the basis of International Relations. The warped perception of Russia that’s beginning to take shape in the Alt-Media Community as a result of this “secular religion’s” growing popularity (provoked to a large degree as a response to the MSM’s Russophobia) must urgently be corrected before it gets out of control and creates an Alternative Reality fully detached from real life. If those who want to truly understand and help Russia don’t have an accurate idea of what it even is, then their plans and efforts will inevitably be for naught.”
That pretty much sums up what a “Putinist” is, which is basically an Alt-Media gatekeeper whose fetish for President Putin prevents them from accepting even the mildest criticism of their “dear leader”, leading them to viciously attack all “deniers” who don’t accept that he isn’t a “secular god”. People can believe whatever they want, but the problem arises once they try to aggressively impose their beliefs on others and resort to propagating and reinforcing fake news narratives about their idol.
Nowhere is this more prominent than when it comes to Russian-“Israeli” relations, with the “Putinists” — who to remind everyone, are a distinctly foreign phenomenon and have nothing to do with Putin himself or his domestic supporters in Russia — convinced that he’s secretly an “anti-Zionist crusader” dedicated to “destroying Israel” on behalf of his “Resistance” allies. This narrative is the epitome of fake news for countless reasons, not least of which is that President Putin himself contradicted it with his own words and actions.
The reader should reference my piece from last year titled “President Putin On Israel: Quotes From The Kremlin Website”, which collects many of the Russian leader’s quotes about “Israel” and provides handy hyperlinks to the original sources on the official Kremlin website to prove that he really said everything that’s attributed to him. If one simply skims that article, then they’d see that President Putin has a track record of praising “Israel” in almost every sphere imaginable, insisting that it’s an ally in everything from “anti-terrorism” to even space exploration, with the two joined at the hip because of the Russian diaspora in “Israel” and their shared experience fighting Nazism together in order to advance the model that I’ve provocatively described as “two states, one nation”.
Skeptical “Putinists” — who adhere to the discredited “Putin is an anti-Zionist crusader” narrative for unknown reasons — like to push the fake news narrative that “Israel” supposedly shot down a Russian spy plane back in September, but actually it was Syria which did this though only as a result of a midair tactical maneuver by an “Israeli” jet that led to the S-200 missile hitting the Russian plane throughout the course of what President Putin himself described as a “chain of tragic circumstances”.
That event led to the Russian Ministry of Defense listing off all the favors that it did for its “Israeli” ally in Syria over the past few years, which included creating a 140-kilometer anti-Iranian “buffer zone” beyond the occupied Golan Heights at “Israel’s” behest and even dispatching special forces to unearth “Israeli” military remains in the middle of a SAA-ISIS firefight. The “Putinist” cult always omits this from their narrative but here’s what RT reported about Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov’s statement from that time:
“Russia has sent as many as 310 notifications to the Israeli Air Force Command, while the latter appeared to be reluctant to show the same level of commitment, notifying only 25 times even though its jets carried out more than 200 strikes against targets located in Syria over the past 18 months alone.
“This is an extremely ungrateful response to all that has been done by the Russian Federation for Israel and the Israeli people recently,” Konashenkov said.
The Russian military supported the Syrian military operation in the Golan Heights to “ensure there were no shelling attacks on Israeli territory” anymore, thus allowing the UN peacekeeping mission to resume patrolling of the contested border between Syria and Israel after “a six-year hiatus.”
Russia also managed to secure the withdrawal of all Iran-backed groups from the Golan Heights to a “safe distance for Israel,” more than 140 kilometers to the east of Syria, the spokesperson said, adding that this was done at the request of Tel Aviv. “A total of 1,050 personnel, 24 MLRSs and tactical missiles, as well as 145 pieces of other munitions and military equipment were withdrawn from the area,” Konashenkov told journalists.
The Russian Defense Ministry had provided assistance in preserving Jewish sacred places and graves in the city of Aleppo. Putting Russian Special Forces soldiers’ lives in danger, it also organized the search for the remains of some Israeli servicemen that died during the past conflicts in an area where the Syrian forces were combating Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) terrorists at that time.”
Oh yeah, Russia also “passively facilitated” 200+ “Israeli” airstrikes against the IRGC and Hezbollah in the period between January 2017 and September 2018 alone, proving just how close of an ally it is to “Israel” by not interfering every time that Tel Aviv wanted to carry out a strike against its enemies in the Arab Republic. It shouldn’t be any surprise then that Russia once again didn’t react when “Israel” bombed Syria on Christmas, even if it criticized the dangerous tactic of hiding behind civilian airliners and shamefully using them as “shields” to deter Syria from firing anti-air missiles against its jets.
Let’s not forget that Russia was recently unable to deny that it’s seeking Iran’s removal from Syria, though astute observers understand that this is the natural result of its 21st-century grand strategy which aspires to make the country the supreme “balancing” force in Afro-Eurasia. Accordingly, Russia’s tacit position seems to be that Iran must leave Syria in order to restore the pre-war regional “balance”, which might happen sooner than later as a seemingly inevitable outcome of Syria’s (Russian-brokered?) rapprochement with the GCC.
To get back on track after this important tangent, none of what I described has caused me to turn against the Russian President even if I might have some personal disagreements about this dimension of his “balancing” strategy, though I respect that there are others who feel differently. What separates me from the “Putinists”, however, is that I won’t aggressively impose my views on others, nor defame all dissenters as “CIA/Soros/Mossad/MI6 agents”, and I surely won’t pretend that President Putin is a “secular god” whose every action (or lack thereof in some cases like in Eastern Ukraine) should be glorified as a modern-day “miracle”.
I’m not going to attribute his alliance with “Israel” to “5D chess” and spread fake news that this “grandmaster” is supposedly so “sneaky” that he’s “tricked the Zionists” and is just waiting for the right moment to “nuke Israel”. No, frankly speaking, that’s just foolish and anyone who believes that probably has deeper psychological and emotional issues that require professional therapy if they ever want any hope of even remotely recovering. I’m using very strong words to describe the “Putinists” because they either disingenuously deny reality to advance their cultish agenda or have seriously split from it and need help as soon as possible.
This is because President Putin himself declared a Mideast-wide partnership with “Israel” in his New Year’s greeting to his good friend Netanyahu. Here’s what the official Kremlin website reported about this major development:
“In his greeting message to Prime Minister of the State of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin noted that the two countries have gained considerable experience in cooperation in various spheres and expressed hope that in the upcoming year Russian-Israeli relations will be developing in a constructive manner as a partnership for the benefit of the peoples of both states and in the interest of strengthening peace, security and stability in the Middle East.”
Unsurprisingly, this was followed up by the Russian Ambassador to “Israel” telling his hosts on Twitter that he’s “convinced that in the coming year there will be opportunities to continue and even multiply the partnership for the benefit of the Russian and Israeli peoples”, showing just how serious Russia regards its strategic alliance with “Israel”. Importantly, the Ambassador also made no mention of the mid-September tragedy, proving that Russia has moved past it and will not allow that incident to hinder the expansion of its partnership with “Israel” all across the Mideast.
The “Putinists”, however, either deny that any of this happened even if presented with verifiable evidence of it or chalk it all up to the grandiose “5D chess” conspiracy theory that varies from cultist to cultist but shares the common denominator of purporting that “grandmaster” Putin has “tricked the Zionists” and that no one else other than they and their fellow believers are capable of understanding the “superhuman” cunning behind this strategy.
I have no idea why the “Putinists” are all obsessed with the false notion that their role model is “against Israel” and continue to maintain that narrative in spite of the plethora of evidence debunking it, but that’s why I said that they seriously need professional help to cope with the cognitive dissonance that many of them experience whenever they’re presented with the facts. Still, they’re entitled to their own beliefs, but it’s unacceptable whenever they attack and defame others for pointing this out to them.
Alt-Media hasn’t been that helpful either because its gatekeepers have mostly downplayed President Putin’s philo-Semitism and painted anyone who draws attention to this as being a “Russophobic Zionist” and/or foreign intelligence “agent”. That’s wrong and it needs to stop in 2019. The facts are the facts and they mustn’t be suppressed just because they’re “inconvenient” to the “Putinist” cult’s prevailing narrative.
People can support President Putin without “worshipping” him like the “Putinists” do, and self-censoring oneself from constructively criticizing him and his country for whatever it may be is a disservice to both because it creates an Alt-Reality totally divergent from the objective truth and reinforces false narratives about them that perpetuate this propagandistic cycle. Alt-Media needs to acknowledge that pro-Putin anti-“Putinists” such as myself exist and stop denying us the space to respectfully express ourselves without having to experience defamatory abuse for none other than the “sin” of saying that President Putin isn’t perfect and that he doesn’t play “5D chess”.
For the record, President Putin is indeed a “Zionist” in the sense that he vehemently supports “Israel’s” “right to exist” as the “historical homeland” of global Jewry and has done more in recent years to ensure its survival than even the US has (i.e. forcing Iran to withdraw 140 kilometers from the occupied Golan Heights and therefore preventing the Islamic Republic and its allies from using that position to lob rockets at the “Jewish State”), but he isn’t the type of “Zionist” who supports abuses against the Palestinian people and the ethnic cleansing of them from their native lands because he’s repeatedly stated that he’s in favor of a so-called “two-state solution” that pushes “Israel” back to its pre-1967 borders.
Maybe it sounds paradoxical to some folks, but it is what it is and those are the facts as they objectively exist, and people need to accept this reality if they want to truly understand Russian foreign policy and specifically its manifestation in the Mideast. The “Putinists” will forever deny their “dear leader’s” philo-Semitism because it “blasphemously” contravenes the fundamental tenet of their “faith”, but that doesn’t bother me because I accept that my personal views can’t shape the future of International Relations, which is why I’m a pro-Putin anti-“Putinist” just like the silent majority of people in Alt-Media who have hitherto been too afraid to speak up for themselves out of fear that the gatekeepers will verbally abuse them.
That’s all changing in 2019 though because this is the year that people can finally come out and be proud of being pro-Putin anti-“Putinists”, no longer having to hide their views because the facts confidently speak for themselves and prove that the “Putinist” cult that’s captured control of most Alt-Media outlets and their nfluencers is contradicted by the object of their fetish himself. It’s no longer just a conspiracy theory to think that President Putin is an “anti-Zionist crusader”, but a mental illness along the lines of “transgenderism” that should be urgently addressed before the misguided believer hurts themselves or others.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.