Newly self declared dictator Putin has been picking eastern European countries one by one with it now Macedonia to decide if it wants to be a free democracy in a prosperous Europe, or a vassal province under Putin.
The close election being held today pits Zoran Zaev, leader of the ruling SDSM, who has taken steps to modernize the economy and bring it closer to European levels.
Against VMRO-DPMNE’s nationalist leader Hristijan Mickoski, who has promised to tear up agreements with neighboring Greece and Bulgaria as well as to obstruct the country’s participation in the European economy, bringing the country effectively under Putin’s rule.
This is the latest in an apparent rise of neo-nazism in the until recently war torn region that Russia appears to aim to take once more under its iron fist to feed further the $70 billion estimated wealth of Putin which you would think he has stolen from the Russian people.
Unsatisfied with leaving his own Russian people poorer than even Albania now two decades on after Putin’s rule, his honed propaganda skills learned under the Soviet Union appears to have led to some romantic view of the starvation of the late 80s and early 90s that the Balkan region experienced first hand due to the absolute failure of the dictatorial command economy forced on Eastern Europe by Russian tanks.
Hungary, which can be as rich as Slovakia and Slovenia, appears more interested in the fairytales of the modern pravda: Russia Today (RT) and even the pravda paper itself which apparently has been resurrected from the dusty books of communism.
Even Poland, a country you’d think knows well Russian tanks and dictatorship, seems more keen to prefer the propaganda view of the misery they experienced, than the reality which many of them experienced themselves.
Despite seeing their relative poverty due to the nearly century long rule by dictatorially run Russia, and despite seeing just how much better things have gotten, it appears the romantic tales are more attractive to some, not least because they remain completely unchallenged.
Putin is liked, they claim, with approval ratings of 150%, and yet you speak to any Russian, and you learn they all seem to hate him.
Nas Ne Dogonyat by Tatu, is a song you’d think Russian people would run away from, instead they appear to love dancing to it.
For despite what is on TV, the Russian people have to live in Russia and they can see what is Russia.
Poverty, that is modern Russia. Run down buildings, very sub par education, almost no engagement in science, and not one paper from any Russian university has come to our attention despite our many years of reporting on the very neutral blockchain technology.
The one guy they had, Pavel Durov, was forced into exile. Not by choice, but by the intimidation of Putin’s apparatus.
Many have left by choice, and they have built great things, but not in Russia where there are almost no opportunities for smart ambitious men or women.
And there are no opportunities by the choice of Putin. By his choice to take for himself $70 billion of money that belongs to the Russian people. By his choice to not invest in university or science. By his choice to not cooperate with his neighbors. And by his choice to now declare himself a dictator.
The effectiveness of his propaganda is shown by a shocking expose from Business Insider that reveals Americans under the Trump administration ‘naively’ shared detrimental intelligence with Russians, intelligence given to Americans by Europeans.
Trump of course, initially with the backing of independents, tried to mend relations with Russia. But after that first conference of the two where Putin kept fake coughing in an obvious implementation of behavioral pressure, plenty realized the problem is probably not America, but Putin.
Now with these maneuvers in Europe some are ringing the alarm bells and are pointing their fingers at Germany for failing to influence in any way Putin despite giving him the many billions he has fleeced from the Russian people.
By words of course the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he “couldn’t even imagine someone wanting to destroy the international agreements reached and intentionally lead North Macedonia up a dead end.”
Yet if Macedonia falls, that’s acts not words, and for acts, Germany has none.
You may well say these are things for the people of eastern Europe, but whether these are elections or ‘elections’ – the sort Putin has won by 175% – is a very big question which you’d expect Germany to know very well.
If Erdogan could win against Putin, how can Europe lose so many times?
How can Germany fail to do anything about the violation of its own territory in Berlin, or in Austria, or in Belgium?
The United Kingdom expelled ambassadorial staff and much else, and succeeded in protecting Putin’s target, when something like this was tried.
Yet Germany doesn’t raise even a whisper, doesn’t even rhetorically criticize Putin, let alone taking any actual action.
Instead they building a pipeline to give Putin even more money for him to use on presumably new gulags he will build soon enough.
In that complete failure to stand for democracy, except by nice words, and by their acts showing their support for the dictatorship of Putin, how can it be any wonder these countries are falling one by one.
Germany has to exercise its muscles, because if the far smaller Erdogan can win against Putin, then it must be more a matter of choice than ability.
And if Germany wants to choose to align once more with a dictatorship, then Germany has no leadership.