How to end the Russian threat to freedom

How to end the Russian threat to freedom

MARCH 10, 2023

Didier Bertin

Having had the opportunity to know many former republics of the USSR including Ukraine and the Baltic countries as well as countries that lived under the control of the USSR including Poland and Bulgaria (during and after the Soviet period), it brought me to the light of the ongoing war, to substantive considerations of the global risk posed by Russia, and the possible remedy to be protecedt against it.

The horrors committed by the Russians in Ukraine have made us discover a people for the most part disrespectful of human rights and the rule of law that guide democracies. Respect for human life, morality, compassion seem absent from the educational values of Russia and consequently from the capacity of the majority of its population to integrate these concepts. Apart from a few large cities, the considerations of the population often seem to be concentrated on material aspects such as food and minimum comfort. This restricted vision of life generates frustrations which stimulate racism towards the non-Russian peoples of the “so-called” federation, violence and criminality all being aggravated by alcoholism, which Putin had denounced when he came to power. This regrettable trend substantially reduces life expectancy in Russia, which ranks 158th in the world with 72 years on average and 67 years for men. Putin no longer advocates sobriety and would have made a profit of 500 million dollars on the sale of his Vodka (the Putinka); source: LCI-France. Russia's population is suffering both severe reduction in numbers and increased aging which is amplified by the flight of young brains in 2022 and by the death of countless young soldiers in Ukraine. This general trend seems also originate from a long tradition of servitude and docility that push Russians to fatality in the face of events.

The probable roots of the characteristics of a significant part of the Russian population:

The Russians were not Christianized until around the year 1000 because they didn't even have a writing until 863 when two Greek monks created one for them. If we agree that prehistory is the period preceding the writing, we could say that Russia lived in prehistory before 863. These Greek monks wanted to introduce Russians to the Judeo-Christian teachings issued from the Bible. and hence the notions of humanity, good, evil and compassion.

NB: It should be noted that the Ashkenazi Jews came from Western Europe to Eastern Europe from 1100 under the reign of Boleslas III of Poland said the Pious who was favorable to them as was also Casimir III of Poland in 1334.

In a context of misery and backwardness, the Russians were freed from slavery in the form of serfdom only in 1861 by Emperor Alexander II. Serfdom affected half of the peasants i.e., 22 million of Russians.

During his reign (1682-1725) Tsar Peter the Great became aware of the backwardness of his people; he designated this backwardness by the expression “Asian barbarism” and this seems to still persist. Geographically Russia is 67% an Asian country but 77% of Russians live in its geographically European part. Russia today develops an extreme hatred of the Western world and would like to turn to Asia and in particular to China and North Korea in particular by exchanging gas and oil for weapons.

Peter the Great made great efforts to immerse himself in European culture and become a monarch protector of culture and the arts; he notably conquered the mouth of the Neva on which he built Saint Petersburg in 1703 with European architecture and a German name (Sankt Petersburg) to make it the capital of Russia and no more Moscow, closer to Europe and preferred the title of Emperor to that of Tsar. The inhabitants of the new capital were forced to wear European clothes and to abandon the long Russian coats and the beard. The aristocracy finally preferred French to the point that Russian is still full of French words.

Russians have never known freedom. The Tsarist absolute monarchy was followed by the communist dictatorship until 1991, marked by the great ferocity of Stalin from 1920 to 1953, then afterwards by the violent autocracy of Putin until today. Putin wants to be the heir of both the Tsars and Stalin in terms of repression and conquest, forgetting that Stalin was at the head of the USSR whose GDP and population were twice as large as those of Russia.

In Putin's Russia communist ideology was replaced by that of the Mafia’s rule which abolished the rule of law. After communism, a few well-placed people appropriated state properties with which they built immense fortunes and thus became oligarchs thanks to systematized corruption.

The oligarchs pay Putin the price of their survival and he would thus have constituted the largest fortune in the world estimated at around 140 billion dollars according to LCI-France. In the event of opposition to Putin, the "insecurity" of the oligarchs is organized by the FSB (poisoning, organized accidents, defenestrations, etc.).

“Not getting involved in politics”, meekly accepting state propaganda as the only truth are the only ways for the oligarchs and opponents to stay alive or at best avoid incarceration.

According to the World Bank, Russia's GDP in 2022 was slightly lower than that of Brazil and represents only 7% of that of the United States or 16.6% in terms of GDP per capita. Russia is not a great power at all, neither in its economy, nor in its productivity, nor even in its failing army. Russia is reduced to threatening the world with its nuclear arsenal in order to exist on the international scene, but we do not know the state of its nuclear warheads since Putin has declared that he will not make any test before the United States.

Contrary to the values of the Western world, the collective dominates the individuality and this reinforces the absence of compassion and the resignation to fatalism until the acceptance of a premature death. Indeed, soldiers' mothers only complain to Putin about the fact that their children on the Ukrainian front suffer from under-equipment, lack of weapons and food "without calling into question the fact that they will undoubtedly die in a war of conquest without reason for the collective interest". Putin consoled alleged mothers who lost their sons in war by telling them that no one escapes death and that it is better to die in battle than from vodka abuse or something else. Some families seem to rejoice at the gifts (money or furs or cars) they receive when one of their sons dies in Ukraine and which seems monstrous to us. This general Russian inhumanity could explain the massacres of civilians, the abduction of Ukrainian children, the numerous rapes, the raids and the systematic destruction of towns and villages. It is as if the Russians had adopted the methods used during the many Mongol invasions they suffered in the far past. Russian soldiers accept with resignation to be sent in suicide actions to the point that the army suffers from a lack of manpower even after having emptied the prisons to enlist murderers in a Russian militia whose name Wagner is inspired by that of the Hitler's favorite musician. The lack of humanity and intelligence of the Russian General Staff has led to very heavy losses in men and equipment and "the disregard for human life is confirmed by a document discovered on February 28, 2023 in which the General Staff indicates that the protection of military equipment takes priority over the lives of soldiers". Source LCI-France.

One cannot help but think that part of the heavy losses of the Red Army during the Second World War could be due to this same disregard for human life.

According to Oryx (NL) Russia lost in Ukraine 1700 tanks out of approximately 3000: 1012 destroyed, 544 captured, 79 damaged and 65 abandoned. These figures should include the 130 tanks lost in February 2023 at Vuhledar in Ukraine where the largest tank battle lost by Russia took place while Western heavy tanks have not yet entered action.

The "Asian barbarism" used by Peter the Great against his people seems to persist through the war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide whose perpetrators on the ground and their leaders in Moscow should respond to the International Criminal Court.

Hate encouraged to support docility.

For a long time the Russians seem to compensate for the hardness of their life by hateful and violent outbursts towards their colonized minorities in Russia as in the other Republics of the Federation, foreigners and Jews. The Tsars encouraged anti-Semitism with the help of the Okhrana (secret police) and the teaching of Jewish culture was banned by the Communists. The Tsarist regime fomented pogroms in Russia, Ukraine and Poland and the Okhrana wrote “The Protocol of the Elders of Zion” which still fuels anti-Semitism today. Under communism the Jews were victims of ostracism which led them to leave en masse the USSR when it was disappearing.

Russian Fascism developed by Putin

Fascism combines populism, nationalism me and totalitarianism in the name of an ideal that opposes both democracy and individualism. Putin's fierce authoritarianism and his desire to develop a broad populist and nationalist movement by exploiting a docile people who have renounced individualism seems in all respects to correspond to the criteria of fascism. Elections are organized in such a way as to keep Putin in place, by making the Duma an empty shell. Moreover, the new militarist orientation advocated in schools since 2022 gives this fascism a Nazi coloring.

The return of the glorification of Stalin wanted by Putin.

Putin claims to glorify Stalin in the name of the supposed victory over Germany actually made possible by Zhukov with American help and ultimately the Anglo-Saxon landings. Stalin was not a soldier and the merit of the victory was due to his generals and the immense sacrifice of the soldiers of a multi-ethnic Red Army.

Stalin was the instigator of the signing of a pact with Hitler in which he gave his confidence to the point that he initially believed that the outbreak of Operation Barbarossa was a misunderstanding. Everything happened as if Stalin had difficulty reading and understanding "Mein Kampf". The glorification of Stalin by Putin impressed by his authority and his spirit of conquest makes him also and consequently glorify his crimes.

Stalin is responsible for the death of more than 16 million people (source: Vadim Erlikman) including the victims of the Holodomor in Ukraine:

1-executions: 1.5 million; 2-Deaths in the Gulag: 5 million; 3-Deaths in deportation: 1.7 million; 4-Prisoners of war killed: 1 million5-Holodomor in Ukraine from 1932 to 1933: 7 million dead taking into account related and subsequent losses.

Stalinist anti-Semitism is also a feature of his regime. *

*In 1917 many Jews attracted by the not officially anti-Semitic Communist Party in opposition to the Tsarist regime saw their leaders assassinated. Jews considered "rootless cosmopolitans" have always been victims of suspicion before and after the Second World War. The creation of Birobidjan on the Chinese border was intended to keep Jews away from European Russia where they lived. The teaching of Jewish culture has been prohibited, which is a crime of genocide. The Jewish section of the PC was liquidated in 1930 and the Jewish anti-fascist committee was also eliminated after the war. The purges of the so-called White Coat Plot and the Night of the Murdered Jewish Poets characterize Stalinist anti-Semitism as well as the creation of his concepts of anti-Zionism and Zionology.

Approximate Russian military losses during World War II were in the order of 10 million or about 40% of world military losses. The war in Ukraine teaches us that the Russian military offensives are frontal and without strategy, based on the massification of infantry delivered to death in battles of attrition. One cannot help thinking that a war waged by seasoned soldiers could have reduced the number of Soviet casualties during the Second World War.

Putin seems to like Stalin but differs from him by his insatiable thirst for money which made Putin the richest man in the world by mafia methods and by using shell companies like Ermira in Cyprus (source LCI France).

Russia's status at the UN.

The USSR, victorious over Nazi Germany with the Western allies, had become a member of the Security Council. The victory was not that of Russia alone but that of the 19 Republics of the USSR. In 1991 the USSR had 291 million inhabitants, of which Russia represented only 49%. After the demise of the USSR, Russia had no reason to inherit its seat as a member of the UN Security Council. Its role there is deleterious and its repeated nuclear threats against the planet are not compatible with this siege.

Economy and Demography: The Russian frog wants to be as big as the ox that are NATO and its allies. (The frog and the ox by Jean de la Fontaine)

In order to build "an image of great international power" Russia carries out harmful actions on small theaters of operations to keep an international part as USSR with its reduced means and to support dictators as in Syria and as in some African countries. Its greatest victory will have been the easy capture of Crimea tolerated by a lethargic West and which fueled Russia's ambitions of conquest over the whole of Ukraine. Putin would like to reconstitute a great Russia by integrating former republics of the USSR without any regard for the will of the people. Its targets include Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, among others.

Russia is a second-rate power with a residual population of around 140 million inhabitants and a GDP of 1,829 billion in 2022 according to the World Bank. The main resource of the Russian economy is gas and oil, two-thirds of which come from Western Siberia and which constituted 46% of Russian exports in 2021.

Ukraine is a country of 44 million inhabitants with a GDP of only 200 billion dollars in 2022 according to the World Bank, or 11% of Russia's GDP. According to these figures, Ukraine was easy prey to increase Russia's European territory and population. The determination of the Ukrainians, their attachment to their roots (whether they speak Ukrainian or Russian), their attraction for Western way of life, including freedom, and the fact that they are not docile as Russians, are resources that go beyond economic and demographic figures. By attacking Ukraine Putin has unmasked the true face of Russia, whose economy is fragile, the regime completely corrupt, and the army disorganized, under-equipped and without a real General Staff. Russia is a weak country that only has the BRICS as a prospect.

The first defeats inflicted by Ukraine without outside help, on Russia and the determination of the Ukrainians led by their young President, impressed all Western countries and mainly the United States and other NATO countries. The resistance of the Ukrainian people woke up NATO plunged into a deep lethargy and led to the application for membership of Finland and Sweden. Thus NATO has extended its borders with Russia and made the Baltic Sea a NATO sea and this already constitutes a major defeat for Russia. NATO, spearheaded by the United States, realized that Ukrainian military efficiency could put an end to Russian colonial ambitions and deserved massive military and financial aid. Ukraine has also shown the EU its vulnerability in military matters.

However, the West is still too cautious in the face of the “alleged Russian nuclear arsenal” and is too slowly providing the promised abundant aid in financial and military resources. The equipment is finally delivered under pressure from public opinion and from Poland and Baltic countries, but these delays cost Ukrainian lives dearly. Ukrainian civilian infrastructures are widely bombarded by the Russians, but the West does not allow a symmetrical response on Russian territory. The Ukrainians must themselves create the means that make it possible to destroy arsenals and bombers in Russia. NATO is reluctant to deliver F16s claiming that Ukrainian skies are protected, but the dispatch of 81 missiles in the night of March 8 proved otherwise. These missiles represented collective reprisals against the Ukrainian civilian population, similar to Nazi reprisals against civilian hostages following acts of resistance during the Second World War. The delivery of heavy tanks and F16s is therefore essential.

The power of a country depends on the size of its Gross Domestic Product (i.e. the Wealth produced on a territory, that is to say essentially the sum of the added values) which makes it possible, for example, to provide the army with a budget and to improve, in the event of growth, the standard of living of the population. Dictatorships have little regard for the standard of living of their population and focus on the military budget to create an image of power by inducing a risk of social instability. This was the choice of the USSR but without the risk of social instability due to the docility of the population, the domination of the collective over the individual and a policy of repression. The overcrowding of families in tiny apartments perhaps also maintains this diminishing of the concept of individuality.

The development of hyper-corruption after communism and the greed of the oligarchs and the President, has made Russian military power a kind of Potemkin village that is collapsing before our eyes in the face of reality.

Russia has thus lost about 200,000 soldiers in a single year of war by concentrating nearly 88% of its army on a small strip of territory in eastern Ukraine. Given the Russian medical disorganization on the battlefield and the contempt for the individual one can think that a large part of these 200,000 Russian soldiers out of action, died. The ratio of dead / out of action, used in Western armies does not seem to be suitable for the Russian army.

In order to take stock of the real place of the Russian economy in the world, we have chosen to consider the GDP figures provided by the World Bank in nominal value so as to base a judgment on the most conservative values. We considered in the Western camp 42 countries: 30 NATO countries, 6 non-NATO EU countries and 6 allied countries. These 42 countries have 1.248 billion inhabitants and in 2022 a GDP estimated according to the World Bank, at 49,457 billion dollars or 52% of the GDP of the planet. Russia represents only 3.7% of the GDP of these 42 countries and therefore has a very negligible economic importance. The average Russian salary is around $600 and the minimum salary is $150. Despite a miserable life outside the big cities, fierce repression and a deadly war, the LEVADA institute indicates on March 1, 2023 that 83% of Russians are satisfied with Putin's policy. The submission of the Russians means that we cannot hope for a peace that would come from inside Russia.

To the 30 NATO countries, and 6 non-NATO EU countries we have added 6 allied countries: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Israel*.

*However, it is regrettable that Israel has taken so long to clearly take the side of Ukraine and has shown duplicity for too long with Russia, which is nevertheless an ally of Iran and Syria, which calls into question the very existence of Israel. If Iran supplies conventional weapons via the Caspian Sea to Russia, it is probably in return for aid to develop its nuclear weapons, which may be a factor in generalized conflict in the Middle East. Russia places itself on the side of the enemies of Israel. Rising religious fanaticism, populist nationalism and corruption make impossible to form a stable government in Israel. The parliamentary majority (61/120) sees justice as an impediment to its policy in particular for members of the government in trouble with justice such as Netanyahu (prime minister) or Dery (deputy prime minister), both accused of corruption. The Supreme Court and the independence of judges form the only counter-power capable of defending democracy against the weak parliamentary majority. The Supreme Court upholds the fundamental laws that serve as constitution and guarantees the rights of the opposition, the rights of minorities and the predominance of civil law as well as the reasonableness of new laws.

The United States and the large demonstrations of protests in Israel are putting significant pressure on Israel to remain a Democracy.

Russia and world opinion: an isolated country.

On February 23, 2023, 144 out of 193 UN member countries condemned Russia's attempted invasion of Ukraine and only 6 countries supported it which are Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua and Syria.


Russia is today in the hands of a greedy autocrat who now admires Stalin's spirit of conquest and ferocity. Faced with a mostly submissive people, Russia has become a fascist country through its organization with a Nazi color given the vengeful militarization now taught in schools. After becoming the richest man in the world thanks to the mafia system, Putin wants to build a great colonial empire like the USSR. Putin has attempted several actions of conquest on former republics of the USSR (Georgia, Moldova, etc.) which are not yet safe and would like to absorb Ukraine and Belarus. The weak international reaction against his conquest of Crimea encouraged his ambitions. Putin's ambition has come up against Ukrainian resistance led by its president. This resistance woke up the Western world and especially NATO, which finally and slowly brought its help to defeat the Russian army. Ukraine not only woke up NATO but allowed its extension and consequently the encirclement of the European part of Russia by making the Baltic a NATO sea. Ukraine has also made it possible to reveal Europe's shortcomings in terms of defense.

The Ukrainian resistance has exposed the reality of the fragile Potemkin village that is the destitute and pitifully led Russian army spearheaded by a private militia of criminals. Russia has tried to threaten the planet with its nuclear arsenal which would however make it disappear; however, the fact that Putin declared that he would not start nuclear tests first suggests that his arsenal may no longer be fully operational because Russia does not have the means of the USSR and by the way does not deserve not to have inherited his seat on the Security Council.

Russia is an autocratic and fascist state harmful to the stability of democracies by itself and by its associations with other dictatorships. Cooperation between Iran and Russia could quickly lead to all-out conflict in the Middle East.

The protection of democracies goes through civilizing stages of Russia:

1-The neutralization of its army will allow the Russians to be confronted with reality.

2-The translation of Russian perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of genocide before the International Criminal Court.

3-The payment of compensation to all the victims of Russia and for the reconstruction of Ukraine. This obligation will undoubtedly lead to the control of oil and gas revenues from Western Siberia.

4-The 83 subjects of the Russian Federation must be able to choose their fate by self-determination under the control of the UN and provided that each neutralizes the nuclear weapons on its territory. This is the normal continuation of the process of decolonization completed throughout the world in the 20th century.

As a priority, each of the 21 republics of the Russian Federation as well as the 8 Okrugs (autonomous districts), the 6 Krais (territories) should have access to self-determination. These subjects of the federation could choose to merge with each other if they wish or to request their attachment to another country to which they would feel closer. Russia comprises approximately 177 nationalities and 65 indigenous peoples united in a colonial federation from another time. The use of Russian is not a criterion of nationality but a means of interethnic communication.

Kaliningrad could be the subject of an arrangement between Poland and Germany and Sakhalin should be returned to Japan.

Russia would not be atomized into tiny countries because 77% of the population or 110 million inhabitants live on its European part with an area of approximately 4 million km2 and composed of 15 of the 21 Republics of the Federation. 33 million inhabitants live in its Asian part of 13 million km2, i.e. a density of 2.5 inhabitants per km2 similar to that of desert regions.