A few years ago, the famous Russian chess player Gary Kasparov was invited to the home of the Financial Times journalist Gillian Ted in New York.
In sweet times, the debate revolved around present-day Russia, which in 2013 was abandoned after the famous chess player openly challenged Vladimir Putin.
Speaking to guests, including politicians and stockbrokers, Kasparov said the Russian president was becoming increasingly dictatorial, isolated from the West, and more likely to attack neighboring countries such as Ukraine in the future.
The Americans did not believe or, conversely, did not want to believe what she was saying. As he describes it, “one of the many instances in which Kasparov correctly predicted the impending catastrophe”, which his allies stubbornly refused to see.
Contacting him last week, Kasparov recalled Tet that night. “People’s reluctance surprised me [στη Δύση] Listen to these warnings because I grew up in the Soviet Union and knew all about the historical events of the 20th century. I know you can stop Hitler in 1935 and 1936 and 1937, you did not. “But they flatly rejected what I was saying.”
Why did Westerners respond in this way to Gasparo’s analysis? This is an important question posed today by many observers who were shocked to see Putin invade Ukraine in the early hours of February 24. Just as important as Ted’s analysis in trying to explain the facts lies in Western notions of motivation and rationality. Western culture is promoted with the view that the purpose of profit dominates the creation of a “capitalist ethic” and political calculations. Leading decision-making centers in Russia and elsewhere is “economy, stupidity”.
This situation was reinforced by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which established the view that market principles and global business interests had succeeded. When Putin clarified his nationalist and expansionist agenda, Western leaders and business groups turned a blind eye and later annexed Crimea. Not only did they not realize the extent to which he was cut off from reality, but they never believed that he would be prepared to take such a big step towards the economy – as he thought – in the way of rebuilding the Russian Empire. No one took it too seriously. Worst; “His actions were not carried out in the dark, but in public view,” Kasparov said bitterly.
Kasparov predicts that the Russian president has already lost the war, and that his main goal of quickly annexing Ukraine has failed. “I do not think the Ukrainian leader can accept anything less than a return to Earth [στην Κριμαία]. “This war will end in Sevastopol with the Ukrainian flag.”
However, he notes that the price paid by Ukrainians is not clear. However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Putin’s government, and urged him not to back down. When Putin was asked if you had made regrettable decisions, he replied, “When I look back, I see that all I did was allow myself to be in power.”
“Putin only values power, and the only tool that can lead to a positive outcome is for NATO to support or directly involve the non-flying zone,” Kasparov said.
As for a possible nuclear attack? Kasparov doubts whether the Russian authorities are really ready to carry out his orders. “The moment a Russian warship fires a ballistic missile, NATO will respond and Putin is unlikely to have the same frenzy as he had with Hitler in Germany.”