Putin is following in Khrushchev’s footsteps

20.11.2020 Off By Polyanska
Putin is following in Khrushchev’s footsteps

Independent journalist,
Zintis Znotiņš

If a person is a liar, they will lie in every aspect of their life. Initially, the person may lie only about significant issues, but as time passes the line between reality and imagination disappears. Can such a person be trusted? It’s one thing when the liar is a regular citizen, but it’s something else when the liar is a key politician or even the president of a state.

Psychologist Jolanta Cihanoviča explains that lies ruin relationships because they undermine trust. And it is very likely that someone who has been lied to before will not trust the person anymore. “If the liar says that now he can finally be trusted, the victim will refuse to do so because he has already been lied to.”

The great writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky has said this about lying: “Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him [..]”

This means that the liar will be the first person to believe their own lies, despite the fact that these lies may have absolutely nothing to do with reality. And those who will be able to identify the lies will no longer trust the liar because they will now believe they’re being lied to in every situation.

It’s important to determine whether the person, regardless of his post, is lying and whether these are “one-time” lies or systematic ones. If someone lies frequently, people will be more surprised when the person doesn’t lie.

All lies are revealed sooner or later. The higher the post of the liar and the greater the lies, the more times it takes for the truth to surface.

I will not lie – I’m no fan of Putin and I often criticize him, despite my position being different from the party’s.

But I found it difficult to believe that the head of such a huge and great country could be a simple liar. To get to the bottom of this question once and for all, we will go back in time. Let’s look at the facts:

On 4 June 2014, the Kremlin continued denying that Russian soldiers, instructors and mercenaries were present in Eastern Ukraine. This was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the French TV network TF1 and the radio station Europe1. “There are no Russian forces, no instructors in southeastern Ukraine,” Putin said. He also stated that Russia has no intention to annex Ukraine or destabilize the situation in the country. “No, we have never engaged in this [the destabilization] and never will.”

Facts:

On 21 March 2014, the Russian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) Decree No.160 on “The Russian MoD’s Medal for the Return of Crimea” introduced a that was first awarded on 24 March.

Thoughts:

Is it really possible that the MoD would issue awards that were not intended for the army? Could Putin, being the commander-in-chief, not have been informed about the medal? Can an award be designed and produced in a couple of days, or is this a matter of several months?

 On 1 March 2018, Putin publicly announced that Russia possesses weapons that other countries haven’t even developed yet. Among these weapons was also a nuclear-powered nuclear-armed missile that has successfully completed all tests. These missiles possess an unlimited range, can switch trajectory and are able to overcome all missile defense systems.

Facts:

In November 2017, Russia successfully tested a nuclear-powered missile that fell into the Barents Sea. From November 2017 to February 2018, four tests were held and all of them failed. On 15 August 2019, information appeared that “The state nuclear agency Rosatom revealed that it has been testing a nuclear-powered missile but didn’t provide any further information. Five Russian nuclear engineers died during the explosion of a nuclear engine.

Thoughts:

While Putin talked about the miraculous weapons, all of the tests had been failures. And the following tests were unsuccessful as well. So, it’s too early to talk about Russia possessing such weapons. I will add that the demonstration didn’t show videos from the tests, but instead graphic images and animations, which leads to believe that Russia doesn’t have any superweapons yet.

We could go on and on, but this wouldn’t change the fact that nearly all of Putin’s statements have been lies.

Is Putin the only lying Russian president? If we look at the last decades, he certainly isn’t the only one, but he sure is the most prominent one. If we look at more distant history – and considering that Putin believes Russia to be the heir of the USSR ­– we can conclude that Putin is surpassed by another gentleman – Nikita Khrushchev.

When it comes to bluffing/lying, both of them are similar, but when it comes to the extent and approach Khrushchev trumps Putin. Khrushchev once too attempted to deceive the West that the USSR is a might nuclear state. To do this, on 30 October 1961 the USSR tested a 50-megaton hydrogen bomb, and the entire world now believed that the USSR is a might nuclear superpower that should be respected. This launched the notorious arms race that turned out to be lethal for its initiator – the USSR. So, what did Khrushchev lie about when he called the USSR a nuclear superpower? The missile could only be loaded into the Tu-95 bomber half way, and this decreased the speed and range of the aircraft. A trench had to be made to be able to push the missile under the airplane on a special platform. If the super-powerful bomb would indeed be commissioned, the means to deliver it to the target would still have to be produced. This meant that the only state the USSR could destroy with nuclear weapons was the USSR itself – they had a bomb, but didn’t have the means to deliver it to the target.

This is just one of Khrushchev’s bluffs/lies, but there were many more.

In small doses, bluffing and lying are accepted in politics. But the USSR accepted it on an unimaginably lager scale – as we know, during Soviet times the ruling clique bluffed and lied constantly. Khrushchev’s bluff/lies had become so severe that his official speeches were censored by removing from them the deadlines of his exaggerated promises.

What happened to Khrushchev? He made history as one of the rare people to leave his post on his own feet – instead of being removed from the Kremlin on a stretcher. In simpler words, he was dethroned, and the press only reported that he is retiring due to his worsening health.

Now, let’s look at the similarities. Putin too lies/bluffs like a real professional.

Therefore, we cannot ignore that fact that Russia is working on a draft law that intends to grant life-time judicial and administrative immunity to former presidents for anything they may have committed during their presidency.

You could think that Putin is already starting to plan his future after his presidency ends, however there is one big “but” – Putin can remain in power until 2036. Isn’t it a bit too early to start thinking about what will happen after 2036? Formally and from the outside, it seems that Putin’s positions are quite strong. Let’s not forget that Khrushchev too thought that he is untouchable, but the Kremlin’s elite didn’t agree with him.

We also cannot ignore the information published in the media that Putin is showing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which is the reason he intends to step down in early 2021. Of course, the Kremlin denies this, but we know that the Kremlin denies everything said by someone else other than itself.

There is one more interesting aspect in all of this. It’s no secret that Putin no longer has control over the situation. This is confirmed by the protests in Khabarovsk, as well as Putin’s own indecisiveness on a range of issues. Ironically, in an article titled “Has Putin Lost His Mojo?” this topic is analyzed by none other than Khrushchev’s granddaughter – Nina Khrushcheva.

It seems that the biggest bluffers/liars will share another feature – they will have left the Kremlin on their own feet.

Independent journalist,
Zintis Znotiņš fo INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR COUNTERING RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA