Putins schöne neue Welt

MOSKAU – Drei Monate nachdem Demonstranten den ukrainischen Präsidenten Wiktor F. Janukowitsch und seine Regierung stürzten, woraufhin Unruhen und Chaos entbrannten, hat das Land einen neuen Präsidenten gewählt. Dennoch bleibt der russische Präsident Wladimir Putin, der bei der ersten sich bietenden Gelegenheit Soldaten schickte, um die Krim zu annektieren, die Schlüsselfigur bei der Ausgestaltung der Zukunft der Ukraine – und er treibt die Ukraine weiterhin in etwas wesentlich Gefährlicheres als einen neuen Kalten Krieg.

Indem er das Steuer, was Russlands Zukunft angeht, fest an sich riss, hat Putin die Aufgabe derer vereinfacht, die versuchen, das Land zu verstehen. In Wirklichkeit wird sein Handeln von einem einzigen Ziel geleitet, und das besteht nicht aus den Großmachtambitionen, von denen normalerweise angenommen wird, dass sie Putins Handeln bestimmen. Stattdessen ist Putins gesamte Politik seinem Ziel untergeordnet, Russland auf Lebenszeit zu regieren.

Putins Ehrgeiz ist nicht das Ergebnis pathologischer Machtgier. Stattdessen fußt er auf vollkommen realistischen Bedenken hinsichtlich seiner persönlichen Sicherheit. Er versteht die Gesetze des autokratischen Systems, zu dessen Wiederaufbau er in Russland beigetragen hat – ein System, in dem Staatschefs wie Oberst Muammar al-Gadafi in Libyen oder Saddam Hussein im Irak am Ende möglicherweise aus Abwasserkanälen oder Erdlöchern herausgeholt werden, um hingerichtet zu werden, wenn es mit ihrer Macht vorbei ist.

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