Vladimir Putin with female Russian child in Red Square.

El sinuoso camino de Putin a Damasco

MOSCÚ – Cuando el presidente ruso, Vladimir Putin, habló ante la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas el 28 de septiembre, sabía que captaría la atención del mundo y eclipsaría al presidente norteamericano, Barack Obama, con su llamado a crear un frente unido en la lucha contra el Estado Islámico. Pero Putin se estaba dirigiendo a los rusos también, plenamente consciente de la necesidad de distraerlos de las aflicciones económicas cada vez más evidentes de su país.

El año pasado, la distracción era la anexión de Crimea, seguida del apoyo a los separatistas pro-Rusia en el este de Ucrania. El reciente envío por parte de Rusia de aviones, misiles y unos miles de tropas a Siria es un sustituto patriotero de aquel proyecto "Novorossiya" fallido. Los críticos de Putin, con toda razón, ven su aventura siria como una apelación más a la nostalgia rusa por el pasado soviético: la URSS era poderosa -y Putin sostiene que Rusia puede tener, y efectivamente tiene, el mismo poder.

Pero, ¿con qué objetivo? Poner en una posición desfavorable a Estados Unidos y a Occidente puede ser una buena táctica en el corto plazo, pero no parece haber una visión de largo plazo de los intereses que el poder ruso supuestamente debe atender, más allá de preservar el poder de las elites rusas. Como resultado, el régimen imita las formas de democracia y, al mismo tiempo, utiliza su propaganda para fomentar una forma agresiva de nacionalismo.

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