The Fall of Putin – a Déjà vu


David Adams | Transition to a Culture of Peace – TRANSCEND Media Service

3 Mar 2022 Déjà vu: I’ve seen it before.

I worked on and off in the Soviet Union during the 1970’s and 1980’s and I watched the crash of the Soviet Empire – from inside.

There were three main causes of the crash: the loss of value of the ruble, the loss of the war in Afghanistan and the loss of confidence of the people.

The value of the ruble fell because the economy was over-militarized. Those who had money had to import their television sets and good clothes from Western Europe because all of the good electronics went to the military and you could not buy a good television made in Russia. Similarly all of the leather went into military boots and the shoes available to Russian consumers were made of cardboard. I couldn’t outfit a lab with good electronics, while a friend was able to equip his lab because “I have friends in the military.”

The war in Afghanistan was lost, well for the same reasons that the British lost in Afghanistan in the 19th Century and the United States lost in the 21st Century.

And the people’s confidence was lost because the Russian government tried unsuccessfully to control information. Russians used to tell me “you can find the truth anywhere but in Pravda and the news anywhere except in Izvestia” (Pravda, one of the two main Russian newspapers at the time, means truth in Russian, Izvestia, the other one, means news.) Realizing that these newspapers were heavily censored, people listened to the clandestine broadcasts of Radio Free Europe controlled by the American culture of war.

Putin is repeating history.

The war against Ukraine has cut off a failing Russian economy from all trade with the West and the ruble is crashing.

The war in Ukraine will bog down the Russian military as it was bogged down in Afghanistan. It is not a winnable war.

And now the Russian government is trying to control information and once again, this is bound to fail. Media that dare to challenge the war in the Ukraine are labeled as foreign agents. And the official announcement of censorship is patently ridiculous; prohibiting “information about the shelling of Ukrainian cities and the death of civilians in Ukraine as a result of the actions of the Russian Army, as well as content in which the ongoing operation is called an attack, invasion or a declaration of war.”

Tens of thousands of Russians are protesting the war and their voices cannot be silenced. We have recently published on CPNN thousands of signatures on anti-war petitions by Russian scientists, by Russian cultural figures, and by other Russian activists.

Putin’s days are numbered with a crashing economy, an unwinnable war and the loss of confidence of the Russian people.

I continue to believe that the American empire will crash soon because of its over-militarization of the economy and the entire American culture. But it seems that Putin’s rule in Russia will crash even sooner.

The day of reckoning of the culture of war is arriving.


Dr. David Adams is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace.  Previously, at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, he was a specialist on the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior, the history of the culture of war, and the psychology of peace activists, and he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. Send him an email.

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