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Putin’s place in history? A tu’ppenny ha’ppeny Nazi – PAUL BALDWIN

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A bully yes. A cheap thief and a crook certainly. But despite his almost embarrassing desperation for a “Putin legacy” he’s really just a tu’ppenny ha’ppeny Nazi whose successors are going to have to spend many, many years apologising for and cleaning up after as they strive for Russia’s re-admission to civilisation.

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PutinPutin’s self-projection of power is nothing but hot air according to Baldwin (Image: Getty)

Putin, for all his ludicrous bare-chested posturing, is not a soldier and has never known war up close.

During this godawful filthy conflict he has been as far away from the front lines as it is possible to get, buried like a frightened schoolgirl in a nuclear bunker.

His opposite number Volodymyr Zelensky meanwhile, good looking, rugged and permanently clothed in military fatigues is rarely away from the front lines.

He leads from the front while Putin cowers at the back. Even Boris Johnson has seen the Ukrainian front lines.

It is one of the many contradictions Putin is haunted by – he desperately wants to be a big manly soldier but he simply has not got the cohones.

Zelensky, despite his previous life as a TV comedian, is in fact the fearless man of action Putin has been desperate to be all his life. Poor Vladimir.

It does not seem such a mental quantum leap to suggest Putin’s flaccid sense of his own machismo is a big part of the reason behind the Ukraine invasion (and previous atrocities in Crimea, Georgia and Chechnya).

As he feels his powers waning – which they most certainly are – he is desperate to show us how manly he is. But in truth Putin has been unexceptional all his life.

As a young man he was desperate to rise through the ranks of the old KGB – instead he got stuck out in East Germany, a notorious posting for agents going nowhere.

Then he was selected as a wingman for President Yeltsin precisely because he was dull and unexceptional – a reliable bagman unlikely to trouble his presidency. And perhaps no-one was quite as surprised as Vladimir when the troubled and drunk President Yeltsin actually did give way to the first Putin premiership.

As we have seen, he is not a man troubled by principle. He is neither a communist nor a socialist but a Putinist – basically a self-serving fascist.

His links with, and favours for, organised crime in St Petersburg are well documented. He has no code, not even the slightly twisted honour of his predecessors – a Brezhnev or a Khrushchev.

Indeed his politics have switched a full 180 degrees since he attained office – the early West-appeasing Putin now long gone, replaced with an almost comedic Cold War version of himself.

“Thank God we no longer have a party in power or a statist communist ideology,” he said when he assumed power as President. Though he quickly blurred the lines a little by following  it up with: “Anyone who doesn’t miss the Soviet Union has no heart; Anyone who wants it back has no brain.”

Since then he has wholeheartedly adopted the Stalinist practice of doublespeak (and indeed has been quietly rehabilitating the communist monster – to the point St Petersburg now reverts back to the name Stalingrad on six days of the year).

The democratic Ukranians are the Nazis – the Russians dropping bombs on children in Donbas shopping centres are the liberators.

Today we heard Ukranian forces had withdrawn from Lysychansk, effectively handing over the eastern region of Luhansk to Russian forces.

The Russian aggressors are winning. And we need to make a call: we either redouble our resolve and our arms – not least by arranging to deliver fighter aircraft via Poland – or we back away and accept that in the new world order nuclear armed states get to throw their weight around almost unopposed.

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