Chinese publication Huanqiu Shibao wrote in a recent publication that Russian President Putin has become one of the biggest stars of world politics at the time when many Western leaders were grimly leaving the political arena. Over the past 30 years, Russia has experienced three historical eras of Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin.
For most Russians, the period of Russian history when Gorbachev and Yeltsin were in power, was the time of mess. Quite on the contrary, Putin has been able to retain high approval ratings for 15 years.
The Western society, however, shares a completely different point of view. The West criticizes Putin for "authoritarianism", "tyranny" and "audacity."
The fact that Putin has to deal with so many political attacks from Western powers is a consequence of relations between Russia and the West since the Cold War. Historically, the relations between the West and Russia have always been full of difficulties and disputes. Today, the Western world has found itself a hostage to many contradictions. For the West, Russia is the main rival and even enemy.
Gorbachev's new thinking, perestroika and glasnost had thrown the USSR into the quagmire of social upheavals and profound national crisis that ended with the death of the Communist party and the disappearance of the Soviet Union.
Gorbachev's failed reforms were then replaced with Yeltsin's primitive barbaric capitalism and oligarchy. Nine years of privatization of economy and Westernization of Russia's foreign policy, enriched only a small circle of oligarchs, while most of the people were deceived and thrown into the unknown.
When Putin came to power, the government had to think about its mistakes. After 2003, Putin weakened the influence of the oligarchs, started improving the national economy, strengthened central authority and tried to put Russia on the path of political development.
Obviously, Western countries do not like Russia's independence and Putin's actions that come into conflict with generally accepted norms. They fear Russia's new revival and do not want to step away from the "western model of democracy."
Therefore, Western politicians and media have been demonizing Russia and Putin for a long time to crush the country. Yet, Putin was too strong not to acknowledge his weakness. Russia was conducting an active dialogue in foreign policy and responding to attacks from the West.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Western strategists were deliberately providing weak ideas of "free democracy" to the former USSR. Putin once said that in today's world, the word "democracy" contains nothing but double standards: everything that is advantageous to the Americans is "democracy," while everything that is not good for the USA is "dictatorship."
Russia has obviously learned many lessons from its sad experience of the past and will no longer be a disciple of the Western world. Russian political elite has finally realized that even if Russia continues to welcome the West with a smile, Western powers will not let Russia rise again. Instead, they will hope that Russia will always crawl near and eventually fall apart.
In the early 1990s, Western powers believed that Russia, too, would soon cease to exist. The West did not treat Russia seriously at all. For the West, Russia was already a loser. Yet, Putin stood tall to protect Russia's national interests and sovereignty.
Over the years, Russia could witness Western powers ignore the United Nations, trample on international law, invade other countries and interfere into their internal affairs. Putin's Russia could stay within the framework of international standards, fight back and effectively protect its own interests.
Today, "exceptional" America is often perceived as a country that relies solely on brute force. Putin skillfully took advantage of leading American media to speak his mind on the subject.
Thus, Putin has considerably increased the role of Russia and raised the country's influence on diplomatic agenda. Even American and British media were forced to admit that over the past two years, Russia has seized the highest point of morality in international public opinion. Over ten years of hard work, Putin has evolved into a "master of judo" in international politics. He has conquered Russians with his unexampled leadership qualities and vibrant personality. Putin's excellent diplomacy in the case of Edward Snowden and his decision to send troops to Syria have raised Russia's influence on he international arena and raised Russia's authority, especially in the Eastern world.
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