Ronny P. Sasmita
Ronny P. Sasmita

Putin, US, and Biden

In 1989, large demonstrations demanding German reunification broke out, spreading to Dresden, even to the front of the KGB branch office in Dresden, where a young agent, who had just completed his tenure in the KGB for a 4.5 year term, was on duty. His name is Vladimir Putin. Before spreading to the front of the KGB office, the crowd visited the Stasi office, one of the intelligence branches of the German police department, which had a special relationship with the KGB. When the demonstration arrived at the Stasi office, Putin and his friends were busy cleaning the office, burned documents and all forms of evidence, because they were sure the demonstration would continue in their office.

We destroyed everything,” Vladimir Putin repeated the words he heard from his KGB comrades, in one of the Russian TV interviews, after Putin came to power. “All our communications, our lists of contacts and our agents, networks. We burned so much stuff that the furnace burst, “said Putin imitating him. Then, Putin contacted Moscow, asking for further orders. Moscow didn’t budge. In the interview, Putin described that when his call was not answered, he had thought: “I got the feeling then that the country no longer existed. That it had disappeared. ” Since then, almost all Putinology experts agree that Putin has begun to redraw his goal, namely to “restore” his country which has fallen into disarray.

That’s how most Putinologists started their books. But it was not a completely sudden incident. Moscow and the KGB had prepared several years in advance. In August 1988, KGB and Moscow officials came to East Germany, recruiting pro-Soviet German agents, mainly from the Stasi. The agencies then operated to create new banking accounts, new businesses, to accommodate the overflow of cash (black cash) from the confederation that was preparing to dissolve. From 1986 to 1988, for example, the Stasi was recorded as transferring millions of marks to corporate networks in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Singapore. Everything was run by an Australian businessman, Martin Schlaff. He and his company became “the central cogs in the influence operations of the Putin regime,” several years later.

If you’ve ever read Masha Gessen’s book, “The Man Without a Face: The Possible Rise of Vladimir Putin, or Karen Dawisha,” Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia ?, or Steven Lee Myers, “The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin, or Fiona Hill (former Trump adviser) and Clifford Gaddy, “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin “, so I recommend Chaterine Belton’s complement,” Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West.

In contrast to most books that focus on Putin, Belton focuses on the oligars surrounding Putin, who used to be a member of the KGB, both temporally and permanently, along with Putin. It was they who replaced Boris Yeltsin’s oligars, after Putin ascended to the throne, then Putin broke his oath to Yeltsin to protect the oligars entrusted to Yeltsin. Unfortunately, after Putin came to power, one by one the Oligar entrusted by Yeltsin was paralyzed, replaced by new oligars from the KGB. And now Putin is the boss of them all.

So the case for Putin being the protector of the Russian oligars, yes, even being the boss of the Russian oligars, with a magnificent palace in Sochi. And that is indeed part of the journey of Russia, which is transitioning from the most important part of the Soviet Union into a large country called Russia. The transition did not live up to America’s expectations, but America continues to try to force it to conform to America’s wishes. It won’t work. Turn out, It don’t come to democrary. And that’s natural, Russia since its inception, has never known democracy. So it will not be easy, right. To get there, Putin and the Russian people must first trust America. But America has never tried to build that trust. So the case for Putin who no longer believes in America, that is America’s fault. Yes, it’s America’s fault.

Remember when Putin took office and at the end of Clinton’s term, Putin even stated openly that he wanted to join NATO? The same thing was said by Grobachev about 40 years ago. But what a shame, even before, precisely at the end of Boris Yeltsin’s term, NATO even continued to humiliate Russia. But casually after that Putin wanted to join NATO.

Everyone wonders, why did Yeltsin just hand over power to Putin? Not only about entrusting Oligar, after Putin proved able to save Anatoly Sobchak at St Peterberg, but also because Boris Yeltsin felt Russia had been humiliated by America and NATO, so Russia needed someone who deserved to stand up. And casually America does not introspect, still thinks that Yeltsin is still a friend. When NATO spread its wings after the Soviet Union dissolved, then withdrew the first three countries from the former Soviet Union to join NATO, then recognized Kosovo, Yeltsin was furious.

Yeltsin has tried to believe in America and make friends, hand in hand in creating a world without war. Clinton welcomed, but encouraged NATO to continue to be aggressive in Serbia, then continue to be more aggressive in the Bush Yunior era after 9/11. “We’re not Haiti. We’re big country with great history. We can’t be humiliated like this,” said Yeltsin, in 1998, loudly. And a year after that, Yeltsin handed over the power of the Prime Minister to Putin who had been head of the FSB, then a year after that gave up the presidency, then the following year Putin was elected in official elections.

Clinton was the first to hear from Putin directly about wanting to join NATO. At that time, Clinton answered well. “I think I have no objection,” Clinton said. But the senior staff at NATO were awkward and from their attitudes, NATO was indirectly resisting. Putin began to feel humiliated. Then Ukraine became a turning point. For NATO, Putin’s involvement in Ukraine is the main reason Putin is not accepted by NATO. But unfortunately, for Putin, Ukraine is clear evidence of western involvement in destroying the countries close to Moscow. There was a recording of Victoria Nuland, who was Hillary’s assistant secretary for EU and Eurosia, on the streets of Kiev during a big demonstration.

Along with that, Hillary continued to provide hateful narratives to Putin, said the former KGB was never sincere, even resembled Hitler and the like. This was followed several times by massive demonstrations in Moscow, which continued to force Putin to suspect Hillary’s involvement. It was said in several analyzes of Russia’s involvement in the American election that Putin was not too concerned about Trump or Hillary’s winning election. Even if he was really involved, it seemed that he only wanted to teach Hillary a lesson, aka not intentionally wanting to win Donald Trump.

As one Putin’s biographer wrote, the conditions for getting on well with Putin are simple, “Just don’t push him to the corner.” Don’t corner him. It’s not just an interpretation, it’s part of Putin’s philosophy. Putin once said that clearly in an interview, (1) if a person is pushed too close to the abyss, he will jump, he said. And in other interviews, Puting said that (2) Putin could not forgive the least is a traitor. That’s what Donald Trump really understands and Democrat doesn’t want to understand.

Trump’s defense of Putin was no secret. In late 2017 ahead of 2018, the Department of Defense and the Pentagon were close to agreeing to send “Javelin” anti-tank weapons to Ukraine. The report went to Rex Tillerson, who was the Secretary of State at that time. Tillerson then went into President Trump’s office, presented the report and offered Trump the option of sending Javelin to Ukraine. Trump reactively replied: “Are you out of your fucking mind? Why are we giving them anything?

The answer clearly means that if Javelin was sold to Ukraine, Putin would really be offended, and Trump avoided that. It was Rex Tillerson and Trump’s early rivals. Differences continued with Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord and was followed by a decision to withdraw from the JCPOA due to denuclearization of Iran. Rex Tillerson really couldn’t stand up for the president anymore. In fact, strong words came out of his mouth, calling Donald Trump the “Fucking Morron“. The opposition escalated when Tillerson disagreed with the president about the immense power given to Jared Kushner, until finally a tweet about his dismissal darted from Donald Trump’s official account at the time. Rex Tillerson finished

And now after January 20, 2021, Putin will again face Joe Biden, the former vice president of America, whom Obama had entrusted with the affairs of Ukraine, a country that is one of the causes for Russia to be increasingly angry with America. Even as noted, Biden is an American figure who openly says that he sees the “devil” in Putin’s figure, then recently said Putin is a killer. In other words, Biden is not an American president who is expected to reassure Putin and a chance not to reassure the world when he is associated with Russia. Biden indeed aspires to mobilize democratic countries to stand up to countries such as Russia and China, in the name of universal peace. But that ideal will instead give birth to a cold war, a war under the mat, which will slowly split the world into two major camps.

About the Author
An International Political Economy and Strategic Analyst, A Senior Fellow for Indonesia Strategic and Economic Action Institution
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