Putin’s ‘Dedicated Work’ Added to Reinvigorated Russia

Putin started to rise to political prominence during the country’s times of trouble in the 1990s, when the very existence of the Russian nation was up in the air, former US Marine Corps Intelligence Officer Scott Ritter told Sputnik.

The three-day presidential elections have wrapped up in Russia, where an overwhelming majority of voters opted for incumbent Vladimir Putin remaining in office for a new six-year term.

Putin prevailed over his three competitors, including head of the Liberal Democratic Party Leonid Slutsky, Communist Party candidate Nikolay Kharitonov, and New People Party nominee Vladislav Davankov.

Speaking to Sputnik, former US Marine Corps Intelligence Officer Scott Ritter looked back at Putin’s previous years of presidency in light of the Russian head of state’s election victory. According to Ritter, the process of reinvigorating the Russian nation was one of the key achievements by Putin.

One should understand that this process “didn’t happen in a vacuum” and was “the byproduct of a quarter century of dedicated work on behalf of Vladimir Putin for Russia and the Russian people,” the ex-US Marine Corps intelligence officer said.

He recalled Putin’s state­ of the nation address to the parliament last month, when the Russian president talked about “the pride that Russians have in their country, the pride he has in being a Russian leader, that Russia is a civilization that must be taken into account by the rest of the world, that a world without Russia is a world that cannot exist.” It seems, however, people “don’t understand where this is coming from,” per Ritter.

“You see, the root of all of this passion for Russia comes from the decade of the 1990s, the time when the very existence of the Russian state, of the Russian people, of the Russian nation was being called into question. It came in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was born of the dark times of the failure of perestroika,” which saw former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s “failed gambit to transition from a communist society into one where Western market capitalism could prevail,” Ritter noted.

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At the time, he went on, “criminal oligarchs took over, hijacked the Russian economy on behalf of ostensibly western allies, who weren’t true allies, rather people […] who were seeking to dominate Russia politically and economically. This was the decade that Vladimir Putin grew into political prominence,” the former US Marine Corps Intelligence Officer pointed out.

“Vladimir Putin was a product of the 1990s. He saw the reality of the 1990s and he understood that Russia could never allow itself to go back to those times. He understood that if Russia didn’t break free of the path that it was headed on during the decade of the 90s, there would be no Russia,” Ritter concluded.


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