Vladimir Putin’s Russia is on the verge of one of his greatest fears—civil war. The hardliners Russia’s autocrat has surrounded himself with have eaten each other alive for months, with his former personal chef and Wagner CEO, Yevgeny Prigozhin, making a play for the Kremlin himself.

Putin created Russia in a world where the Elite would have total control, and its citizens would forever be stomped by their boots. With complete control of media, shares in private entities, and a state security service (FSB) that could target dissidents on any given order, Putin and his inner circle created their version of George Orwell’s 1984.

Russian citizens have been made into ‘Proles’ and kept in a state of serfdom where Putin would never worry about them threatening his regime. Nevertheless, the faux Tsar had miscalculated where the biggest threat to his rule would come from his inner circle, also called Orwell’s 1984 Inner Party.

Putin’s Police State

Growing up and rising through the ranks as a KGB officer, Putin learned vast intelligence operations to teach him how Russia’s security apparatus should be organized. Making his way through Russian society into becoming Yeltsin’s deputy, Putin would convince Russians to trade in their liberties for hardline security by helping to conduct the Ryazan Bombings, which instigated the Second Chechen War.

Russia’s carpet-bombing tactics on Chechnya and coercing turncoats, such as the Kadyrov’s, into Kremlin proxies became popular within the country. Putin’s other victories in Georgia, Syria, and the 2014 annexation of Crimea were also popular with the nationalists as the autocrat brought back Russia’s fear and supposed prowess onto the world stage that hadn’t been seen since the height of the Cold War.

Though Putin had brought the feared prowess of Russia back towards their geopolitical rivals, he would also bring about the authoritarian police state that has plagued the nation throughout its history. Putin would use the Federal Security Services (FSB) at will to target his political rivals inside and outside Russia. Journalists would be killed in various “circumstances,” and the nation’s intelligence service became embedded within Russian society as the eyes and ears of Putin to consolidate power indefinitely.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with General Sergey Shoigu, 2015 (Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons). Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vladimir_Putin_at_%C2%ABArmy-2015%C2%BB_07.jpg
Russian President Vladimir Putin with General Sergey Shoigu, 2015 (Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons). Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vladimir_Putin_at_%C2%ABArmy-2015%C2%BB_07.jpg

Normalizing Tragedies

Vladimir Putin would normalize tragedies under his kleptocracy with the Kursk Submarine Disaster. In the submarine tragedy, the Russian Ministry of Defense purposely delayed its response time to rescue the naval crew after a tragic accident.