Putin's speech at the Valdai Forum - perhaps a "broken record" was planted?

Date: October 8, 2023.
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The Valdai discussion club is one of many government-sponsored events held in Russia that serve public officials, business and media influencers in attracting the attention of the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin, to whom they are endlessly loyal.

Events like the Valdai discussion club serve as a playground to recruit foreign leaders and influences invited to these Kremlin-sponsored charades.

This year's gathering in Sochi, on the Black Sea, was organised because of Vladimir Putin's solo performance, in which he shifted blame to the West and justified the war he has started against the sovereign state of Ukraine.

A strong and confident leader does not need to repeat continuously that the Western model of society is wrong, that America has been forcefully imposing its will upon other countries and that Russia is different and should be allowed to choose its own destiny.

However, Putin precisely did that at the Valdai conference, held under the motto which, in the case of Russia, sounds like dark humour - "fair multipolarity: how to ensure security and development for everyone".

Speech in a sterile atmosphere

Just as every time before, he spoke in an entirely controlled environment, in a room full of carefully chosen individuals, while the reporter was allowed to ask well-chosen, planned, and vetted questions.

Putin does not need to lie to the Russian demoralised, scared, and submissive population because, in authoritarian regimes, an authoritarian leader owns their soul.

However, he repeated the principal points of his imperial policy at the Valdai Forum, such as the right to decide the fate of everyone who was once part of the USSR and his hatred of Western civilisation as the cause of all global issues.

The expression "a broken record" is often used for a person who keeps repeating the same doctrines even though they are no longer relevant to anyone around. Nobody pays attention to "broken records" because they think it to be a person with mental problems.

Whilst average Russian TV viewers could still embrace and digest Putin's alternative reality speeches, the higher echelons of politics, business and security, which are connected and intertwined, might think differently.

Who has an interest in manipulating Putin?

The Russian elite has not changed much since the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 or the occupation of Georgia in 2008.

All its members clearly understand that Russia could have done anything it wanted to for decades - molesting and killing its own people, attacking other countries and even committing murders in London. In his recent Valdai speech, Putin claimed that Russia had been unfairly treated, but this has not been the case.

They also know that things changed when Putin started a real war on the European continent.

Therefore, there is a possibility that Putin's "broken record speech" might have been engineered by the people around him. It might have been an effort by the Russian deep state to convince more people that Putin was ill and unable to make decisions that would ensure the survival of the country.

We should not lose sight of the fact that a large part of Putin's closest environment perceives the West in a totally different light from the one existing in his imagination.

After all, these people and their families have spent most of their time in recent years in the West. One of them, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's daughter, had to significantly improve her use of the Russian language after she returned to Moscow from NYC.

More importantly, everyone should have realised by now that the West failed by tolerating Putin's wrongdoings to continue for so long.

Grasp of reality

Over the years, Putin has developed an invincibility and superiority syndrome, which convinced him that he was the chosen one, while his detachment from reality encouraged him to think that he had a global role.

The Russian presidential system and the systemic corruption allowed and promoted by the Kremlin have caused a complete atrophy of any checks and balances in the country.

While they profited from high oil prices and made billions from selling raw materials, they overlooked the fact that one man had taken too much power and made destructive decisions not only for the people living outside Russia but also for Russia itself. He made decisions for the elite also, which is self-evident.

Putin is still in power because of, among other things, the complicated bureaucratic system which requires a synergy of several agencies and institutions to remove the president.

There is no trust in Putin's Russia. The Russian upper-class and political elite live in a paranoid and subservient manner regarding their superiors, which enhances the autocrat's power.

One of the ways to send an alarm to influential Russians regarding their leader's grasp of reality is to encourage him to repeat even more strongly his convictions of Russia being chosen for the mission of changing the world at a public event, such as the Valdai Forum.

It was not a problem for the Russian leader to spin the "broken record" once again because he was deeply convinced of the correctness and success of his "historic mission". But his environment definitely expects a different effect from the speech at the Valdai club.

Source TA, Photo: Valdai Club