The Putin Understanders Club, I mean. In Germany. It’s bound to be an eingetragener Verein (registered society) by now.
Putin understanders are not confined to the Linke; nor even to Germany. They are the bane of European politicians struggling to contain a troublesome Russia, found everywhere – particularly among the far right and left, and the energy lobbies. Some are ordinary people who see the Russian president as a strongman standing up to a feeble and imperialist America; others are stuck in a mix of nostalgia and sympathy for Russia’s historic sacrifices. Even after a year of geopolitical turmoil, they construct flawed comparisons to support their narratives – arguing that Russia’s actions are no different from the 2003 US invasion of Iraq or the 1999 Nato bombardment of Serbia.
But we’ve already gotten over it and we’re sure that you will soon, too.
Be they people who simply romanticize Russia, those with a penchant for realpolitik, those nostalgic for the Soviet Union or just armchair leftists, there are so many people seemingly sympathetic to the annexation that many are scratching their heads and asking if Germany is a country of Russia apologists.
No need to wonder about it, people. You are.
In the states that were part of East Germany, one encounters a bond with the former occupying power that at times borders on Stockholm syndrome.
PS: Between rounds of apologies for Putin, 100 German academics have found the time to get together and write an open letter in opposition to the planned honorary professorship of Henry Kissinger at the University of Bonn. They accuse the Nobel Peace Prize winner of being a war criminal, a criminal against humanity a Chilean putschist dude and an overall Emperor of Evil. I’m going to go out on the limb here, but something tells me that these professors were students back in 1968.