My last blog under the ‘Fantasy’ banner was in March, headlined ‘Heading for the Putin/Trump show again?’ No one can say that is no longer on the cards. Perhaps the opposite might be the case. Whereas most people might regard being raided by the FBI amid suggestions they had perhaps illegally taken home materials relating to nuclear weapons – which is what happened to Donald Trump earlier this month – as a matter of grave concern, many of the former president’s supporters seem to see it as a badge of honour: proof that the ‘deep state’ is out to get their man and nobble his high hopes of a successful run at putting himself back in the White House by January 2025.
If that prospect were to become fact, as I referred to in the earlier blog, one person it would likely please as much as Trump (who seems to be perpetually pleased with himself) would be Vladimir Putin, the Russian president (who is shown on the home page). Living in the UK we can only have the vaguest idea of how appalling it must feel to be living in Ukraine right now but, in significantly less life-or-death circumstances, what Putin has ordered his army to do has had an impact on our lives as well, notably as regards the cost of energy. And it’s still a few months to winter.
Among the maddest things Putin has had his men do is set up camp at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, from where his troops can bombard the Ukrainian city of Nikopol, a mere 15 seconds flying time away for the Russian’s missiles. The logic seems to be that the Ukrainians would never to dare to pound the compound in retaliation for fear of causing a nuclear catastrophe. One Nikopol resident explained it like this to The Guardian. “It’s jealousy. They can’t accept the fact we live better than they do. We are free. Russians are slaves.” She added: “Putin is a terrorist. We will never surrender. His attempt to bully us won’t work.”
Brave words indeed, from a country having to display its bravery in countless ways in abominable circumstances. A senior Ukrainian military administrator gave the newspaper his view of Putin’s “strange cult” which had led the world into this dangerous and deplorable situation. “There is Lenin and victory in the Second World War and a religious faith in the nuclear arsenal. Their god is the nuclear button. Putin doesn’t really care about Russia. He wants to take his place alongside Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great and Stalin.”
Indeed. `Vlad the Bad. Or Vlad the Mad. Take your pick. His fantasy is Ukraine’s suffering and everyone’s nightmare.