Like most thinking people, I like looking for the deeper reasons for a particular action. So I asked myself the elementary question: what motivates the local chieftains of the North Caucasian region to demonstrate their support for their sovereign? Why right now? The question is particularly relevant, having in mind that this support is coming from the most problematic region of the Russian Federation.
You know what they say: follow the money. And Russia has been in deep trouble on the money front. In result of the continous drop of the oil prices and the ruble's woes, the federal authorities in Russia have announced the imminent tightening of the belts - including a 10% cut of most regional development programs. Now, anyone in their right mind would expect the affected parties to cry foul, or at least to signify of their frustration with this development. But no, Russia ain't no ordinary place. Things there often happen in the exact opposite way to what you may've expected. And the above event is a fine example of that. Instead of holding their central government and the head of state responsible for this drastic slashing of federal funding, the local authorities are eager to show how enthralled they are by the very policy that has brought about this disastrous result. Amazing, I know. But like I said, it's Russia that we're talking about here.
I've mentioned Putinomania in the OP title. Well, I wish that was the only expression of full devotion to Dear Leader, even in the face of failure. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. For instance, there's an ongoing competition in the Kommersant newspaper (very Putin-friendly, btw), where the best Putin-praising essay or line would be granted an award. Here are some excerpts, rough translation:
- "In a way, I consider our President a father to my family. I like Vladimir Vladimirovich. Both as a man and as a politician. But he is my President, first and foremost".
- "There is no Putin - there is no Russia" (a periphrase of a famous Stalin quote)
- "We need another name for our country, another name for your post. Supreme ruler! If you don't prefer supreme emperor, let it be supreme ruler. But still, Vladimir the First would've sounded great!" (Vladimir Zhirinovski, infamous nationalist leader)
- "My position is that I love Russia and Putin. I love everything he does and I bow to him. I believe he should be a tyrant and a dictator, otherwise Russia will fall apart. And I just love her so much! I am definitely behind him, and I would follow him anywhere".
And so on and so forth. You get the idea.
And, just in case you thought the noble act of seizing Crimea was an event that was sanctioned by God himself, here's what the Chairman of the State Council of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov thinks on the matter:
"In all our actions we were aware that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin stood behind us - he is a great leader of a great country. It is an honor for me to be in the same team with him. Today we have become part of his team. We, Crimeans, will not let him down". Of course, even now there are still the most stubborn Putinites who'd continue insisting that Russia had nothing to do with what happened in Crimea, and it must've been just a spontaneous act of the freedom-hungry Crimeans, no less. But we already knew what to expect, didn't we.
I wonder how far this boundless love for the quasi-tyrant that most of the modern world considers to be a fossil from the past, actually stretches. Sure he's a fossil, but what a fossil, oh my! Didn't we see him some time ago, flying a hang-glider alongside a flock of cranes and showing them the way to greener pastures (just as he's doing with his beloved people) - because they couldn't manage on their own, without the help of Dear Leader? Poor birds! They must've been extremely fortunate in their misfortune, and lucky to get a guide in this complicated world! Thank God, Vova was there to show them the right direction!
And do you remember how Dear Leader showed what a superhero he is when he posed for a photo, gripping a Siberian tiger in his tight arms? Well, sure, it later turned out the cat had been tranquilized into a stupor, but who cares - the message is what matters! You see, even the mightiest beasts on Earth acknowledge the invincibility of Dear Leader! And whenever he deigns to go fishing, the most fabulous creatures are instantly caught on his hook - like 20-kilo pike fish.
But still, something tells me that every madness has an end. Even when it has taken the form of acute Putinomania. I suspect the end of this particular strain of the virus is going to be as disgraceful as it'll be spectacular. Let's just hope there won't be too many deaths in the process.