Putin’s Government: Thwart Autocratic Rule That Will Continue for 5th Term

A victory for Putin’s government in a war of aggression would leave a major stain on world history.

The international community must not allow Russia to succeed in its aggression against Ukraine. Nations must strengthen their unity on this single point.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun his fifth term in power. His term will last six years until 2030. Under the Russian constitution, he can serve another term.

In his inaugural address, Putin praised Russian soldiers who have participated in the aggression against Ukraine. He also said: “We do not refuse dialogue with Western states … The choice is up to them.”

Putin apparently intended to assert that the United States and Europe have refused to engage in dialogue over Ukraine. However, who will agree with his words?

Putin’s ambition to adhere to his policy even in his fifth term to topple the administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, deprive Ukraine of its independent foreign and security policy, and make it a “vassal state” must not be tolerated.

Since the start of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Putin’s government has given noticeable consideration to the status of the Russian military.

Russia’s gross domestic product recorded positive growth of 3.6% last year, which has been deemed to be a result of the huge budget spent on the military industry in response to the military’s requests.

This spring, Russia also put in place a system to actively promote military personnel who participated in the aggression to senior positions in the government, state-run enterprises and other entities. Making it clear that people are being appointed based on their contribution to military action may be aimed at solidifying the military’s loyalty to Putin.

It seems that the Russian government hopes to strongly argue that the economic sanctions imposed by the United States, Europe, Japan and other countries have no effect, but there must be a limit to growth led by military demand. If Moscow continues to pursue policies that disregard the lives of the people, the economy will head into a decline over the medium to long term.

Russia is manipulating public opinion to try to move the war of aggression in its favor.

In Slovakia, posts opposing support for Ukraine spread on social media before the Slovakian general election last year. In Finland, posts opposing its membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization spread.

This information is believed to have originated in Russia. The international community must not be swayed by Russia’s plot to divide the democratic camp.

China is expanding trade with Russia, effectively shoring up Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine. China may be calculating that it is in its interest for Russia to wear out its national strength and Moscow to become more dependent on Beijing.

It is also the responsibility of Western nations, including Japan, to persistently work to persuade China to halt its support for Russia.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 8, 2024)