- Dec 13, 2015
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
From here: What makes Putin tick? Political scientist on how he makes decisions and if he would start a nuclear war
Vladimir Putin is a man who has “no incentive in going backwards” - a political scientist gives insight into the Russian leader’s background and what he could do next
Vladimir Putin has been the Russian leader for nearly 22 years. He has long been a controversial figure, but he has now become a pariah in the eyes of the west, following his order to invade neighboring Ukraine. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has already seen Ukrainian civilians and Russian troops killed, thousands across the world protesting against the war, and severe economic sanctions imposed on Russia by Western nations.
All eyes are on the Russian President with fears of what he might do next and how far he will go.
National World spoke to Matt Qvortrup, a political scientist from Coventry University, to understand more about Vladimir Putin. What makes him tick, how does he make decisions, could he conceivably start a nuclear war and what can we expect over the coming days?
Taking a look back at Putin’s past and his background can help us to understand the man today. He was a KGB officer before entering Russian politics - the KGB was the Soviet Union’s main intelligence and security agency until it was dissolved in 1991.
“When he did his KGB training somebody mentioned his height - he didn’t take kindly to that and decided to get into a fight with this much larger man,” Professor Qvortrup said of Putin, who is 170cm tall.
He added: “He was beaten up and had to go to hospital. Putin had a broken arm.”
“As a result of all of this he was not sent to West Germany as a spy, he got an office job at the KGB in East Germany and it took him 10 years to be promoted from first lieutenant to captain.”
An event from his past such as goes some way to explaining his seemingly erratic decision making process today.
Professor Qvortrup said: “What makes him tick is a lot of vanity. He is a hot head, somebody who does not think ahead before he acts and sometimes has overestimated his own strengths.”
“We think he was someone who was bullied at school - we’ve got reports from his primary school teacher.”
He added: “Putin is of the same mindset as Franco was in Spain.
“He is vainglorious, cocky and a risk taker.”