The death of Russia’s brutal dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin, and the end of Russia, will comprise the final chapter of the Cold War—which began at the end of World War II, and lasted more than 70 years.
Lots of us have lived through that war since we were children. Growing up a mile west of UCLA’s Westwood campus in Los Angeles, and attending elementary school not far away in the suburb of Brentwood, my classmates and I had to go through mock nuclear explosion drills and hide under our desks and shield our heads from “falling debris.” I remember it well.
It is estimated that the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—including millions during the collectivization of the Soviet farms in the 1930s. As the Soviets moved through Germany and captured Berlin at the end of World War II, they raped at least two million German women in what is now acknowledged as the largest case of mass rape in history.
To their credit, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush set their sights on destroying the Soviet Union; and it is gone, without a shot being fired. After Soviet forces left Afghanistan in humiliation and defeat—and in body bags—the USSR imploded. The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain fell, and the rest is history. Yet, the Cold War did not end.
Putin is a killer, and Stalin’s heir. After World War II, he came to prominence as a KGB operative in East Germany—or the DDR, as it was known before the collapse of Erich Honecker’s government—which was one of the most repressive regimes in the Soviet Union’s orbit, or the Evil Empire. Following the USSR’s implosion, Putin and his thugs and cronies hijacked Russia’s incipient democracy, and have been exploiting it ever since.
Despite being a “public servant” all of his life, Putin has amassed a fortune estimated to be $70 billion; “Versailles” has been built for him already; and his cronies have amassed billions of dollars too, and are living like kings outside of Russia. The Russian people need to recover what Putin and his cronies have stolen from them, and then terminate all of them—like the last Czar and his family, and Italy’s Benito Mussolini. Nothing less will suffice.
The world must never forget that Putin left the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing to launch his aggression against Georgia. Then, he left the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and launched his aggression against Crimea and the rest of Ukraine. Also, the world must never forget that in addition to downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17—and killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board—Putin killed Alexander Litvinenko and countless others.
Russia is crippled as a result of our economic sanctions and the fall of oil prices. By ratcheting up the sanctions even more—such as unilaterally denying Russia access to the SWIFT banking system—Putin and Russia will be in free fall, and in a death spiral from which they will not recover. Putin’s “invasion” of Syria may prove to be quicksand for him, just as Afghanistan was for the Soviets.
Russia is weaker today than the former USSR before it collapsed. It spans nine time zones and includes 160 ethnic groups that speak an estimated 100 languages. It is by no means monolithic, and may crumble “overnight.” Once Putin is gone, Russia may be dismembered—never to rise again—with China taking part (e.g., Siberia, which it covets) and the rest becoming independent states like the former Yugoslavia.
Each of the new states will act in its own best interests, just as has been true in the former Yugoslavia, and among the countries that were spun off from the USSR—which have thrived as part of the West. Putinism will not survive Putin. It will suffer an ignominious death, like its namesake; and constitute a tragic watershed in history, like Adolf Hitler’s “Thousand Year Reich” and Nazism.
Let the celebrations begin. The end is near . . .
© 2015, Timothy D. Naegele
 Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/documents/TimothyD.NaegeleResume.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org; see also Google search: Timothy D. Naegele
 See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)
 See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (“Russia’s Putin Is A Killer”)