2022…I don´t know. The past 2 years were like gone and I ask myself? Where did those years go? What were the memories that will last? I wonder what else is coming. Does it get better? Will it get worse? And if it gets worse…how worse? Just when I thought “ok, 2022 we will finally get over this pandemic.”, this crazy Ivan called Vladimir Putin starts a war right in the middle of Europe and throws us decades back into a cold/hot war between east and west.

I mean, I grew up in a time when there was an iron curtain, a divided Germany and US soldiers based in Germany was a “normal” thing. Then there was the breakdown of the former Soviet Union and the area of globalization began. Over the years there was no “threat” called Russia…yeah, there was a different kind of leadership style that differs from the western democracies, but hey…how can we judge this if there s this mentality. Ok, they were lacking at some point like gay rights and some other things that we see as “democratic”, but you were free to travel there and get to know the people and the culture. And from my experience, I can only tell positive things about the people I met. There was no “communism trash talk” and “praising” Stalin or the successes of Sovjet inventions as we have seen back in the days on television. But now? You have a Russian leadership that arrests people right from the streets because they were demonstrating. Official politicians call those people “traitors to the country” and they face jail ONLY because they try to speak freely. And don´t say it´s not true… we live in a globalized social media environment. TikTok and Twitter are much fast in spreading information than any regulation authority can block it. We all saw it….we saw the handy videos from young people filming it and posting it online.

And marking Facebook and Instagram and YouTube for extremist activity. Come on! I wonder how much the brainwashing of the Russian people moved on that nobody cries out loud about this turnaround in Russian politics? Does no one wonder within Russia when within 8 weeks the complete world is gone upside down because of this war in Ukraine? They saw that western companies closed their businesses within a record time. We all saw that out of nowhere we have this “bad west, good east” – rhetoric back again. Since when do the western nations try to “destroy” Russia? I m someone that watches the news frequently and tries to reflect on all sides, not just one to build myself an opinion. But in the years there was nothing like that. There was an outcry when we heard about these laws against the LGBTQ community that made people here wonder what s going on here. And there was this typical “USA vs. Russia” thing… I mean here in Europe nobody cares about this rivalry. The opposite is the case. Esp. in Germany we tried to get more connected to Russia on an economic level. You wouldn´t do that if you think that Russia is “the bad guy”. Ok, today we know that this might be a mistake that cost us a hell of money and some public wealth….but ok, lesson learned. North Stream 2 is history. Putin can take this pipeline and stick it where the sun isn´t shining. I expect the next months to come with some difficult times ahead. We will have increased prices and some stuff will become short in supply, but no one will starve to death here. There will be anger in the public about rising prices, but that s the thing. People will get over it. And alternative energy supply routes will be set up in record time. Anyone that thinks that this dependency will last longer than the next 12 months will be proven wrong. Putin’s “Great Russia” plans will backfire on him so hard that will wonder what s going on. When his people can not travel to their favorite spots anymore because the sanctions will grab their travel industry by the balls…if they go back driving Moskwitsch instead of BMW or Mercedes. If there s no Dior and Chanell for the rich girls. And instead of Samsung or Apple iPhones, they have to switch to Chinese or Russian brands like BQ. Not premium anymore….esp. when you can not run Google Playstore anymore. Ask Huawei…they can tell you. Putin makes the mistake of thinking that his people will go back to this “all good Russia” lifestyle. They will if they don´t have any other option, but be sure they won´t like it. All those Russian influencers that finance their lifestyle and travel with nice pictures and stories on Instagram and YouTube….you think they will make even close to as much money as they did before with those substitutes that the Russian government pushes out for the real deals? I mean putting stuff out that even sounds similar is such a poor move, it´s hard for me to find words for it…even harder it is to believe the people falling for it. Calling the Russian version of Instagram Rossgram is so ridiculous. But I guess for the ppl over there it’s like “before I have nothing at all, I take what I get.” but the thing is providing a platform where you can share images does t make it a substitute. The key to such platforms is the exchange…the people…the interaction…the internationality. My motivation for Instagram is to see the work of people from all over the world. From New York to Tokyo…from Stockholm to Cape Town. I don´t want to see only the work of my fellow citizens.

It´s more than disturbing for me how a country leader willingly isolates his country and the people within for his expansion plans. But exactly this is what he does at the moment. Isolating Russia from the rest of the world. What does he think will happen even IF he succeeds in taking control over Ukraine? The complete western hemisphere is sanctioning him. His only ally is China. So he intends to put the faith of his country in the one country that is as well dependent on global trade? China became big because it plays its cards right in regards as a cheap production place. That s why so many electronics come out of China today. And China is carefully balancing between being an ally to Russia and not disturbing too much the trade with the rest of the world. But as soon as it comes to a confrontation between the western world and China because of Russia, they will drop Russia like a hot potato, because the interest of China is China…and for sure not Russia. Russia is rich in gas and oil, but it lacks technology and know-how in this direction. Russia was before the iron curtain dropped back in the 90tees good on engineering for weapons…but it fails on the basic daily stuff. Or have you ever heard of a competitor for Microsoft/Apple that comes from Russia? How about some consumer electronics? Any competitor for Samsung, LG, or Telefunken? No? Me neither. Because Russia failed in this part completely and they fail to the very day. So will it be different this time? Will “the great leader Putin” will do it better? I doubt it. He will lead the Russian people back into the days of need and shortages. Like it was back before 1990. Congrats…that s the only outcome of this conflict. And he has to pay a shitload of money as reparations to the Ukrainian people for f*** this country up so hard. Because it´s very unlikely that he will take over the country that has more or less the whole western countries in its back pushing more on more of their advanced weapons into this country to support Ukraine to defend their homeland. He needs to take many more cruel weapons to win this conflict…but he knows very well. As soon he uses biological or chemical weapons or even worse nuclear weapons, that s a red line that he should not cross because that would level this conflict up to a global conflict. After all, no one can stand aside if a country uses such weapons of mass destruction. Even China (I strongly assume) would tell Putin not to cross this line because then it would be hard or impossible for them to vote in Russia’s favor to protect or block international actions.

No, in my point of view Putin did a bad service for his country by chasing his dreams that Russia (and the world) will suffer quite a while from. But mostly Russia is thrown back and it will take years if not decades to rebuild it and to give its people that way of living they got used to until 2021. Until this happens they will have nothing else than sticking to cheap propaganda of their “great leader” until he dies (hopefully sooner than later).