‘Afraid for people living in Ukraine’: Russians talk about Putin’s attack
Resurfaced footage of a Richard Nixon interview from 1992 has shown the former President making a 'prescient' prediction about the future of Russia.
It comes after Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine and launched a “full-scale invasion” on Wednesday night, with terrifying footage of troops advancing into the country sparking fear across the continent.
Putin claimed he was helping with the "denazification" of Ukraine and said his troops were "peacekeeping", while he also cautioned against interference from other countries, warning them “if you do you will face consequences greater than any of you have faced in history”.
Footage of the conflict has been shared on social media, as well as footage of protestors in Russian cities risking arrest to make their voices heard against Putin’s actions.Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter
Newsnight’s Policy Editor Lewis Goodall has now shared an interview conducted by the former leader of the US making predictions about the current climate.
“A few weeks ago, I came across this interview from 1992 with Richard Nixon not long before he died,” Goodall wrote. “His words on the two potential futures for Russia and Europe have been ringing around my head today.”
He added: “He was many things but there’s little denying he was an astute observer of world politics. It’s a remarkable part of the interview.”
The clip sees Nixon speaking just a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, after a deescalation in geopolitical tensions following the height of the Cold War.
He speaks about what he perceives as the two possible futures for Russia – and the words on “a new despotism” are particularly chilling considering the events of this week and indeed of Putin’s government over the past 20 years.
A few weeks ago, I came across this interview from 1992 with Richard Nixon not long before he died. His words on the two potential futures for Russia and Europe have been ringing around my head today (key clip about 13 mins in). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2mhvEuGHLI\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/kmd01oOuB7
Nixon says in the clip: “Russia at the present time is at a crossroads. It’s often said that the Cold War is over and the West has won. That’s only half true. Because what’s happened is that the Communists have been defeated but the ideas of freedom are now on trial.
“If they don’t work they’ll be a reversion, not to communism, which has failed but to what I call a new despotism, which would post a mortal danger to the rest of the world.”The former president added: “Because it would be infected with the virus of Russian imperialism which has been a characteristic of Russian foreign policy for centuries.
“Therefore the West has, the US has, everyone who wants Freedom in the world has a great stake in freedom succeeding in Russia. If it succeeds it will be an example of others to follow, for China, for example to follow. If it fails then it means the hardliners in China will get a new life - they’ll say if it failed there, there’s no reason to turn to democracy, that’s part of what is at stake here.”
He went on to say: “The other point to have in mind is that it’s vital it succeeds because it’ll mean that Russia, which for seventy years has been trying to export the values of communism to the world, will be exporting democracy, freedom and the goods of freedom.”
In response, many have hailed Nixon's words as 'prescient'.