Former US President Barack Obama says he is surprised by the course of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “This is not the Putin I knew,” Obama told The Atlantic.
According to Obama, Putin has always been “merciless” but no longer recognizes the man as the opponent from his tenure. “I don’t know who the person is in charge now,” Obama said. “That he is now risking everything? I would not have predicted that five years ago.”
Obama – who was president when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 – has said he is “encouraged” by the united response from the West. “In 2014, I had to scream and drag them in the right direction,” it sounds. However, the former president does not want to venture any predictions about an end to this conflict. “I don’t want to gamble on what’s going on in Putin’s head.”
But, according to his own concerns, Obama is concerned about the future of democracy. “It’s become enough and confused and seedless, just when autocrats everywhere have the wind,” Obama said.
“Putin is an example of a particular response to the ideals of democracy, but also to globalization and the clash of cultures: he can capture that anger and discontent in ethno-nationalist mythology. That points to a difficult, violent and challenging future if we don’t correct some things.”