Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014. Putin was one of 278 candidates and 47 organizations that were nominated this year. The prize will be awarded this October according to the Norwegian Nobel Institute. Putin joins other nominees that include Pope Francis and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. This list also includes Malala Yousafzai who was the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for her stance on a girls right to an education.
The announcement that Putin was nominated for the Nobel prize comes in the same week as the Russian invasion of Crimea sparked an international outcry. The nomination had been submitted in October when Putin was negotiating the deal to disarm Syria of its chemical stockpiles. Syria accepted Putin’s proposal to disarm its chemical stockpiles under international control. Putin’s intervention in Syria averted a possible US strike against Syria for its August 21st chemical attack near Damascus.
Only just recently former Secretary of State and expected presidential candidate Hillary Clinton compared Putin to Adolf Hitler by asserting that Putin’s forays into Crimea mirror Hitler’s expansions in Europe in the late 1930’s. Hillary Clinton is not alone in her comparison of Putin to Adolf Hitler. Both Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida have made similar comparisons. Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina went even further in his comparisons to Putin by stating: “If you could go back in time, would you have allowed Adolf Hitler to host the Olympics in Germany? To have the propaganda coup of inviting the world into Nazi Germany and putting on a false front?” Former National Security Advisor and cold war hawk Zbigniew Bryezisnki offers a more sobering analysis on Putin. In 2008 Bryezisnki warned that Putin is on a “horrifying similar” course followed by Stalin and Hitler in the 1930’s. Most recently Bryezisnki called Putin a comical imitation of Mussolini and a more menacing reminder of Adolf Hitler.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on October 7, 1952 in modern day Saint Petersburg, Russia. Has was born during the reign of a Soviet dictator whom he is often compared. Joseph Stalin brought down a reign of terror in the Ukraine in 1930’s that resulted in the deaths of millions. Putin’s mother was employed as a factory worker while his father was a navy conscript in the Soviet submarine fleet. Putin had two older brothers. One brother died within a few months of childbirth while his second brother died with 2 million others during the siege of Leningrad during World War Two. Russia’s terrible past is not lost on Putin who once threatened to close a television station in Saint Petersburg for suggesting that maybe Leningrad should have surrendered instead of holding out for nearly 900 days resulting in nearly 2 million deaths. Putin went on to serve 16 years in the KGB before retiring in 1991. In 1996 he joined the staff of Boris Yeltsin and quickly rose through the ranks. On December 31, 1999 he became acting President upon the sudden and unexpected resignation of Boris Yeltsin. The rest is history.
Vladimir Putin is not likely to join the ranks of Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter and Lech Walsea in becoming a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Like a character cast out of a Russian novel Putin will leave his mark on history.
By John J. Poltonowicz