Image of a Russian spy in his hotel room, from “The Man Who Fell Off Time and Gone” by Mikhail Bulgakov
Image of Vladimir Putin, head of state of Russia, in an undisclosed location, by Sergei Eisenstein
At just 39 years old, Putin wasn’t exactly known for being too young to start spying on people. During his first year as President, he reportedly sent out more than 70 agents across Western Europe, including secret agents in Moscow. In 2014 he received a Silver Star medal from President Barack Obama and at least two others have been awarded by Donald Trump, all of which should make it abundantly clear that he is an intelligent man who has had many lives under his belt.
The Kremlin denies these claims while there are several reasons why Putin would be capable of such heinous acts. He enjoys a close relationship with other Russians that extends further than just Russia. They include those in the highest ranks within their respective countries and some members from their own countries as well. This allows Putin access to vast amounts of sensitive information from multiple sources. Whether some of this information is about personal enemies or current operations is unclear; however, the fact remains that if someone can send emails telling officials about what they are doing in America, they have enough data on Biden to know what they’re doing on both sides of the border. If Putin does have anything relevant going on here, it may not be related to espionage but could also be more dangerous if it was meant to cause significant damage.
Putin hasn’t always had so much material to work with because, over the past couple of decades, things have changed dramatically for him. The economy and the global financial system have taken a turn for the worse and this has led to greater instability. These changes make it harder for any one individual (or institution) to control what happens to them. When governments around the world shut down industries and infrastructure, they created an opportunity for Putin. This makes him even more powerful on a geopolitical level than ever before.
One reason Putin doesn’t know everything about what goes on with everyone is due to his lack of connections with anyone outside of Russia. This likely means that when he’s looking into international affairs of his interests as president, he won’t need access from foreign sources. What’s more important to him is keeping up to date on what’s happening without having links with foreign powerhouses. As I previously discussed, Putin’s career can run smoothly with people who aren’t connected to his circle; after all, these individuals wouldn’t have access to private documents. Therefore, it’s probably not surprising that if he were trying to hide something huge in a foreign land, even he wouldn’t have access to it through his network. There would likely still be some sort of way for him to get himself away with it if anything of significance was being hidden. However, this may no longer be possible since it doesn’t mean that he will be able to communicate with everyone without external sources. For now, though, he will have the advantage that nothing on the internet will seem important enough to give him trouble (even though this might change).
The only thing that needs to be discussed is where Putin was born. Back in 1990, there wasn’t much news on Putin growing up but it is believed that he had English as a second language. Some Russian authors do believe that he was fluent and spoke French fluently in addition to English (which is true, according to Wikipedia). While this makes him look smarter, this did give him a better understanding of current affairs and how events in the present affect the future (aside from Russian-speaking newspapers and social media sites). With that background knowledge, he must be capable of operating effectively and quickly if he desires to obtain whatever it is that he wants.
Furthermore, since his parents are currently living in Canada, this would provide Putin with Canadian citizenship, making it easier for him to travel back and forth. Since his father died last October, it would probably serve him best to use this time to establish contact more closely with loved ones in Russia, and preferably family members abroad. It’s not entirely clear if his older brother would be able to step up to fill this role either. Perhaps they haven’t spoken in quite a long time since his father passed so it might be worth considering that option.
There’s also the issue of the nature of communication between Putin and his inner circle. His closest friends and advisors consist primarily of individuals who come from Ukraine and Russia. Because they’re in similar situations, they are unlikely to speak directly to others in another country unless it’s necessary. Even then, they generally don’t want to risk jeopardizing their friend’s safety (and rightfully so). They would rather keep communications short and sweet when it comes to sharing key information. It’s hard to imagine how long this may take and could potentially result in potential leaks. So, if it’s likely that this is done as a form of loyalty, it could have severe implications for the rest of the world. After all, it’s almost inevitable that an individual who holds the position of leader of other nations will have people within their government who look over their shoulder. Not to mention that each person within that chain would be worried about any negative outcomes regarding their country. Looking back at recent history, we’ve seen dictators fall because they allowed their worst opponents to infiltrate their inner circles. That’s precisely what Putin seems to be doing.
It’s also important to examine why the West would be willing to go along with this. Politically, they may not have any complaints against him and want him in office to help them solve problems within their borders. But on a societal level, if it came to light that Putin is secretly involved with organizations that are openly hostile or oppressive against local populations, this would serve him well politically. Of course, that would also affect its economic impact and possibly even lead to issues with trade. A lot of businesses around the globe rely heavily on trade routes being open. Having an enemy with ties to authoritarian regimes could hurt business and increase price controls. On top of this, Putin’s name is tied not just to Russia, but also the majority of other countries in Eastern Europe. And, given the ongoing tensions in Ukraine, this could potentially threaten other states (like China) that sell weapons and services to Russia or even NATO nations through its ports. Lastly, if any secrets become public knowledge, it would surely create tension between Russia and the United States in the eyes of the west and its allies in the East. Overall, there is every chance that the general population would find this concerning, and, given that Putin has been acting recklessly throughout his life, some people may decide that he deserves to experience this type of abuse as an adult