As good a theory as any

Whether Putin has Asperger’s or not, as a dilettante, I would think my opinion is as bad as any other’s. I shall merely parrot the views of Stanislav Belkovsky and Yulia Latynina: Putin craves Respect. Like any street thug or mafia don, he will let no instance of mancanza di rispetto go unpunished. But is he driven by rational fear of an uprising fomented by some impudent Thersites?

Probably not: rather, it’s a case of an erstwhile bullied child in a presidential seat who sees attempts to personally humiliate him in everything that major powers do, and interprets all opposition from those powers as bullying. As Belkovsky said, the recent separatist offensive on Debalstevo seems like Putin’s reaction to not being invited to Auschwitz.

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