French military historian Pierre Servent has sharply criticized the West’s course towards Putin. Chancellor Scholz and President Macron must fight for democracy in order not to be seen as “sissies”.
For the historian Servent, the Ukraine war symbolizes the struggle between democracy and autocracy. Russian President Vladimir Putin and China leader Xi Jinping “not only want to defeat the Americanized world, they want to de-democratize it,” Servent said in an interview with Die Welt. “In Putin’s eyes, Western democracy is a system of wimps,” while Putin and his allies from the KGB days indulge in a brutalized male cult.
Servent is harsh on the leaders of the EU. Although he respects Olaf Scholz’s self-declared “turning point”, the chancellor is not consistent enough in politics. “Scholz traveled to Beijing alone as soon as the totalitarian Chinese regime was confirmed. The man didn’t understand anything. Zero,” says Servent. “He is trapped in the old logic in which economic interests determine politics.” Europe “can no longer afford this way of thinking”.
He can only scoff at Macron’s phone calls with Putin: “During his phone calls he gives Putin lessons in international law and forgets that he is talking to a killer who had attacks carried out in Moscow in order to have a pretext for the second Chechen war, of Chechens massacred in Grozny, who attacked Georgia and murdered civilians in Syria. Putin is laughing his head off at Macron’s lectures.”
Still, as the military historian points out, “Diplomacy can never be wrong for a Democrat. It is right to seek and keep up the conversation, but wrong to speak about it publicly.” Servent was one of the few experts to have predicted the Russian attack on Ukraine. The well-known military historian comments on the Ukraine war and the policies of President Vladimir Putin in the French media.