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Photo by Jørgen Håland on Unsplash.

Putin's life, it influences the Russian president's decisiveness to a greater level. China has its own Panda Diplomacy, on a similar note, Russia has its Judocracy.

Kremlin's propaganda masters once embellished Vladimir Putin's Judo skills by releasing books, DVD's showing him teaching modern martial arts. Very few know that Judo is an integral part of Putin's life, it influences the Russian president's decisiveness to a greater level. China has its own Panda Diplomacy, on a similar note, Russia has its Judocracy.

Vladimir Putin was born in Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg. He used to live with his parents and an old Jewish couple in a communal apartment measly measuring 180 sqft. There was no hot water, a bathtub, or forsake central heating. The building smelled of rotten cabbage and was heavily rat-infested. There was a windowless hallway that served as a communal kitchen and a toilet jammed against a stairwell. Little Putin, fondly called Volodya used to chase rats with a stick with his friends in the dimly lit alleyways. It was what passed for a game — until the time he cornered one in the hallway and the rat turned back and pounced on him. Volodya was able to outrun the rat but the incident taught Putin an important lesson in his life, which he was able to recall even years later; NEVER CORNER SOMEONE.


The courtyard was the only free space Volodya had. But, it was beleaguered by drunkards, smokers, and thugs. Volodya being the shortest in the pack was picked upon the most. This gave him the pugnacious, quick brawler, street thug nature. To fight off the bullies and to assert himself into the pack, he resorted to learning Soviet martial art, known as Sambo, and later switched to Judo. The martial arts gave him the means to assert himself against larger, tougher boys. "It was a tool to assert myself into the pack," he would say. "Judo teaches self-control, the ability to feel the moment, to see the opponent's strengths and weaknesses, to strive for the best results," he says on his website.


Vladimir Putin was born in Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg. In terms of Ukraine, Putin seized the opportunity by attacking the west and adding new territory to the Russian Federation.Photo by Ignat Kushanrev on Unsplash.


Mark Galeotti a London-based lecturer and writer on transnational crime and Russian security affairs and director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence, points out specifically that, Putin is not a chess player; he is a judoka. Chess is a contest with rules and transparency; everyone starts with the same pieces. But Putin doesn't want to limit his options like that. His skill lies in turning his opponent's strength against him at just the right time. "In this respect, in geopolitics as in judo, Putin is an opportunist", Galeotti writes. "He has a sense of what constitutes a win, but no predetermined path towards it. He relies on quickly seizing any advantage he sees, rather than on a careful strategy."

In terms of Ukraine, Putin seized the opportunity by attacking the west and adding new territory to the Russian Federation. The Annexation of Crimea has bolstered Putin's popularity ratings in Russia and significantly strengthened Russia's Sphere of Influence. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought economic turmoil to every country in the world. Russia on the other hand has claimed victory in the Covid-19 vaccine race.

Putin is a master opportunist. He applies the Judo philosophy of weighing the opponent, tiring him out, and then using his strength against him. Georgy Bovt pointed out in "The Moscow Times":

Many judo moves are modelled after the cherry tree branch, or sakura, found in Japan and other Asian countries that first bend under the mounting weight of falling snow, and then forcefully snaps back into position. In this way, the sakura move is designed to use the enemy's force against him.

Russia understands that a confrontation with the west is suicidal and thus prefers hybrid warfare. Inducing chaos is the underlining goal of Russia's Hybrid War on the West. Concluding, Putin's Russia will seize every opportunity to undermine the West and to bolster Russia's domination in world politics.


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