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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Putin fears his own people more than Nato

More than 60 prominent German signatories signed the open letter "Another war in Europe? Not in our name!" published in German media on Friday. The left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung questions the assumption on the part of the signatories that Russia fears encirclement by Nato: "Vladimir Putin loves to tell his Western counterparts how Russia is being encircled and how Nato is menacing his country with its advances. ... The appeal shows that this seed has fallen on fertile ground in Germany. ... More than half the Russian population put Russia's becoming a world power over their own prosperity. They are not afraid, but they want to make others afraid. Vladimir Putin uses these feelings because he himself is afraid: the anti-Western rhetoric began in 2012 after hundreds of thousands of Russians protested against rigged elections. And it was radically sharpened during the Maidan protests in Ukraine. In truth Putin is less afraid of Nato than he is of his own people."

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