The world is constantly changing – sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. One man who is already responsible for much of the change in the world in 2022 is Russian President Vladimir Putin. On February 24th, 2022, President Putin ordered an invasion of Russian troops into their smaller neighboring country, Ukraine. This act of war has led to a number of responses and discussions from world leaders, politicians, geopolitical experts, and everyday people around the world. One of the primary points of discussion is Putin’s mental health. Considering his recent actions, many are wondering if the Russian President is of sound mind.

Who is Vladimir Putin?

Vladimir Putin was born in Leningrad, Russia, in October of 1952. Growing up, he attended school and read the works of many communist thinkers, such as Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin. As a young adult, Putin studied law at Leningrad State University.  

In 1975, Putin joined the KGB, the primary security agency for the Soviet Union. During his time at the KGB, he worked in counterintelligence. However, he was considered a hero during the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989 for burning sensitive documents and saving Soviet cultural archives.   

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Communist East German government, Putin resigned from active service for the KGB. Throughout much of the 1990s, Putin worked in politics. During this time, he worked as an advisor and also as a diplomat who was responsible for maintaining international relations and foreign investments. 

In August of 1999, Putin was appointed as the acting prime minister of the Government of the Russian Federation. A few months later, President Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation, and Putin became the acting President of the Russian Federation. He remained President until 2008. From 2008 to 2012, Putin again served as prime minister – since he was barred from running for President again. However, in 2012, Putin returned as the President of Russia and has remained in the position since.  

Vladimir Putin, Russia, and Ukraine in 2022

On February 24th, 2022, Russia began a military invasion of Ukraine. The potential for Russia’s invasion had been in talks in the weeks prior. However, without a formal declaration of the war, the beginning of the actual, physical invasion was a surprise to many. The invasion is the largest military attack in Europe since World War II.    

The relationship between Ukraine and Russia is complex and goes back decades. Ukraine – along with many of the other countries that border Russia – was once part of the Soviet Union, but, in 1990, Ukraine gained its independence. However, many Russians were not happy with this or with the fall of the Soviet Union. 

In 2014, Putin brought part of Ukraine back under Russian control. He led a much smaller military invasion into Ukraine to seize the Crimean Peninsula. This began the on-going Russo-Ukrainian war.   

The Question of Putin’s Mental Health

Russia is the largest and one of the most powerful countries in the world. It is home to over 144 million people as well as the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. Given all that Russia already possesses and its impressive position in the world, many wonder why President Vladimir Putin is risking a potential worldwide conflict by invading Ukraine. Without a clear motive, several world leaders and politicians have begun to question Putin’s mental health. They wonder if he is in his right mind and if he needs mental healthcare.  

World Leaders, Politicians, and More on Putin’s Mental Health 

Dozens of world leaders and politicians have shared their thoughts on the Russo-Ukrainian War, Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin’s state of mind: 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

In the weeks leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, made comments on Putin’s state of mind. Johnson called Putin an “irrational actor” and warned that “we have to accept at the moment that Vladimir Putin is possibly thinking illogically about this and doesn’t see the disaster ahead”.  

Former Secretary of State Condelezza Rice

Condelezza Rice, who not only served as a national security adviser but also as the Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, also made comments on Putin’s current mental health. During her time with the Bush Administration, Rice met with Putin on several occasions. However, in her recent comments, she noted that he seemed different, stating, “He was always cold and calculating. But this is different. He seems erratic”

Michael McFaul

The former U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama, Michael McFaul, has also noticed a change in Vladimir Putin. On an NBC broadcast, McFaul shared his thoughts on Putin’s current mental health, stating, “I sat in a room with him for five years when I worked in the Obama Administration. I speak Russian. I listen to him, and I know what he says. He is increasingly unhinged in the way he talks about” Ukraine’s leaders like Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

The Importance of Mental Healthcare 

Despite the comments made by world leaders, politicians, and more on Putin’s mental health. These attempts to diagnose him are nothing more than that. Sadly, we are incapable of truly understanding Putin’s mental health and state of mind.

In any case, a person’s mental health is one of the most important parts of their overall health. Living with mental health issues or disorders like anxiety, depression, and more can have an immense impact on a person’s behavior and everyday life. It is important to seek mental health treatment in order to learn how to manage these issues and conditions and live one’s best life.

Searching for Local Mental Health Care? 

If you or a loved one is currently dealing with mental health issues, mental health disorders, or even some anxiety due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin, help is available near you! At Knoxville Recovery Center, our team of mental health professionals are empathetic listeners who also offer a variety of treatments and therapies. Contact us today for more information!

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