Vladimir Putin and the Greatest Catastrophe of the 20th Century

Putin is hammering the former Soviet nations in the Caucasus Region back into its sphere of influence and control

Meziechi Nwogu
6 min readMay 3, 2021


Image Credit: Aljazeera.com

Major geopolitical catastrophes blighted the 20th century. World War 1, World War 2, the dissolution of the British Empire & the Soviet Union, the holocaust, and the nuclear arms race defined the 20th century.

However, which of these events is the worst moment for Vladimir Putin? Putin, who served in the KGB in the Soviet period, described the 1991 USSR fall as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century in a 2005 speech.

Wait a minute. The breakup of a regime notorious for domination, prison camps and purges? The regime whose terrifying policies killed millions of its own people? The government that murdered millions by deliberately creating the worst man-made famine in world history, known as the Holodomor? The regime whose KGB agents went after anyone suspected of disloyalty to the communist party?

Given all the pains and sufferings under that tyrannical system, many would say the creation of the Soviet Union was among the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century. Still, Vladimir Putin views its peaceful dissolution as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.

What the former KGB lieutenant colonel yearns is not the economics or politics of the Soviet Union. Instead, What he misses are the power and prestige. He fondly admires the period when the Soviet hammer forged Russia and 14 other states into one giant, nuclear-armed superpower.

In the years since he spoke these words, Putin has channeled much of Russia’s might into bringing those nations back into its sphere of influence.

Putin’s Key Target — the Caucasus Region

Comprising the ex-Soviet nations of Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Caucasus region lies at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Not only is there plenty of oil & gas in the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea, but the area is also key to transporting oil and gas to Europe.



Meziechi Nwogu

Passionate follower of Geopolitics, Military and Economic issues that impact our world