Until you have evidence to the contrary why not take Putin at his word? He has consistently said that Russia needs a moral backbone and a shared common culture.
He's former KGB/FSB and a politician. Why would anyone take him at his word? I put him up there with all the other false conservatives out there. Every time they chase out Catholicism, the Russians commit treason. You've been sold a bill of goods.
I will accept he probably ordered the state sanctioned killing of Alexander Litvinenko.
If you're a journalist and critical of Putin like Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya, you instantly become more likely to die a violent death.
Putin has done absolutely nothing since his election to convince me that he wants to return Russia to the days of Soviet Communism. Sure, he has mentioned that that system, as bad as it was, did have certain advantages. But he has not waxed lyrical or praised Stalin or Lenin.
He technically doesn't need to. The rest of Russian society does that for him. This brand of nationalism perfectly does away with any Catholic impulse. The Unorthodox Church serves as support of the State and the State only cares about the State and the elites who run it. The people were starved out and oppressed, their resistance was purged. It's a familiar story by now, no matter where you come from.
I guess I missed the part where he dismantled the Russian Mafia. I missed the part where he disbanded the Communist Party. I missed the part where he took down all the communist symbols, especially the hammer and sickle, from places like say... Red Square? If they don't actively venerate Lenin, why do they still have his body on display at the Mausoleum? There was never a rejection of communist ideals, only a mild transference.
I did however, catch the part where he routinely gobbled up the assets of multiple oligarchs and sent them off to prison without trial. I remember Yushchenko's face. I remember those golden words falling out of Putin's mouth "Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century". Now I'll remember all those who are falling out of their chairs to agree with this man, glossing over not only the supreme material evils of the regime, but also the spiritual. Meanwhile the Mass of all time goes unmentioned amidst all this nationalism and nostalgia.
I can't even tell Russia to go to Hell, they're already in it!
Just because a starving man thinks that gnawing on a leather shoe is a full course meal, it does not mean we must adopt his point of view as healthy individuals. The old shoe of Russia nationalism will not suffice. The old shoe of the servile schismatic Russian Orthodox Church will not suffice. I'm not arguing that the USA has the right answer either, I'm simply reminding you guys that the Fatima message still stands. If Russia can convince you that they're really a Christian nation (which they are not), then what use will you have of Fatima? The answer is why Fatima is being put on the shelf by conservatives this time and not just the liberals.