Russia President Vladimir Putin, presumably, is religious, having a private chapel on his estate where he goes to pray. Thus, one can assume he would possibly listen to a modern version of the famous or infamous historical religious mystic and monk Rasputin. To cure the hemophilic son of Tsar Nicholas, Rasputin held sway over the court until competing courtiers removed him.

A modern cyberage Rasputin II could without doubt advise Putin and lift a horrible burden from the world. His advice would actually serve Putin’s real interest and, above would offer vast benefits to the hapless Russians and Ukrainians.

During WW II, Putin’s family suffered grievously as did both Russia and the Ukraine on a massive unimaginable scale.

A Rasputin II could start with these background facts and continue to summarize the reciprocal ratcheting back and forth toward disaster which preceded the current crisis and which actually characterized most backgrounds to wars. He could tell Putin that normal humane empathy derived from his family’s own hardship and WW II in general, would cause anyone to avoid war at all costs and certainly not prompt one to invade a neighboring country.

Yes, Rasputin II could say: we realize that the step by step eastward expansion of NATO and having U.S. troops engage in maneuvers right on your border is perceived by Russia as an increasing threat. No surprise that the oligarchs supported you all along and that you even were proclaimed to be a “genius” by one of our oligarchs. But keep in mind that oligarchs run your country and America, too, and they do not like to have their interests and investments threatened by uncontrollable wars and their vast damaging results. They are the modern courtiers and if they change their views it will pose a threat to your policy as it did to my hapless predecessor.

Yes, I realize that the step by step eastward expansion of NATO and having American soldiers maneuver right on your border is without doubt provocative as it would be to America if you foisted another Cuban crisis on America.

Putin, please, take heed of the massive global reaction which can only augur poorly for you, to put it mildly.

The Ukrainian people have suffered enough and the world is intensely tired of wars. Everyone knows the cost and the horrible environmental toxicity which military actions causes on top of leaving in their wake uncounted vets suffering health issues.

Massive global problems should be addressed insofar as they threaten the very survival of our small overwrought planet with its never ending increasing population.

Putin listen to Rasputin II who could tell you that wars and foolish policies tend to be stopped too often only by an overwhelming event, precisely what you should avoid. The priority should not be placed on foreign military adventures which both Russia and America have done to no end and incurred a horrible long lasting cost. Serious internal domestic issues should be the priority and once that is the focus a rising resolution of many problems and a growing living standard will be enjoyed by all Russians as would all Americans. Putin would you stop the war immediately if America were to pull back NATO and promise not to include the Ukraine into NATO?. It would incur global appreciation and possibly restore some harmony between Russia, the Ukraine and the West and the globe. It would be an attractive quid pro quo which could be followed by mutually beneficial economic activities for both Russia and the Ukraine.

The world would forget your infantile buffoonery of showing off your nude chest and other ego puffing theatrics which recall the ego-puffing antics of Mussolini. So, go to your chapel and start the process of expiation. The world will be grateful. Thereafter, show enough courage to accept what's coming to you.

Ottumwan Siegfried "Sig" H. Sutterlin, who has earned a doctorate in history from the University of Minnesota, is a former senior Fulbright scholar in Europe and retired history instructor at Indian Hills Community College. He can be reached at


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