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Is Vladimir Putin delusional?

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The last few weeks have been very tense in the Ukraine. As most if the world knows, political tensions in the Ukraine escalated a few weeks ago as a portion if the Ukraine's citizenry protested oppressive conditions forcing the then leader to flee the country. This promted Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, to send troops in to intervene.

Many nation's leaders became worried that tensions would escalate into an armed conflict. Germany's leader, Angela Merkel, reached out to Putin in an attempt to try to get him to back off. She would later express concern that Putin was not in touch with reality (http://time.com/#13040/putin-ukraine-obama-white-house-attacks/).

Certainly, Mr. Putin has drawn some international attention recently with some of his antics. A few months ago, prior to the beginning of the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, his Parliament passed a law banning homosexuality (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/11/russia-law-banning-gay-prop...).

Additionally, Putin was also very involved with Syria and their chemical weapons a year ago (http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Putin-says-US-Russia-agree-o...). Russia was seen as being an arms supplier, and possibly involved in supplying chemical weapons as well, to Syria.

Needless to say that tensions between the United States and Russia are mounting (http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/28/world/europe/ukraine-politics). One would even think that with Russia's attempt at land grab in the Ukraine, the cold war is back. In h center of all the controversy is what is Vladimir Putin thinking? Is he exercusing appropriate leadership measures for the good of his country, or is he out of touh with reality and just looking to restore the Soviet Union as a powerhouse?

Looking at Mr. Putin's behaviour, we can discern, speculate and hypothesize just what may be going on inside his head. Without an involved discussion with him, of course, it wuld be beyond our ability to decide that he is delusional. Nevertheless, we di have clues that may give s some insight.

Mr. Putin has proclaimed that he is concered about the situation in Ukraine for theb safety of some Russians that are living there (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10669670/Ukrain...). Our own president has discounted this as no more than an excuse.

A heightened sense of self-importance is the hallmark of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/dsm-iv.htm). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, in fact, states that or is characterized by "(a) pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy".

While it may take a grandiose oersonality to seek the highest levels of public office, it may seem that there are other factors involved as well. The ban against homosexuality and lack of regard for the Ukranisms' right to govern would seem to validate the lack of empathy.

Another distinguishing characteristic of NPD is that lying is a common trait of narcissists (ibid). Hence President Obama's remark that Putin's excuse for gong into Ukraine "isn't fooling anybody" ((http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10669670/Ukrain...).

The unfortunate conclusion is this: since narcissists have a grandiose view if hemselves, it ay be hard, if nit impossible to reason with him. Perhaps a solution may involve appealing to his vanity and one that makes him look like the winner for getting out of Ukraine.

A show if force may be useless since he will not se himself as weak. Perhaps, then, some type of reward that is more than his occupation of that country. Ultimately, the worst case scenario would be military conflict. And let's hope it doesn't come down to that.

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