A READER has got in touch with us with his view that Putin is a capitalist and nationalist desperate for power.

"CORRESPONDENT JC Magdin’s holiday reminiscences were fascinating but, like many readers, I’m not clear why he thinks the Soviet Union 50 years ago has any direct relevance to today’s Ukraine crisis. “70s Russia” (HAS, Mar 11).

"Putin’s ambitions are imperialistic not socialist. He’s continuing the aims of the Russian tsars. His much quoted dismay at the demise of the Soviet Union is a sop to Russian public opinion.

"The West hammers away at this false parallel because it wants to tap into decades of cold war thought conditioning. Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, Chair of Parliament’s Defence Select Committee, even insists Ukraine is under attack from the “Red Army”. At this crucial time the last thing we need is another Tory twit!

"Putin was almost certainly never a communist. He just played the system, as did many Soviet citizens. His current objectives are overwhelmingly nationalistic and make copious use of pseudo-patriotic imagery, a common characteristic of right-wing politicians!

"The Tories current ‘Queen of Extreme’, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, insists Putin wants to re-make the Soviet Union. If he wanted to do that he could start by nationalising the oligarchs’ assets.

"These were looted from the former Soviet Union after 1991, under the indifferent gaze of US puppet Boris Yeltsin and his second-in-command.... someone by the name of V Putin!

"So let’s be absolutely clear. The Russian Federation is a gangster capitalist kleptocracy."

C Walker, Darlington

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