Politics is about tactics too, the official definition in the Oxford dictionary states, as one meaning:
The activities of governments concerning the political relations between states.
Politics can be wise and be based on sound values – or they are cruel and serve a few with no values at all, except their bank account(s).
Others use politics as a means to heal wounds of vanity, retrieved some time during their lifetime. Like, dreadful example, though one of many, really, Adolf Hitler, ‘Reichskanzler’ (Chancellor of the 3rd Reich) during the Nazi dictatorship in Germany.
Famously applied at the Vienna Academy of Arts and rejected he spent the rest of his life redeeming a fragile self-confidence or rather image.
To this day dictators often are about this more than anything else: Many take the wealth in the wake of power as a means to an end – and bathe in any kind of public recognition and the approval of one part (usually the rich and extremely rich) of the respective society.
These patterns are recurring, and usually do so cruelly – as per latest example, in regard to Putin in his way to power – and the Ukraine.
The Ukraine is part of the power plays between nations and actually the former Soviet Union and its remnants – as well as a personality the likes of Putin who took over this vast country of Russia bit by bit in more than two decades.
His own motives may be hidden in biographical privacy yet – but they seem rather apparent when watching recordings of his public and private appearances: Extreme understatement standing out as the apparently simple guy, the almost nice, familiar neighbour who wears his business suit anywhere, even in parades among numerous highly decorated militia…
Yet, when seen driving big motor-cars and enjoying the fact that he is a ‘force to be reckoned with’, the purported modesty and neighbourly demeanour are revealed as so much window dressing.
In the long run educating people to the values that have proven to be vital to any civil, democratic society, namely the Human Rights Declaration, are the only real weapon we have against such populism and cruel repression.
In the short run, being aware of the balance of power and respect it early on might be the safe route around war.