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EXCLUSIVE: Abiy Ahmed & Vladimir Putin: Different Leaders, But Similar Experiences & Visions

Drawing attention to their commonalities is meant to show how closely these countries’ recent histories are aligned, which can in turn spur more people-to-people ties.

By Andrew Korybko
—  American political analyst

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Russian President Vladimir Putin are different leaders who nevertheless share very similar background experiences and visions for their historically diverse civilization-states. Drawing attention to their commonalities is meant to show how closely these countries’ recent histories are aligned, which can in turn spur more people-to-people ties. What follows is a comparison of these leaders, after which a general summary will be made.

Security Backgrounds

PM Abiy’s and President Putin’s most formative professional experiences came from the security sector. The former worked in both the military and intelligence while the latter was only employed by the second-mentioned. Nonetheless, these institutions greatly shaped their outlook on the challenges facing their countries. They came to more deeply understand the threats that they faced, as well as having a better idea of what can most effectively be done to counter them due to their inside information.

Power Struggles

The Ethiopian leader inherited a crumbling country full of institutions that were run to the ground by the TPLF while the Russian one had to struggle against the so-called “Semibankirschina”, or “seven bankers” that secretly controlled Russia behind the scenes, who inflicted similar damage to his country. Both men immediately went to work reforming their countries from the inside-out in order to politically neutralize these foreign-backed forces and thus truly enable their people to independently develop.

Anti-Corruption Crackdowns

To that end, both of them cracked down on their predecessors’ extensive corruption networks. The optics of PM Abiy tackling the TPLF and President Putin taking down the “Semibankirschina” were maliciously misportrayed by some external observers as “ethnic hatred campaigns” against the Tigrayans and Jews respectively in a desperate attempt to discredit them. Neither leader targeted those networks on such a basis since both genuinely support their civilization-state’s historical diversity.

Party Formations

In order to avoid dangerously leaving a power void in their countries, they each established their own new political parties: PM Abiy’s Prosperity Party and President Putin’s United Russia. These organizations helped retain political stability in their countries following their anti-corruption crackdowns aimed at politically neutralizing foreign-backed elements from their permanent bureaucracies (ex: military, intelligence, diplomatic) and economies.

Existential Conflicts

The US-led West supported the terrorist TPLF’s separatist campaign in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region just like it earlier supported other terrorists’ one in Russia’s Chechnya. PM Abiy and President Putin were both forced to fight existential conflicts that threatened to “Balkanize” their diverse countries. Ethiopia and Russia were targeted because the US-led West didn’t want to lose their influence over them following PM Abiy’s and President Putin’s crackdown against America’s TPLF and “Semibankirschina” proxies.

Unity In Diversity

PM Abiy and President Putin sincerely appreciate their civilization-state’s historical diversity, which is the basis upon which they kept their people united during the darkest days of their respective existential conflicts. There’s no other way that Ethiopia and Russia could have survived the ethno-separatist Hybrid Wars that the US-led West waged against their countries. If Russia is any precedent for Ethiopia, then the latter will inevitably emerge even stronger and more united after its ongoing war finally ends.

Multipolar Policies

These two leaders also share complementary visions of the emerging Multipolar World Order. Although their countries play drastically different roles in this global systemic transition, PM Abiy and President Putin both understand the importance of reforming International Relations in the direction of making them more equitable and just for all in accordance with the UN Charter. This contrasts with America’s unipolar hegemonic vision, which is another reason why the US viciously smears both of their leaders.

Sports & Fitness Passions

On a personal note, PM Abiy and President Putin share a passion for sports and fitness. They’ve served as excellent examples for inspiring their people to get in shape. This is especially important as folks become comparatively more sedentary as a result of the global economy’s increasing digitalization. These leaders care about their people’s life expectancy. They want their compatriots to be as healthy as they can possibly be, which is a responsible stance to have.  


The commonalities between PM Abiy and President Putin are significant and striking. These men have very similar experiences and visions, and they’ve both weathered comparable national unity challenges during their tenures that were connected to the US-led West’s terrorist-separatist campaigns against their historically diverse civilization-states. The more that Ethiopians and Russians realize this, the more likely they are to proactively engage with one another and thus take people-to-people ties much further.


  1. After reading this article I can only hope that Ethiopia will be wise enough to not adopt the political system of Russia.


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