Putin Attacking Ukraine: Is this Malignant Narcissism? If so, can we predict his future actions?
High Conflict Institute is committed to understanding high conflict personalities and training people for the peaceful resolution of conflicts. We are aghast at the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin and our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine.
What kind of personality would promote such heartless, destructive action against a people who have done him no harm? There is a special kind of personality that this suggests, which is the most dangerous and untreatable condition, according to the highly regarded Otto Kernberg, a psychoanalyst who studied this condition for most of his life and helped define it: malignant narcissism.
This personality may look unhinged at times, but someone with this personality grows more and more dangerous with time and must be understood in order to stop him. While I should not diagnose someone I have never met, I feel that we must now operate on the likelihood that Putin has this personality and is revealing who he always was and who he is becoming. If he has this disorder, he is entirely predictable. Put simply, he cannot stop himself from this malignancy. It grows like a cancer.