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Myth of Russian power

Discussion in 'Europe & Russia' started by AbRaj, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Myth of Russian power

    [​IMG]
    President-elect Vladimir Putin speaks in the Russian Geographical Society in St. Petersburg. PHOTO: AFP

    It is fair to say that Russia is doing its best to be the biggest thorn to prickthe US and NATO in recent years. It is almost as if Russia was offended by how little attention the world was paying to them in the 90s and early 2000s, after the West spent half a century fearing and dreading them. And now they are doing their best to frustrate and annoy “Western interests” wherever they find them.

    President Vladimir Putin likes to claim that this is purely defensive, of course. In the wake of the Iron Curtain collapse, the Western sphere expanded substantially into what Russia used to regard as its own back yard, and most of the countries of the Warsaw Pact have been absorbed into NATO and the European Union. So his rhetoric always portrays the West as the aggressor against “natural” Russian interests.

    Now, of course, this only makes sense in a world view wherein Russia is still a major power that is a “natural” competitor to the United States. And someone like Putin, a former KGB agent who still nurses a deep nostalgia towards the “glorious past” of the Soviet Union, would certainly like to hope that this is still the case.

    Yet this narrative ignores two things.

    The first being the fact that the US and NATO did not muscle into Russia’s former satellites, but were rather begged by certain countries to do so. The Baltics, Poland and the Vishegrad countries, Romania, Bulgaria and the rest of the Slavic Balkans were not stolen by the West; they took the first opportunity to flee the Russian yoke that history afforded them. Even the Lithuanians and the Hungarians tried to move out of Russia’s “natural sphere of interest” long before, but ended up facing tragic consequences. Nor did NATO try to muscle into Georgia or Ukraine. Once again, it was people that had enough of Russian domination towards those that tried to choose a different path.

    The second narrative is that the only thing that makes Russia a power is the fact that it has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. If this was not the case, the UK, France or Germany could handle Russia’s military adventurism on their own. And indeed, Russia needs to throw its military weight around because it does not have much else going for it. The old ideological underpinning of empire and communism is gone, replaced instead with crude ethnocentric revanchist nationalism. And the former industrial and scientific might of the Soviet colossus has been reduced to rubble, replaced by a narrow natural resource-driven economy, controlled by a restricted clique of the president’s friends, while independent entrepreneurialism is either quashed through local political corruption or absorbed into the black economy.

    In other words, Russia’s economy is in the doldrums, and nobody in Russia is even attempting to address this issue. Rather, even as it is facing some of the toughest economic conditions since the 90s, the state is pumping whatever surplus it can still squeeze out of the energy industry into military spending, with lavish updates of material, a boost to nuclear stockpiles (as if Russia did not already have enough warheads to destroy the planet several times over), and continued operations in Ukraine and Syria.

    But the poor state of the Russian military was evident in December 2011, when Russia deployed the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov to the Syrian coast. The US Navy’s Sixth Fleet was forced to keep a close eye on it in case it sank, and a rescue operation was needed to arrest dangerous material floating around or sinking into the sea. In fact, one former US general told me that a single US Super Aircraft Carrier Group could obliterate the entire Russian navy, as their equipment is so dated and technology is obsolete. Such is the sorry state of this once great power.

    However, Putin is an extremely talented tactician. With such limited resources, he has done much more than anyone in the West could have expected him to; promoting Russian interests and project power, even as the US has been cautiously withdrawing from international intervention. But that does not change the fact that Russia is dangerously overextended. And as far as we can see, there is nothing to indicate that their situation will get any better any time soon. In these circumstances, Putin’s luck will run out, and sooner rather than later. The major concern for the West is not what Putin goes around doing now so much as what might happen with the inevitable correction occurs. Because anything less than a perfectly orderly transition to a new regime in Russia could spell catastrophe, not only for the country but for the entire world.

    An unstable Russia, without a state strong enough to secure its nuclear stockpile, will very quickly bring back to the fore the worst fears of the Cold War.

    This post originally appeared here
     
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  2. Domain

    Domain Developers Guild Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    Laughable

    Putin is a capitalist at all levels


    The article represents the typical myopic view of westerners caught in the times of the "cold war". They still have not come to terms with the notion that the cold war was won jointly by the world population to make the world a better place to live in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
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  3. Gessler

    Gessler Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    The article writer, one Azeem Ibrahim, seems to be pissed that the Assad regime didn't fall.
     
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  4. Domain

    Domain Developers Guild Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    These guys are a majority in the western media. They claim to be myth busters yet end up with biased logic.
     
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  5. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    The Russians are trying to remain relevant in the world. I think Putin over reached himself in the Ukrainian episode; he was not prepared for the ouster of Yanukovych and the subsequent fallout of the incidents on Russian influence over Ukraine.

    With China becoming more self sufficient in terms of military supplies and production, Russian relevance to China will be relegated to the second tier, save, perhaps, for the vote at the UNSC.

    It is on this aspect there is some apprehension I hold on those who hail Sino-Russian ties as being strong - it is increasingly appearing to be that of a vassal state.
     
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  6. Ripcord322

    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    The drop in Oil Prices hit them hard ....There won't be any major future orders from PRC..After the Su-35....
    They are facing Economic Sanctions too...

    But I guess they still are a major power...
     
  7. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Also they are loosing weapon and nuclear reactor market to Chinese at unprecedented pace. Its going to be really hard for them to maintain their influence in non western regions.
    For example not long ago Russians were the chief weapon exporter to Asia.
     
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  8. Domain

    Domain Developers Guild Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    There is one aspect that i would like to point out. It has got to do with human evolution and development.
    The Russian population ( Slavic ) is conditioned via development and history to be extreme. Their country has suffered the extremities of events in every century and survived. Even today they have extreme conditions/shortfalls in every sphere to fight and come up.

    So when you say that Putin has over reached himself he was just demonstrating a part of their native ability to over reach extremes and survive.
    What is a overreach for an Indian might be a mild for white American or a moderate for Han Chinese or a high for a black African or insignificant for a Slavic

    About Ukraine the game is not new and is being played for decades. Russian influence in Ukraine lies in their common religious and cultural origin which the west or we in ASIA don't understand at the micro level. What Russia did in Ukraine can be equated to the Bangladesh situation and yet more peacefully resolved.

    Regarding the Chinese rise it still a long time when we actually see the Chinese fighting for supremacy. In the distant and recent past Chinese culture does not have a belly for domination in the world stage.
     
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  9. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    It was an over reach as the subsequent events have elaborated it. But then, without risk, nothing is achieved, and they did get Crimea.
     
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  10. cloud4000

    cloud4000 FULL MEMBER

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    Putin is a Russian nationalist. The Russian bear will always leave its mark on the world, regardless of its ideology. The idea that a western-style democracy would tame Russia is both short-sighted and naive. I believe this reality is dawning on the West.

    Don't know if Russia will be a vassal state, but it will never reach the heights the Soviet Union reached in terms of being a global power. Their influence is regional, at best. And for all their military muscle on display, Russia has a weak navy while China's is getting stronger by the year.
     
  11. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Russian economic power is about the same as the state of California.
     
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  12. SrNair

    SrNair Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    You can say whatever you want .But Russia under Mr.Vladmir Putin is very powerful.Look ,how they royally made a mess in US election and it seems Trumps is under some kind of spell of Putin:D.
    They also gave some kick to us .Especially after that LEMOA ,look their relation with Pakistans
     
  13. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Expect Trump to be a lot like Putin, more confrontational.
     
  14. Domain

    Domain Developers Guild Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    There is a misconception and that needs clearing.
    You wont understand Russia because you don't read much coming out of the Russian press in original.
    Secondly the people who understand Russia needs to live and understand the way Eastern Europe works. Lets look at in totality integrate the Eastern Europe vs Western and South Europe there are stark differences to it.

    The west's favorite blame child is Russia so they had to link the Trunp issue with it. If you think logically it is impossible for Russia logistically and systematically to affect election outcome in the world's only superpower and mature democracy.
    If you think Russia is behind electing Trump to the White House then they already are a Superpower in every way , which is far from true.

    Secondly the Pakistan effect again is a case of media manipulation( similar to reading too much of PDF or taking them seriously ) , dirty geopolitics and its been proven many a time at the higher government level.

    The problem that Indians have is that they think Russia is going to sing to India's tune because India has attained economical might and has attained a world stature in geopolitics at some level.
    Russia and India have independent geopolitical course and yet have a common outlook on may matters. Each of the countries needs to give space to each other and yet keep the dynamics of an alliance always functional.

    Russia-India relation is like a good marriage which goes through the phases of ups and downs yet are together at the end of the day. The day you dont give space to your partner in marriage your marriage will break and both Russia and India understand this. The people who manage Russia-India relations are some of the best administrations to have come out from either country and its vibrant , dynamic and multi-spherical which a country like Pakistan or Pakistanis never understand.
     
  15. Domain

    Domain Developers Guild Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    I differ , simply because
    Putin = ex forces moving into politics , economy and business
    Trump : ex business moving into politics , military and economy

    Their foundations have stark differences although all politicians worldwide can be categorized into some group of ...
     

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