Category: Russia & Eurasia
The role of the American people in helping those in need around the world cannot be denied. Any time we hear of a devastating earthquake, a killer tsunami, deadly famines, war, or other natural or human-made disasters which turn people … Continue reading
American-Romanian cooperation is viewed as favorable by most people, but with some reservation. This reservation is directed chiefly at the political leaders of the country, who have neglected the interests of the population. From now on, improving further the Romanian-American … Continue reading
Congress cannot just be “spectators” to national security; they must actively support it as the first duty of the Federal government. “Let me be clear,” said Mattis, “As hard as the last 16 years of war have been, no enemy … Continue reading
The questions are: Who is behind globalization and why is America continuing to embrace it? Worse still, some people liken the current trend with the defunct policy of global Communism advanced in the past by the USSR. Hopefully, such people … Continue reading
Under a pretext of destroying a non-existent Polish spy organization, the “nationalities” extermination action of the NKVD, which took place USSR-wide and not just in selected localities, was launched by Stalin and his henchmen as part of the Great Terror … Continue reading
Why did the conservative and traditionalist anti-Communists share this firm conviction on the inevitability of Marxism’s failure? For most, Marxism is a materialist political philosophy championing socialism and egalitarianism. For many conservatives, however, Catholics in particular, Marxism is simply an … Continue reading
Will the recent Chinese action cutting off financial services against North Korea’s Kim advance his day of reckoning? No one knows for sure. Until that day arrives, however, Putin’s observation still stands—Kim will ensure the North Koreans continue to eat … Continue reading
The single most important event encouraging and accelerating Soviet involvement in Cuba was the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961. The U.S. failure to act decisively against Castro gave the Soviets illusions about U.S. determination and interest in the island. … Continue reading
Putting “America First” is a worthwhile goal. But it cannot be done without purging the Deep State operatives who protected Obama and then investigating the communist-Muslim network that spawned the Obama presidency. Soviet/Russian moles in the CIA and FBI have … Continue reading
In the case of Catalonia, Pandora’s Box has been opened, while the perspective is complicated and risky. On October 10 Catalan’s president, Carles Puigdemont, stated that the province will pursue independence. It should be stressed that within Spain, autonomous Catalans … Continue reading
Russia’s military doctrine continues to adhere to the “first strike” principle. Namely, Moscow will not shy away from using its nuclear weapons, if it judges it to be in its interest and it has a chance to annihilate its target … Continue reading
The world sees this lack of trust among the media, Democrats in Congress, and the Trump administration, while the absence of unity consolidates Russian influence over the United States. The good conduct of Russian-American relations goes beyond the interests of … Continue reading
Though there is unlikely to be any major change in German policy, for the moment, the AfD’s surge, especially in the former East Germany, suggests a massive psychological shift amongst average Germans, in a country haunted by guilt from the … Continue reading
Russia’s influence over Hungary recently manifested itself when Budapest opposed Romania’s admission to several Western European multilateral organizations. For example, this September Hungary opposed the integration of Romania in the European Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD). Obviously, Moscow … Continue reading
Taking out ISIS and helping protect our ally Israel from Tehran-backed proxy terrorist wars must both be part of a well-thought-out Middle East strategy. After all, eliminating the Caliphate will ultimately make Israel and our other allies in the region … Continue reading
The Belt and Road Initiative is the vanguard for Beijing’s reach for global power. It may not work, given all the imponderables of a project on this scale, not to mention conflicting interests with nations along its route. But at … Continue reading
President Trump’s Visit to Poland: Cementing the U.S.-Poland Alliance and Endorsing the Three Seas Initiative
Not surprisingly, following President Trump’s visit to Warsaw, the Polish government declared that it is no longer concerned about the U.S. President’s perceived friendliness with Putin’s Russia. Although none of these facts are likely to affect Trump’s detractors and their … Continue reading
“I am here today not just to visit an old ally, but to hold it up as an example for others who seek freedom and who wish to summon the courage and the will to defend our civilization.… Today, the … Continue reading
There will be no Maidan in Minsk. Hence, no need for regime change. There was further a self-serving message to the West: do not support the opposition to try to kick out “the last dictator of Europe” or else there … Continue reading
Russia and Germany are signed on to Beijing’s project. They are both cooperating as well as investing in the “One Belt, One Road” project (OBOR) announced in 2013. Does this portend the awakening of Mackinder’s powerful Heartland thesis? The possible … Continue reading
Many Western Europeans ask: Why antagonize Moscow, thereby sacrificing comfort and relatively cheap natural gas, by defending second-class Europeans? But the answer is that, together, the V4 countries have 64 million inhabitants, which puts them in the same ranks as … Continue reading
May this complex situation in Europe, geographically so much closer to Russia, be a case in point? Russian modus operandi is radically different from the Western ideals of transparency and fair play. Open sources of influence alternate with semi-official or clandestine channels, just like in the case of email leaks during the presidential campaign in the U.S. Therefore, when a new American foreign policy is shaped and decisions are taken in 2017, one thing needs to be remembered: A gift needn’t be a token of friendship. Continue reading
Apart from the loss of life and destruction, one of the tragedies of the Syraq war is that the Obama-led U.S. has pulled into the conflict on the side of the Sunni supremacists and Brotherhood-affiliates posing as freedom fighters. In this case, we must learn to think in terms of sober Realpolitik, and to acknowledge that ISIS toppling Assad is not in the U.S. interest. Continue reading
America’s enemies continue to wage cyberwar against us and are, apparently, getting better at it. If our government is unwilling to fight back and shore up our cyber-defenses, the least it could do is not to make the job of hostile hackers based in Russia, China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, or any other unfriendly state any easier than it already is. Continue reading
It would be misleading to posit that Russia’s propaganda works the same way that strategic messaging in democratic countries does or that the Kremlin’s strategic aim is to influence the public abroad directly. It may not always sway the masses, … Continue reading
It is ironic that the U.S. victory in forcing Soviet land based missiles out of Cuba in 1962, will now be reversed with Russian nuclear submarines in Cuban waters. Continue reading
The main narrative of post-Communism is that the Russian Federation is unique and, therefore, its system is neither of the West nor of the East. Instead, it is sui generis: a “sovereign democracy,” which in reality is a cover for … Continue reading
Politics creates strange bedfellows, and in this one case, America’s interests seem to coincide with those of Russia, Iran, and Damascus. Going after ISIS with kid gloves means more terrorism and a continuation of the refugee crisis. Assad is a … Continue reading
Historically, Moldovans are Romanians and their aspiration is to reunite with Romania. From a Romanian point of view, reunification is natural and imminent, although its timing may require some patience. It is feared, however, if they do not reunite with … Continue reading
While the Turkish mosque, “mega” or not, coming to Bucharest might not prove to be the beginning of tumultuous relations between Christians and Muslims in the country, questions still remain as to why Romania has not even been offered the reciprocal courtesy of building an Orthodox church in Istanbul, if this is indeed to be viewed as establishing strong interfaith relations between the two countries. There is also the lingering issue of whether or not it would be foolish of Romanian authorities to ignore the possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood Islamization agenda, especially in light of the bloody jihadist attacks taking place throughout the West. Continue reading
Learning Russia’s strategic communications themes and techniques is indispensable to countering them. Otherwise, our approach to the Kremlin’s narrative will continue to be one of confusion and surprise Continue reading
Alert and ready to act, Vladimir Putin is courting Erdoğan, while outmaneuvered the Obama administration appears paralized and in denial. The question is: Will the next U.S. administration regain its sense of mission? Continue reading
One cannot help but think that the countermeasures were prepared well in advance. Either Erdoğan was prepared for the coup with extensive proscription lists or he staged a provocation himself so he could proceed with a presidential putsch. The government countermeasures appear too seamless, too well-thought out, and too professional. One way or another, the Turkish avatar of the Muslim Brotherhood is firmly in power. No wonder that Erdoğan referred to the military coup as “Allah-sent.” Perhaps he even helped Allah himself. Continue reading
The true paradox of this summit is that the NATO policy moves a step forward and a step back, at the same time. While being truly insightful about the geopolitical threats outside NATO, the final summit document introduces solutions giving non-NATO institutions access to vulnerable information. Meanwhile, Europe is a continent steeped in history that has its own dynamics. It is good to remember that before any cooperation between NATO and EU institutions is tightened. Continue reading
With Germany economically dependent on the natural gas provisions from Russia, it is hard to expect any strong German support for NATO activities on the eastern flank. This is proven by the German reaction to the joint NATO war games, Anaconda 16, that are taking place in Eastern Europe. A NATO member, as it is, Germany denied the right of passage to the allied troops on their way to the games referring to them as “saber-rattling and warmongering.” The centers of power in Europe are shifting and Washington needs to choose its allies carefully. When we look at the map of Europe, it is quite clear that the new rampart of NATO is no longer Germany but Poland and the Baltic States. Continue reading
Moscow’s disinformation campaign is a form of psychological warfare intended to influence Romanian public opinion and ultimately government policy. Such PSYOPS are targeted squarely at Romania’s membership in NATO and the European Union, intertwining the factual with the fabricated, hoping to cause great anxiety among the populace. The narrative goes something like this: The West won the Cold War with the sacrifices of the East European patriots and nationalists. The God-fearing nationalists, however, were excluded from sharing in the fruits of the victory. Instead, the Godless internationalists are preferred by America and the West. In this way, Russia is trying now to turn the tables and attract those who perceive themselves abandoned by the West. Continue reading
The atmosphere of the Siania, Romania meeting was festive, and the event was apparently well-orchestrated. However, the main topic of the conference was both anti-West and anti-European Union. In her speech, for example, Marine Le Pen assured Romania that the country would be better off if it left the EU, which she described as ‘a drifting ship without a compass,’ and ‘a total failure.’ Le Pen questioned the EU’s future, calling it ‘a threat to its inhabitants.’ Instead, she proposed a Union ‘from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains’… a Europe that would also include Russia. Continue reading
Despite the media buildup for the speech, it’s clear that on the matter of the US-Russian relationship Trump doesn’t represent a real change from the policies of the Obama/Hillary administration. A contest between Hillary and The Donald means the Russians emerge as the winners—no matter who wins. Another Russian reset is in the cards, compounding the American weakness that Trump says he wants to do something about. Continue reading
According to confidential sources leaked to the media, Russia is currently consolidating its military forces in Transdniestria. The Bucharest TV station Realitatea announced that Russia modernized, militarized, and expanded the Tiraspol Airport. Tiraspol is the capital of this republic. The landing strip of the airport was lengthened to 2,500 meters to accommodate big military planes while many new military barracks were built in the area. Continue reading
The public needs to understand the larger strategic context of the 2016 presidential campaign, but is not getting enough information on the stump about the most important duty of the next president; keeping the United States the preeminent power in the world system as China (and Russia) mount new challenges. Continue reading
It is essential for the American public to understand that post-Soviet countries still struggle with their past. Their new military or civilian structures may be filled with people whose allegiance is unclear. Those dubious connections may pose a serious security threat to the entire NATO structure. This existential threat needs to be properly understood and taken into account when evaluating the actions of the newly elected Polish government and the radical changes it introduces. Those changes have justification that can be easily investigated. However, they require thorough and fair media reporting, including a better understanding of the reality in post-Soviet countries. Otherwise, we run the risk of NATO infiltration by foreign intelligence services. Continue reading
Entrusted with NATO secrets and called upon to help, if the situation should warrant, Turkey’s current trajectory might, in fact, transform its trusted ally status into something completely different, something which might necessitate a rethinking of NATO’s strategy altogether, something which, in the end, might not even be called an ally. Continue reading
Russian/Iranian actions in Syria represent a major gamble based on the perception of American weakness. An initial strong and swift response now will prevent the need for a riskier response in the future. Continue reading
There is nothing wrong with human rights, except that it misses out God. It was during a God-fearing era when John Paul II was pope and Ronald Reagan was president, when American society combined spirituality with morality and brought communism to its knees. Today, we should heed President Reagan’s warning: “When we will forget that we are a nation subordinated to God, we will simply become a subordinated nation.” Continue reading
Meanwhile, Putin has been rubbing his hands in glee at Europe’s misfortune. The Greek crisis offers a golden opportunity to subvert the West from within. It is also a welcome distraction diverting European (and even American) attention away from Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine and Putin’s plans to rebuild the Soviet empire. Continue reading
There is strong evidence the Russian government is colluding with radical environmentalists in order to disrupt and stop other oil companies, like Chevron, from competing with its own natural gas provider, Gazprom. Russian oil interests connected to Putin are also funneling money to anti-fracking protesters in the U.S., using offshore money laundering schemes to disguise the funding sources. Continue reading
Speaking at a recent Kremlin meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to modernize Russia’s military forces and threatened with grave consequences any aggression against Russia. NATO did not blink. Announcing that a U.S. Marine Corps unit will soon be stationed in Bulgaria, General Norman Cooling declared to the Associated Press that “it is certainly our intent to convince the Russians and Mr. Putin to refrain from aggression and return to the community of peaceful nations.” Continue reading
Today’s Russia is still looking over its western borders and is luring some European countries. Greece, for example, is strongly dissatisfied with the European Union and went to Moscow for assistance. Serbia has just been visited by Russia’s foreign minister and is inclined toward Russia. Macedonia is following suit. Hungary is upset with the EU policies and is now befriending Moscow. Slovakia is tilting toward Russia, while the Czech Republic is caught between East and West. Only Poland, Romania, and the Baltic states are standing fast by NATO and America. Continue reading
In Romania today, the people have gained democracy but they have yet to enjoy the benefits of what a system constructed on freedom can bring. As much as the country has changed, it is still struggling to pick up the economic, political and social remnants of communism in order that it may discard them once and for all.
In January, Alejandro Castro Espin also traveled, with Raul, to Costa Rica for a conclave of Latin American and Caribbean leaders, presumably interacting with many of them. A month later he led a Cuban delegation to Moscow where he signed a joint defense agreement. Married in the mid-1980s, he honeymooned in Leningrad around the time of Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascent to power.
Nemtsov was shot right outside of the Kremlin, a very secure place. Further, he often complained about his FSB tail, a surveillance squad, which shadowed him. Why didn’t they jump to the rescue? Also, a snow plow inched slowly behind the strolling couple, obscuring security cameras.
The main objective of the Putin propaganda machine’s “America wants to dismember Russia and overthrow her government” line is obvious: to turn the tables by turning the victims into aggressors and the invaders into victims.
Ukraine is a struggling country caught between Russia and the European Union. Historically, the country has been associated for a long time with Moscow and its culture is split between the Russian-dominated East and the European-dominated West.
The Hungarian politician hopes that because Germany holds neither revisionist territorial designs nor any general historical animus against his nation, Hungary can serve as a useful and reliable geopolitical pawn for both Berlin and Moscow.
The Middle East will remain a boiling cauldron as both al-Qaeda and ISIS continue their wars for territory and subjugation in Syria and Iraq, while targeting Saudi Arabia. Both groups are casting their eyes on other parts of the Middle East with Jordan and, ultimately, Saudi Arabia coming in their cross-hairs.
Moscow’s Vladimir Putin has resolved to send his energy to the European Union via Turkey. Ankara’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accepted for his own geopolitical reasons and for the benefit of the neo-Ottomanist project, an attempt to re-create Turkic political, social, economic, and cultural dominion in its former imperial space, space some Western observers who have judged that the Islamic democracy has thus been merely assigned the inconsequential role of a transit area.
The recent Moldovan parliamentary elections have proven that the fight for power between Russia and the West is slowly but surely intensifying. While the Moldovan people’s votes seem to have inclined towards the pro-EU parties, the preference was only a minor one, with pro-Russian parties obtaining only slightly less votes than their opponents. “No party appears able to form a government, although, after a partial count, the three pro-EU parties do have a narrow lead over their pro-Moscow rivals,” Euro News reported on December 1, the day after the election.
Moldova is a small republic located in southeast Europe between Romania and Ukraine and is the poorest country on the continent. Historically, it is a former Romanian province annexed by the USSR in 1940 following the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact and transformed into a Soviet Republic. It became independent in 1991 shortly after Ukraine declared its independence. Except for good agricultural land, Moldova lacks any other important resources. For Russia, however, Moldova and Georgia in the Caucasus region are the “gates of the empire” and thus geopolitically very important.
In the West, the “fall” of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 functions as a powerful symbol of the implosion of communism and the end of the Cold War; in Germany it is celebrated as the watershed initiating German reunification. The wall – which the East German communist propaganda apparatus called the “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart” – was built by the Soviet puppet regime of the “German Democratic Republic” in 1961, primarily to halt the mass exodus of East Germans to the West. The wall was thus a reminder of the real nature of the communist bloc, which was essentially one giant Gulag – stretching from the heart of Europe all the way to the Sea of Japan – and that Marxist-Leninist regimes could not remain in power without terror, coercion, and intimidating border fortifications to prevent the slaves from “voting with their feet” and escaping from the “Socialist Paradise.”
The parliament in Kyiv has just signed a bill granting autonomy to Lukhansk and Donetsk regions in the southeast of Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated was his wish. To sweeten the deal the Ukrainian legislature also voted to associate its nation with the European Union. This suggests a return to the traditional policy of subservience to Russia and cooperation with the West, a fence-straddling posture pursued by Kyiv since independence nearly 25 years ago. Putin got what he wanted, while the West remains rudderless under the Obama administration.
John J. Mearsheimer’s geopolitical game theory tells him that the West has provoked Russia into invading Ukraine. Moscow behaves rationally, you see, and Washington should have understood that before it expanded NATO eastward and stepped on the Kremlin’s toes. It is logical and legitimate to defend one’s sphere of interest. Why provoke Moscow?
Viewed through the prism of Putin’s ultimate goal of collapsing NATO, the Kremlin had pursued the strategic goal of disintegrating NATO ever since its inception in 1949. Putin’s aggression against Ukraine is not only an attempt to re-subjugate a major ex-Soviet republic but is, simultaneously, also an experiment to test the West’s mettle.
Western insistence that Kyiv choose between the EU and Russia, claims Putin, is responsible for breaking up the country. Yet despite all odds, on June 27, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia signed association agreements with the EU.
“The question of exports to Russia falls under [EU sanctions] stage three. About when to trigger stage three, if there is more destabilization we have agreed, also myself bilaterally with the U.S. President, that if [Ukrainian] elections take place we won’t trigger stage three. We see elections have taken place successfully…”
The White House’s erratic, confused, and rudderless foreign policy endangers America’s Polish friend, and, indeed, other NATO members, putting Warsaw and the rest, in particular in Central and Eastern Europe, also known as the Intermarium, lands between the Black and Baltic seas, on a collision course vis-à-vis Berlin and Moscow. This is plainly obvious in the context of the Ukrainian crisis.
Both the French National Front and the UK Independence Party were big winners with 26% (25 seats) and 29% (24 seats) respectively. “The people have spoken loud and clear,” exclaimed Marine Le Pen. “They no longer want to be led by those outside our borders, by EU commissioners and technocrats who are unelected. They want to be protected from globalization and take back the reins of their destiny,”… Continue reading
As in Munich, many observers of the Venezuelan situation felt dialogue was the correct route. The Pope asked for it. So did the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry and many Latin American political leaders. MUD, echoing Chamberlain, must have felt that they were interpreting correctly the desires of the people for peaceful co-existence and for attempting to change the policies of the regime, not changing the regime.
To further intimidate Kyiv, Vladimir Jirinovsky, chief of Russia’s communist party and a member of parliament, reminded Ukraine that it has inherited lands belonging to its neighbors, including Romanian lands. And he alluded to the possible further dismemberment of Ukraine. While annexing Crimea, President Putin assured Kyiv that Moscow would react severely if Romania dares to make a territorial claim.
True enough the Moscovite leader has invoked God routinely. So did Stalin. In public the Georgian mass murderer played the God card whenever it suited him. Places of worship were forcibly closed. Most of them were destroyed. All religions were virtually banned and their followers were exterminated by the millions.
For perhaps the first time since the 2010 election inaugurated divided control of Capitol Hill, there was actual excitement about energy legislation as the House took up a bill to expedite the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It’s not that the House hasn’t passed dozens of bills to encourage domestic oil and gas production, or discipline extralegal rulemakings by the EPA – it surely has. Rather, it’s been the automatic DOA status of these measures in the Senate that’s made the movie seem old and predictable. Well, that may be changing.
After the Smolensk plane crash, the speed with which the disaster became – not unlike Benghazi – relegated to “yesterday’s news” was stunning. An uninformed observer might conclude that what happened at Smolensk was but a minor incident…
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said he is seeking to establish a military presence in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. Now with Obama’s weak response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, it may act as a stimulus for Putin’s further imperialistic moves.
Last month, Russia invited representatives from the European far-right parties to Crimea as observers of the referendum on whether the predominantly Russian-speaking state wanted to leave Ukraine to become part of Russia.
During three long months of increasingly violent demonstrations in Ukraine some observers asked themselves a question about an allegedly imminent crack down. When? And how? One assumed that the government of Viktor Yanukovych, to maintain itself in power and to preserve its credibility, had to act.
Putin has every reason to think that the Ukraine crisis will pass as did the Georgia crisis. And President Xi Jinping in Beijing will be watching as well, calculating how far to push in Asia. What is being reset is the map of the world.
Sarah Palin understood in 2008 what the school of foreign policy “realists” did not, that Georgia was not significant in isolation but as a prerequisite to the invasion of Ukraine and likewise Ukraine should be understood in the context of an imperial territorial ambition that stretches far beyond its borders.
Ukraine is the biggest East European country; it represents the real core of Eastern Europe; and it is currently a bone of contention between Moscow and the West. With an area almost as big as France, a population of 46 million people, with good agricultural land and huge industrial complexes, Ukraine is a country of utmost importance.
David Satter (who happens to be an acquaintance of mine) has just been expelled from the Russian Federation. David is no stranger to the masters of the Kremlin. He has accumulated a long track record of annoying them. Having been threatened with deportation as early as 1979 for “hooliganism,” Satter left the Soviet Union three years later under a cloud in 1982.
A much anticipated summit was held in Vilnius, Lithuania (Nov. 28-29), to prepare the eastern expansion of the European Union. The big prize was to bring Ukraine closer to Europe. At the same time, three other smaller countries, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia, were expected to sign association agreements with the EU.
This is not to cheer the defector but simply to point out that the phenomena undergirding the Edward Snowden case will continue to metastasize predictably, linger painfully, and haunt us into the foreseeable future. Yet, this awful affair affords us an opportunity to have a long, merciless look at the perpetrator, ourselves, and the damages wrought on the nation. Continue reading
Even before Ivanishvili assumed political power, parliament voted to shift many powers from the presidency itself and, in effect, gave Georgia a parliamentary form of government instead of a strong presidential system. More than a few Georgia-watchers speculate that this change was part of a master plan by Saakashvili to call the political shots as prime minister in the manner of Russia’s Putin between presidential stints. Continue reading
Ridicule is probably one of the oldest tools in the arsenal of political warfare. Making fun of an opponent serves to both undermine his credibility, and even to provoke him into angrily over-reacting. One method to discredit one’s political enemies is to mock them as “conspiracy theorists,” thereby implying that the targeted group is paranoid and psychologically unbalanced. Such a tactic requires little to no intellectual effort and allows one to conveniently avoid addressing the other side’s arguments.
In the 21st century, the pantheon of tyrants has reached proportions which are almost unimaginable by the standards of previous historical periods. It is not simply that there are so many in this era but, perhaps more notably, that today’s tyrants are both shameless and constantly in the public eye.
Something strange is happening in the world this fall of Anno Domini 2013. The United States seems politically deadlocked. Europe is struggling both politically and economically and is not really functioning as a union. The Middle East has just stopped short of a new war. And Russia under the old and new President Vladimir Putin is reasserting itself as an international power.
In June of 2013, Doku Umarov, who considers himself leader of the Caucasus Emirate and is regarded as Russia’s most recent version of Osama bin Laden, resurfaced after a long period of self-imposed obscurity. The main purpose of his short video statement, which appeared on YouTube, was to offer condolences to the families of Islamic insurgents who died in a series of unsuccessful operations. Because he had not been seen since November 2012, there was speculation that he was dead or, at a minimum, irrelevant as Russia prepared to host the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
On November 27 and 28 representatives of the European Union will meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, to discuss the prospects of expanding its borders eastward. The enlargement will also bring with it the expansion of NATO, which makes Russia jittery and compels the United States to take a stand.
The new periphery of Russia in Europe consists of the Baltic republics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), Moldova, and the South Caucasus republics of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union this so-called “near abroad” has constituted a bone of contention between Russia and the West.
When the American public learned the identities of the Boston Marathon terrorists, a nation which had relegated Caucasus issues to obscurity was forced to turn to maps and remind itself of the location and significance of this large and turbulent region.
Post-Soviet Russia is becoming increasingly brazen and provocative. In late April, the Russians and their Belarussian allies conducted war games right on the frontier of Poland (i.e. NATO) and rehearsed a potential war with that country.
STRATFOR is a professional electronic publication that deals with geopolitical issues and global intelligence. Its founder and chairman, George Friedman, is well-informed and aware of contemporary Eastern European affairs.
The realization of Vladimir Putin’s “Eurasianist” agenda of reasserting Russian hegemony over the former Soviet Bloc has just scored a significant success. On May 31, the Central Asian post-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan joined the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) — consisting of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan—while Ukraine acquired observer status in the Kremlin-dominated body. This article will focus on the latter country.
April 10, 2013 marked the third anniversary of the Katyn memorial flight that mysteriously crashed in Smolensk, Russia killing the President of Poland, his wife and 94 members of his pro-American government.
Ever since Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition won the parliamentary elections in October of last year, a kind of cold civil war has been raging in this South Caucasian country.
It appears the Boston perpetrators, Tamerlan and his younger brother Johar (Dzhohar) Tsarnaev, were homegrown, Internet empowered jihadists. But Russia’s part in the deadly game remains murky.
On April 22-24 the Russians and their Belarussian junior allies conducted war games right on the eastern border of Poland, which is also the eastern frontier of NATO. The successors of the Red Army—Russian airborne assault units and Belarussian special forces, to be more precise—rehearsed the scenario of a war with Poland on a military training ground in Brest, just across the river from the Polish-Belarussian border.
Three years have passed since the suspicious Smolensk Plane Crash of April 10, 2010. During this time, new developments in the case occurred and evidence continued to surface. Most disturbingly, these findings have anything but dispelled doubts about the veracity of the official, FSB/KGB-manufactured Moscow-Warsaw “pilot error” line.
Memory is the most precious weapon to transmit our traditions, which includes the heritage of liberty. Hence, individuals, communities, and nations cultivate memories of triumphs and calamities to derive lessons from the past for today to march boldly into the future.
This just in from Kaspersky Lab: Over 300 computers in 39 countries, most notably Russia, were infected with a spy virus dubbed “Red October,” the month of its discovery last year.
If the 20th Century was an era of conflicts and wars, the 21st Century largely has been an era of cooperation, economic globalization and international free trade.
On October 25, 2012, Bidzina Ivanishvili—the billionaire whose Georgian Dream coalition won the country’s parliamentary elections held on October 1—was confirmed as Georgia’s next prime minister.
The ruling post-communist/liberal establishment is rolling back freedom and civil rights in Poland. In October 2012, the UK-registered independent NGO, Fair Trials International (FTI), published a report with a disturbing conclusion.
As Syria is aflame torn by a civil war, Russia seeks several interrelated objectives there.
On November 12, 2012, the results of the Ukrainian parliamentary elections of October 28 were finalized and made public.
The long Russian campaign to create a “Eurasian Union” that could challenge the European Union as well as China took another step forward in the most recent Georgian elections.
On September 10, 2012, seventy-two years following the infamous Katyn Forest Massacre, the U.S. National Archives and Records announced the declassification of over 1,000 pages of records on the Soviet-perpetrated genocidal operation.
The Georgian parliamentary elections, held on October 1, were a victory for billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s opposition “Georgian Dream” (GD) coalition over the incumbent president Mikheil Saakashvili’s governing United National Movement (UNM).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the most powerful woman in the world according to a Reuters report cited by Forbes magazine.
Four years ago, as the attention of so many was tuned to the Beijing Olympics, the Russians, under the Medvedev-Putin regime, invaded the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.
More than two years have now passed since the tragic Smolensk plane crash of April 10, 2010, which killed the Polish presidential couple, Lech and Maria Kaczyński, in addition to their entire entourage of Polish military and political leaders – 96 victims in all.
In a rather unsurprising development, Vladimir Putin has been declared the winner of the Russian presidential contest of March 4.
For a man so in love with the technology of image, the camera, the microphone and the teleprompter, the leader of the increasingly less free world has a natural tendency to put a little too much faith in it.
The next presidential election in post-Soviet Russia is scheduled for March 4, 2012. The roster of candidates Russian voters can choose from is rather limited, both in terms of the number of candidates and their backgrounds.
At his annual address to the parliament on April 25, 2005, Vladimir Putin described the collapse of the former Soviet Union a “catastrophe,” as his speech was broadcast live on Russian TV.
By 1990 the communist regimes in Eastern Europe had collapsed. Meanwhile, the decline of the Soviet economy was accelerating and Soviet citizens were desperate for a dramatic change.
On July 29, 2011 the Polish Government’s Commission to Investigate National Aviation Accidents, headed by Interior Minister Jerzy Miller (generally referred to as simply the “Miller Commission”), published its report on the tragic plane crash of April 10, 2010.
Russia, which extends over eleven time zones, is the largest country on earth. During the Soviet years, Moscow enjoyed its greatest geographic reach and had aspirations of even greater expansion.
In the 1990’s post-Cold War period following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the groundwork was laid for the creation of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) in 2002, where the Kremlin received a virtual seat at the NATO table.
Many Americans alive today know nothing at all about the Bay of Pigs invasion, yet its reverberations have had lasting effects on the United States, Cuba, and the world.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her January 2005 Senate confirmation hearing labeled Belarus as one of several remaining “outposts of tyranny” saying that America stood with the oppressed people on every continent.
Vice President Joseph Biden’s trip to the Eastern European country of Moldova on March 11 helped to mark the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Moldovan independence.
Arguably, there is no other country on the face of this earth that has been as victimized during the 20th Century as the Polish nation.
There are two pending agreements with Russia that are central to President Barack Obama’s “reset” relations with Moscow.
Operating within the framework of President Obama’s “Reset Button” approach to US-Russia relations, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s official visit to five countries in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus – Ukraine, Poland, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia – on a long Fourth of July weekend attempted to alter the impression in the region of American indecision…
What would Reagan do? President Ronald Reagan, who helped bring an end to the Cold War with the Soviet Union symbolized by his call for Mikhail Gorbechev to tear down the Berlin Wall, would roll over in his grave at the sight of American soldiers marching under the Soviet banner in Moscow’s Red Square…
It is no secret that Russia is the world’s biggest non-Muslim sponsor of Islamic terrorism. Russian weapons and rubles flow into Iran and Syria, and from there to terrorist groups throughout the Middle East.
The aircrash that killed Poland’s president, Lech Kaczynski, is set in a background of tragedy dating back to the Nazi-Soviet Pact of August 23, 1939, when the German Army invaded western Poland.
For several decades the Berlin Wall was the emblematic symbol of a world divided. On the one hand there was the communist camp with its imprisoned people and on the other the West with its own problems, but free and democratic.
Following the rigged April 7 elections and the bloody street protests that followed, Moldova organized new general elections held on July 29.
In December 2008 the Council of the European Union set up a special fact-finding mission to examine the causes of the August Russian-Georgian War.
Protesters demonstrating against the Russian occupation of South Ossetia last year compared the Russian invasion of Georgia to the Soviet invasions of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968…
As a presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama envisioned a new foreign policy of dialogue with the leaders of countries with which Washington had adversarial relations.
In December 2008 the Council of the European Union set up a special fact-finding mission to examine the causes of the August Russian-Georgian War.
Europeans have very long memories and understanding current conflicts often requires incursions into their history and culture.
On September 3, 2008, President George W. Bush stated that the United States applauded the actions taken by the European Union to help rebuild the independent and sovereign nation of Georgia…
Ukraine’s attitude was decisive in sealing the destiny of the Soviet Union.
The U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership signed on January 9th, in Washington strengthens bilateral energy cooperation and will provide President Obama and his administration with a policy tool to continue the Bush administration’s policy towards Russia…
There are indications that Moscow is taking steps to remove the president of Georgia with the consent of the West.
The Russian-Georgian war of August 2008 opened the possibility of a new direction in Moscow’s geopolitical attitude toward the former Soviet space and especially toward Ukraine.
One of the reasons that appeasement is so popular is because it’s so easy. All you have to do is turn a blind eye, make the occasional vague statement asking both sides to take it easy…
The former Soviet Union was set up allegedly as a Union of sovereign republics and the republics were based on the main ethnic groups living in old Russia.
Article 5 of the 1949 NATO Charter calls for member countries to come to each other’s aid should an armed attack occur; an attack against one or more countries “shall be considered an attack against them all.”
The message delivered loud and clear by Russia’s recent military invasion of Georgia is: the Russian Bear is back, its period of hibernation is over – deal with it!
Russian propaganda has never been fairly sophisticated, just a repetitive recitation of simple if outlandish points, and it has changed very little over the generations.
Russia has made its first move to invade a former USSR Republic sending over 50 tanks and fighter jets into Georgia and bombing a Georgian city.