Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin
While Moscow is supporting European nationalism, the United States continues to embrace the process of globalization, multiculturalism and internationalism. A war for the hearts and minds of Europe is already ongoing. The new Trump administration will have to act very … Continue reading
Will President-elect Trump confront the Russian psychological operations in Europe and Moscow’s meddling in the Middle East? Will the new administration be capable of strengthening the NATO alliance, thus keeping the Germans in and the Russians out? By Nicholas Dima … 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
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 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
The liberal media continue to assert that handing over a function of the Internet will have minor repercussions. That’s because few in the media want to blame President Obama for, once again, damaging U.S. interests in his pursuit of the transformation of America. This is a complicated issue, but after the lies employed to sell the country on the phony Iran deal, and on Obamacare, Congress should block this surrender of U.S. Internet oversight for at least as long as Obama is President. 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
Some Republicans are not unhappy to see them go. As Tom Pauken, former Republican State chairman of Texas, a backer of the non-interventionist view of the GOP, put it, “Let them go back to the party from whence they came.” 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
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
The Castro regime is re-asserting its close relationship with and allegiance to Cuba’s old allies, Russia, Iran and Venezuela. Agreements between Castro and Putin call for more visits by Russian navy and air force to Cuba. Raul Castro continues to support Iran’s nuclear ambitions as well as to maintain his commitment to the survival of the Maduro regime in Venezuela. 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
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
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.
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.
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…”
With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, commentators and scholars initially focused on broader themes such as the moves by President Ronald Reagan and the subsequent Soviet recognition of the regime’s inability to stand up in the face of a determined, effective Western adversary.
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
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.
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.
Given the unpopularity of the Hollande government, the disarray of France’s center-right opposition, the rise of the National Front, and the European parliamentary elections in May, there are clearly going to be developments coming from the votes cast on March 23rd and the run-off…
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.
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.
The United States has painted itself into a geopolitical corner over Syria. At the moment, Russia gloats, while China circles above, carrion-like, leaving America with no good moves. There is only lesser evil: in Syria, in the region, and on the global scene. Backing the Alawite-led Bashar al-Assad regime of the national socialist Baath Party is tantamount to restoring the hostile situation prior to the Arab Spring, including Iran’s nefarious influence in Lebanon with its proxy Hezbollah. Supporting the rebels means enabling the Sunnis in general, the Muslim Brotherhood and the al-Qaeda in particular. Make no mistake, the rebels do accept support from the royalist Gulf States, but it is not the sworn monarchists or military secularists doing battle against the Assad regime.
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 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.