Tag Archives: Russian invasion of Georgia
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.