Putin, Russia and the West

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by RCT(V), Feb 3, 2012.

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  1. “ Come with us now - to those thrilling days of yesteryear ”

    Relive the cut and thrust of learned opinions, forensically dissected with counter arguments. Who was closer to what did happen - Domovoy or Whitecity?

    Whilst half of ARRSE, where in the attic looking for mess tins, berets, and webbing, most of the rest were on here, arguing if NATO should/should not, assist Georgia against Russia.

    Would Saakashvili cause WW3?

    Did Condoleezza Rice manipulate Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov?
    (The answer is YES. See Episode THREE!).

    For completeness, a copy will be posted in the original forum
    “Georgia guilty of starting the conflict in South Ossetia”.

    Episode FOUR

    YET TO BE BROADCAST - on BBC Two, 9:00PM Thu, 9 Feb 2012
  2. Good and interesting series. Putin's 2nd term is going to be very problematic.
  3. bump . . .

  4. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Russia's foreign policy seems to grind on unchanged from the Soviet era (and indeed before that) in the sense that it sees all the 'minor' states around its periphery as duty bound to follow Russia's line, together with believing it has the right to invade and bash them up if they think or act otherwise. They are still bears in suits, and quite unable to see themselves as cooperative Europeans.
  5. This is the great fallacy at the heart of Putin's mindset. Look at Russia on a globe (rather than a map projection) and ask how it is "surrounded" or "hemmed in" by the EU/ NATO/ the US/ Democracy/ Etc.

    Russia's problem is the extreme backwardness of its internal institutions and development - all due to the mediaeval power structures that still exist. There still isn't even a proper road that connects the west of the country with the east. Putin feels "hemmed in" because all of Russia's assets are in a belt of western Russia cities that have developed only because of their proximity to the West.
  6. The Russian obsession with the "near abroad" stems from the fact that they have no defensible geographic features to hide behind. Thus defence in depth is the only viable solution. Add to this a history dominated by various showers of bastards cruising in and giving them a kicking and you start to understand their paranoia. They like strong leaders as all their history teaches them that they are the only way to live in peace.

    Hence the goal of Russian foreign policy has always been to gain sufficient control over their neighbours to ensure that possible enemies are held at arms length. Today that doesn't mean ruling them as in the days of the Warsaw Pact; it does mean making sure that they conform to Moscow's wishes where it matters.

    The preoccupation of the US with the Middle East post 9/11 has allowed Russia to push back hard on the loss of influence they experienced in the '90s. This has been little reported but the US has had to grin and bear quite a lot of unlubed diplomacy in eastern Europe. They use their relationship with Iran, their influence over the northern supply route to AFG and so on to exploit matters further.

    Indeed, the US can do little to meaningfully affect Russia's slow, inexorable expansion of their sphere of influence until they pull out of the Middle East. Like that's ever going to happen. The real reason Bush never got involved in Georgia - well, apart from the whole don't start a war with a nuclear power that is quite happy to use nukes first to produce a tactical victory angle - was that he had nothing meaningful to send and the US would not pay for another long term commitment of blood and treasure.
  7. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Because most Americans would assume that by 'Georgia' was meant that bit just south of S Carolina, and they think they marched through it once already.