"I'M A RUSSIAN OCCUPANT!" No matter how dodgy the English, the message conveyed in this extraordinary video is chillingly clear. Put together by a group calling itself Anti-Western Creative Activity, IARO rehearses the history of Russia expansion across Eurasia and into Eastern Europe. Russian Imperialism, it seems, was a very good thing (shades of The Life of Brian's "What did the Romans ever do for us?") bringing with it everything from radio factories to Cosmodomes. Where things turn scary is when the video's excited narrator turns to the history of foreign invasions. It's here that the message turns into a blunt warning to the West: butt out - or get what Hitler got. (And yes, I believe that is a nuclear missile!) We are living in dangerous times.
Video courtesy of YouTube.
This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.
Actually many ordinary Russians are more belligerent and out of touch than what's portrayed in that video. Search "ghLsqBBhHVg" on Youtube to see the kind of mood being imprinted onto the Russian population by their television.
Despite my disdain for Kissinger I have just read his latest book World Order. He makes the case for long term historic trends being relevant today. One is Russias role as the nation that balances the Germans ability to take on the rest of Europe combined whether politically or economically. Or in the past France. It was Russian troops in Paris and Berlin that ended Napoleon and Hitler.
Conversely Kissinger points out the role of buffer states between Russia and the west. They provide protection from Europe to Russia and vice versa.
To allow these states such as Ukraine to align to NATO and the EU was always going to earn the ire of Moscow. For the US to unbalance the power of Europe for whatever they get out of this is dangerous to all parties.
I don't fear the Russians. I do fear their response to US/EU meddling on their doorstep.
The Russians have always been paranoid about having some form of buffer state between them and the West. And given the number of times they've been invaded from the West, it's understandable. Russia has also always been susceptible to authoritarian rule. That might be the result of the paranoia, or just a general lack of education. (Because everyone knows facts have a left-wing/democratic bias :-))
One can understand Vlad's concern. He wants a buffer along his border.
When Estonia came in from the cold the US/EU said that they would not expand NATO into there but they lied and did. The same in Georgia. So Vlad, quite rightly, dismisses the stories told by the EU.
Ukraine should remain neutral. It can align with Europe economically if it wishes but no NATO forces in it's territory.
These Russians aren't far wrong in their observations. They did thwart both Napoleon and Hitler to start with. And the neo-liberal Washington consensus appears be to driven not so much by an empire-building impulse as an alternative-destroying one. The idea seems to be that if you let anything positive happen, someone "we" don't like might gain leverage out of it. Orlov seems to think that their wars are all about retaining internal dominance for when their local economy collapses.
The nationalists in the Russian government do not see Belarus and Ukraine as mere buffer states but as parts of Russia that were wrongfully detached from them at a time of weakness. From their point of view they are not real countries but "west Russia". There was never any intention to suffer their continued independence but to develop a process of integration that would end in annexation. The Ukrainian people and business elite rejected the Russian "Eurasian Union" takeover bid and so the Russians miscalculated by assuming the Russian speaking areas of Ukraine would rebel in their favour.
In propaganda states governments usually start believing their own propaganda which is what has happened in Russia. Growing alienation with the political elite elsewhere in Europe is driving support for far-left and nationalistic parties which in most cases are tied to Russia. This alienation is feeding into people going along with viewpoints promoted by Russia or rejecting their own governments'.
Russia wishes to break up the EU and NATO to make them the dominant power in Europe. The dangerous period would be after if the oil prices recover and the next French presidential election delivers a pro-Russia candidate.
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