Monday, December 15, 2008

Does anyone still doubt that Russia is the same as it ever was?

The Kremlin is no more disposed to permit free speech than it used to be. Not only did it order police to prevent a protest, but the arrest of somewhere between 90 (according to the authorities) and 130 (according to the protesters) went completely unreported in Russia's media.

Russia is rebuilding ties with old Cold War allies, and building ties with new ones. The government has sent ships to Nicaragua, to Cuba, through the Panama Canal, and are involved in war games with Venezuela.

Russia is not serious in its negotiations with us over the missile defense shield that its former satellite nations wish to host, and that we intend to protect Europe from rogue powers in the Middle East (who, incidentally, buy most of their armaments from Russia). They're completely unwilling to see it as anything but aimed at them, and refuse any solution that doesn't remove the missile defense sites. That makes me suspicious of their reasons why they're so worried about a defensive technology.

I'm also suspicious that, if they're not entirely behind the recent snub that Latin America has dealt the United States, they're definitely encouraging it.

The behavior displayed by the New Russia is the same as that displayed by the old USSR during the Cold War. I don't think there's any possible dispute about that.


  1. Talk about unchanged, this is no different from the Czarist approach. I am presently reading Dostoevsky's Demons (from the 1870s) and the same thing went on in Russia then and had been going on for hundreds of years.

  2. That's what I've read. I'm not sure I blame them--unlike many nations, they have no natural barriers to invasion. The best they can hope for is a) taking smaller nations to use as a buffer zone, or b) world domination. They've almost always preferred the latter but settled for the former.

    I'm not sure they can't achieve the latter, now. No one has the testicular fortitude to stand up to them anymore.