Russia in Regression


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Edinburgh, scotland
Remember when words like Perestroika and Glasnost were in the news bulletins every day? When we all rejoiced at the tumbling of the Berlin wall and the divided families of east and west Germany hugged with joyous tears by the Brandenberg Gate? The Cold War was over, the perceived threat of all out nuclear war receded. Russia embraced democracy and the world suddenly felt a lot safer. Well seems like we got less than twenty years of that.

In retrospect I now wonder if Vladimir Putin was Boris Yeltsins' chosen successor or if Yeltsin himself was but a puppet of the KGB clique headed by Putin. Russian democracy, as transparently undemocratic as that which elected Bush, has put yet another small, physically unimpressive and vain man in a position of unassailable power. He has spent several years consolidating an iron grip so that he now enjoys, (and from the look of his facial expressions this enjoyment is also his sex - he must be a small man), as much power as good old uncle Joe. So what next?

Andrei Lugovoi, the Russian KGB agent wanted for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London last year, gave a press conference today in which he threw back an accusation that it was the British secret service that was behind it. A classic strategic posturing stance of cold war KGB.
Also yesterday Russia tested a new stealthy ICBM designed, they state, to beat the American SDI missile defense system currently under various stages of construction. All the treaties are crumbling. The rhetoric gets increasingly hostile. Putin, it is now widely speculated, plans to re-write the constitution to allow himself to stay in power indefinitely. Seems like we just stepped right back to where we were 30+ years ago.

There is a difference today tho. Russia has learned to exploit its vast natural resources and can fund an arms race that previously it could not sustain. Putin uses the language of the past, calling the west Imperialist and seems intent on blocking any negotiation with the European Union on energy supply guarantees. His ego is that of the classic dictator and he refuses to find compromise or negotiate with anyone that criticizes him even when it is on an entirely unrelated matter. Dark days are looming.

Newsflash: This morning brings the news on the Russian decision not to renew B.P.'s last rights to extract oil and gas in Russia. The reason cited is that B.P. has been failing to extract enough gas. B.P. claims this is a bogus claim, that it extracts the maximum it can given the pipelines and has been blocked from building new pipes. I'm no friend of B.P. but this illustrates Russia's..or rather Putin's utter contempt for the west. He clearly is no friend of 'globalisation'.
Paraphrased, Gorbies last speech when he left the Presidium and headed for his new digs in the Presidio went something like this...

Comrades, do not let words like Perestroika and Glasnost fool you, Mother Russia and the USSR are not disolving and will not be gone, we are regrouping, we will return stronger then ever...

I can't find it anywhere, but that is what I recall....I was shocked that it didn't make front pages everywhere...I was more shocked when we gave him offices in what could be the one of the highest rent district in the US the recently closed base in San Fransisco...

I say shocked....but it isn't really so...can any of this amaze us after the stuff the US has done over the years?? What we choose to get excited about...a porn stars death...what we ignore graft and corruption at the highest levels....
I believe you hit the nail square on the head there. I do remember Gorbachev saying something like that too. Russia had bankrupted itself. It needed a breather.
I never thought I would ever be a doom-monger but things look like they are going to deteriorate pretty fast in the near future. I so hope I'm wrong.

I remember years ago in the very early '90s writing an economics report of the state of the Russian economy. How all their wheat was harvested, but stuck in silos because their logistics were screwed up and they could transport the wheat to processing centers and hence it rotted in the silos while people were hard up for bread. I wrote that the only assets they had were military arsenals and how would they profit on this but to sell them off. I wrote this just prior to the fall of the U.S.S.R, but even then I knew that this will not be the end of Russia. Like China, it has been a sleeping giant ready to awaken.

But this is all prophesized anyway, so it has not surprised me much. ;)
I don’t want to initiate a Fawlty Towers “You started it, you invaded Poland” kind of thing but isn’t Russia sabre-rattling in response to the US plans to install “defensive” stuff in Eastern Europe (Poland and Czech Republic)? I also read (brilliantly specific what?) that it’s all just political shenanigans anyway cos Russia already has the ability to cause untold worldwide death and destruction if they feel the urge. If the US or Russia seriously countenance turning Europe into a nuclear wasteland in the name of some idiotic thinking, then that’s not going to be too good ultimately for anybody’s health is it? Anyway, I’m already of the opinion that both sides are as moronic as each other, driven by overactive egos and testicles.

The diminutive shrimp with the mountain sized ego, Vladimere Putin, has stolen his ideas lock, stock and two smokin barrels right from Adolf Hitler. He has formed a "Putin Youth" movement indistinguishable from the Fuhrer's own brat pack. The Nashi (say it a few times Nashi Youth... Nashi Youth....Nashi Youth.. ring any bells?), is a heavily politicised youth movement that swears loyalty to Russia, (soon to be renamed Putinia). It uses classic dehumanising brainwashing techniques, gives military training and is designed to create a youthful army of obedience to Furher Putin.
This BBC clip gives a taste of what its about.
BBC - Search results for nashi
Link is in top right column.

Scary stuff.