Russia: National Security – Part 1

Russia: National Security - Part 1
Russia: National Security - Part 1 of 5

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] second look at Russia’s Near Abroad needs to be made; the first was done in The Age of Neo-Imperialism. Russia’s creation of Novorossiya in Eastern Ukraine has woken up the West and is likely to influence other countries within the Near Abroad. The creation of the two republics of Donetsk and Lugansk seeking autonomous status within Ukraine is causing much controversy and problems for Russia.

Ukraine is protesting the loss of Crimea and the two republics.  Ukraine has about 8 million ethnic Russians, some of whom want to be part of Russia, while others want independence within Ukraine, yet others want Crimea to be part of Ukraine, even though Crimea strictly belongs to the Cossacks, (Turks.)

The West sees Russian action in Eastern Ukraine as a way of enlarging its borders and re-creating the Soviet Empire.  One of the West’s financial agent, the IMF, has encouraged Ukraine to default on its $3 billion Russian loan. The IMF then undertook to assist Ukraine to deal with its debt.  The IMF changed its rules to isolate Russia and China: the IMF should have guaranteed a government-to-government loan but it did not; Ukraine should not have received any financial aid since it was unwilling to negotiate with its creditors; the IMF should have imposed austerity measures on a defaulter, and it did not; and, bankrupt Ukraine should not have received any assistance.  The IMF also saw the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a NATO’s rival, and AIIB as a rival of IMF and World Bank.  The IMF also saw the world slipping from a dollar-denominated system to a yen-led one.  Michael Hudson1 rightly saw IMF’s actions as dividing the world into two systems for trade, finance, and therefore politics.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]or Putin his policy of “support of compatriots”2 stranded in other countries is a continuous problem.  His opponents saw it as a way of grabbing territory: Transnistria and South Ossetia became separate pro-Russian states from Moldova and Georgia, respectively.  Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Novorossiya were separated by sponsored revolutions from Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine respectively.

There are about 20 million ethnic Russians living abroad, of which 17.3 million, or 86.5%, are in Russia’s Near Abroad.  Russia has therefore to provide them efficiently with normal embassy services like visas, passports and protection in a foreign country.  Russia is also concerned about the coloured revolutions that are being fostered against Russia, like the Rose Revolution in Georgia, Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan.

Apart from the crisis in Ukraine and Syria, Russian strategists have to plan a “Third Front,” for its Near Abroad. The rise of IS along the unstable Afghan-Turkmen border will need seven new armoured battalions, else there is likely to be a migrant crisis into Russia, bigger than the one to Europe.  In Tajikistan, the moderate Islamic Party of Islamic Rebirth has already sworn allegiance to IS.  ISIS is gaining momentum as it pays its fighters seven times what Al Qaeda does.3     South of Russia, Turkey is beginning to flex its muscles as its air space is theoretically being protected by US war planes.4

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]C[/dropcap]ommentator Sridharun5 echoes Russia’s concerns when he notes that Russia’s main worry is a series of threats from NATO and the coloured revolutions.  NATO is also capable of using biological weapons and indulging in cyber warfare.  Russia also sees an increase of military infrastructure on its borders. In addition, Britain has a thousand troops in Poland, and seems to be fighting a proxy war in Yemen.  Poland and Yemen are on the borders of Russia’s “sphere of influence.” As the “world’s police,” NATO frequently breaches international law. Russia therefore sees it necessary to adjust its national security position, once every six years.

US Senator Rand Paul6 would like to see Russia labelled a “highly dangerous country.” By America’s Security Act, visa clearances would take a month and it would place Russia with many Muslim countries on the danger list.  As Rand Paul is no longer a presidential candidate, his suggestion might be ignored.

For his obstinacy and stubbornness, Putin has been targeted with a smear campaign.  He is blamed for imprisoning and killing his opponents.  Mikhail Khodorkovsky comes to mind.  He was imprisoned for ten years for allegedly killing a Siberian mayor in 1998, and for fraud, tax evasion and embezzlement.  His political spokesperson may have hit the nail on the head when he said that Khodorkovsky was a “prisoner of conscience.” His son, Pavel, said that he was a “moral leader.” Khodorkovsky wanted his party, Open Russia, to promote more democracy.  Khodorkovsky was the richest man in Russia: among his assets were 9.5% shares in Yukos, valued at $11 billion.  With other friendly oligarchs who had political clout, he brought Boris Yeltsin to power and gained commercial privileges. Khodorkovsky was released from jail in May 2014, when he promised to leave the country and stay out of politics.7

To be continued…

Bibliography

  1. Michael Hudson, “The IMF changes its rules to isolate China and Russia,” counterpunch.org, December 18, 2015.

  2. “Putin won’t dump Russians living abroad,” pravda.ru, November 6, 2015.

  3. Paul Goble, “Moscow may have to open ‘Third Front’ in Central Asia to prevent refugee influx into Russian cities,” atimes.com, January 19, 2016, also in Eurasia.com.

  4. Vasudevan Sridharun, “NATO dispatches AWACs planes and troops to protect Turkish airspace over Russia spat,” ibtimes.co.uk, January 1, 2016.

  5. Sridharun, “Russia sees threats from NATO and coloured revolutions,” ibtimes.co.uk, January 1, 2016.

  6. “US Senator Rand Paul suggests labeling Russia as a ‘highly dangerous country,’” pravda.ru, 19.1.2016.

  7. Nick Enoch, “Putin sees me as a threat: Russia’s former wealthiest man says he may seek asylum in Britain after he is arrested in absentia in Moscow,” dailymail.co.uk, December 24, 2016.

  8. “Arrested oil tycoon passed shares to banker Rothschild,” the washingtontimes.com, 11-3-3?

  9. Leah Maclaren, “Poisoned diplomacy,” MacLean’s Magazine, February 8, 2016, 35.

  10. NATO intimidates its members with Russian nuclear strikes,” pravda.ru, 4.2.2016.

  11. Peter Spence, “Russian economy in turmoil as Putin is battered by falling oil price and sanctions,” telegraph.co.uk, January 25, 2016.

  12. Reuters, “Russia allots $1.3 billion for real recovery,” arabnews.com, January 24, 2016.

  13. Said Gafurov, “Russia’s budget 2016: Handling the crisis, pravda.ru, 18.1.2016.

  14. “Soros: Russia’s international reserves enough for two years,” pravda.ru, 22.1.2016.

  15. Donald Trump, current leader of the Republican Presidential race, 2016.

  16. “Russia’s FM Lavrov excludes ‘business as usual’ with the West,” pravda.ru, 26.1.2016.

  17. “Japan’s Abe: ‘We need Russia for global peace.’” Themoscowtimes.com, 18.1.2016.

  18. “Egypt wants to bring Russia and Saudi Arabia closer,” pravda.ru, 27.1.2016.

  19. Paul Craig Roberts, “About war in Syria and World War III, pravda.ru, 28.1.2016.

  20. “Poroshenko speaks about threat of open war with Russia,” pravda.ru, 3.2.2016.

  21. Kozin was interviewed by Pravda editor Inna Novikova.

  22. “Ten regiments of Russian Strategic Missile Forces on high alert,” pravda.ru, 26.1.2016.

  23. “Putin prepares bitter and hysterical missile surprise to ‘American partners,’” pravda.ru, 16.1.2015.

  24. Lyuba Lulko, “Russian armed forces returning to Latin America,” pravda.ru, 27.2.2010.

  25. Frank Nelson, “Vladimir Putin’s invisible empire,” telegraph.co.uk, 22. 2016.

  26. James B. MacGuffin, “Soros – Doctor Evil,” pravda.ru, 19.1.2016.

Henry D'Souza is a prolific author who has written over 60 papers and 4 books, of which 2 books, 1 booklet and 28 papers were published. He is a distinguished sportsman, having represented Kenya in Field Hockey and also played tennis for the country.

Henry currently resides in Canada.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here