What Russia’s real objectives are in Ukraine? And how to stop Russian neo imperialism on Ukraine’s bloodstained land?
I would actually go back a stage in this otherwise coherent thought process and argue that ‘what Russia’s objectives are?’ is only understandable if you first have a coherent idea of what sort regime we are dealing with. My brief overview of the start of Putin’s political career in Leningrad [former name, now St Petersburg] is symptomatic of the way that state services from the FSB to it’s nationalised companies are subjected to the whims of a close knit clique, many of whom are former KGB officers or come from Leningrad. Medvedev? St Petersburg Committee for Foreign Affairs… Alexander Bortnikov (current head of the FSB); Saint Petersburg KGB and later Chief of the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast FSB Directorate, he’s also, quite bizarely, on the Board of Sovcomflot, the Government owned merchant shipping organ that specialises in LNG etc…headquarters of which are in? You can guess? St Petersburg. I mean I could relate a lot more history – how Yeltsin nearly cancelled the 1996 elections and the whole Berezovsky story that played into Putin’s rise as Yeltsin’s successor, but I think the point is made. The current ‘Davydova case’ is just another expression of the same; a mother arrested because she telephoned the Ukrainian Embassy last year and now charged with treason. Lev Shlosberg, a Pskov Deputy, only got a beating for asking the burials of Russian servicemen. Finally, Russia’s last chance – Boris Nemtsov, who was brutally murdered for saying the truth about Russia’s regime and warfare in Ukraine.
If you accept this analysis of Russia as a mafia kleptocracy – and it’s almost incontrovertibly correct – then it becomes easier to assess the current Russian regimes objectives. Their first and foremost priority is maintain themselves in power since the whole state apparatus is subverted to operate to their benefit. Therefore they are base ‘conservative’ and view movements such a the Ukrainian Maidan and ‘Arab Spring’ who’s base agenda is reformist with abject horror; a Russian reformist movement cannot be permitted as otherwise they’d all face jail, or worse. Thus the essential appeal to a form of almost Russian reactionary conservatism with a strong alliance with Russian Orthodox Church (who are given a ‘cut’ via tax free alcohol sales among other things – one of the reasons Pussy Riot chose to perform in the Moscow Cathedral was to highlight this seeming anomaly – Bukovsky is their ‘hero’). In addition they are anxious to secure their revenues, mostly from siphoning off money from the sale of gas and petrol and other natural resources – exactly on the old Lenningrad model of the early 1990s – and in this context they would like to cut out any non Russian controlled gas supply to Europe. One of the main non Russian supplies is from the Caspian (Azerbaijan) via Georgia and in this context the whole Russian policy in the Caucuses – the support of Armenia against Azerbaijan, the Russo Georgian war and the Iranian alliance, can be understood; the recent Russo – Turkish rapprochement is just the latest part in this story. Gas blackmail is still one their strongest weapons in their desire to dominate more lands from which they can steal; to them Ukraine, Poland or Romania is the equivalent of a US ‘street block’ currently controlled by an opposing ‘gang’ but which they seek to control and ‘manage’ themselves.
The early historical understanding on Muscovite imperialism is a sadly unresearched topic but essentially the current Russian regime is not very different from it’s Soviet or Tsarist predecessors. The Stalin anecdote regarding the Pope dating back to 1935 is still instructive. The French fascist Pierre Laval then visiting Moscow asked; “Can’t you do something to encourage religion and the Catholics in Russia? It would help me so much with the Pope.” To which Uncle Joe replied “Hahaha! The Pope! How many divisions has he got?” The point is still true for the Putin regime; only force is respected and particularly because they a form of mafia they fear it. Thus correctly they have identified the US as the major potential adversary to their conservative imperialist ambitions to regain a dominant role in Europe. This, I repeat, is nothing new; read a history of the Congress of Vienna following Napoleon’s first abdication and you will find the ‘Polish problem’ was the central point of contention as Russia wanted dominance over Poland. Only a century later after the Russian and ‘Central Powers’ defeat in WW1 was Poland briefly able to become independent again – although that too required the Soviet – Polish War of 1919-21 to establish. In 1939 the Soviet Union did a deal (the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact) to once again partition Poland with Hitler. They offered Poland and others a similar deal to ‘partition’ Ukraine last year while at the same time seeking to weaken the Polish Government with the release of the Polish ‘Waitergate tapes‘. Divide and conquer is the oldest of ploys and in this context there is nothing more they would like than to break the ‘Atlantic alliance’ as the US can put the most divisions in the field. Hence the ‘Revolution of Dignity’ was a ‘CIA sponsored coup’ etc.. At the same time they seek to creat disunion within the EU: They fund the far right Front National in France, funded the Greek far right ‘Golden Dawn’ Party and yet are on equally good terms with Greece’s new far left Syriza Government. These seeming contradictions can only be understood once the correct nature of the regime and the Muscovite imperialist tradition is recognised; then they make perfect sense.
In Transnistria, Nagorno – Karabakh, Chechnya, Georgia and now Ukraine (the last three from the second Chechen War being Putin’s personal construction) they have exercised force against largely civilian populations – Putin’s trail is one of murder and coercion only.