from Russia with bias


with one comment

Double portrait of a businessman facing himself

Photo from mybrainsolutions.com

One important thing to understand about Russia’s foreign policy is that Russia has no foreign policy and no long-term goal to achieve internationally. But given its size and capabilities, its domestic politics will continue to make a strong, if random impact on international affairs. All of its actions, including the war in Ukraine and the recent foray into Syria, are dictated by the need to mobilize Putin’s support base in order to keep the status quo whereby the oligarchy can tap into natural resources and state coffers, unhindered by media and opposition.

If the pendulum of public opinion swings towards pacifism, as it did in the late 1980s and during the first Chechen war, the regime (non-democratic, but obsessed with feedback) will swing that way, too. But for now it feels it needs another ‘victory’ to prop up its high popularity ratings, playing on the Russians’ deep inferiority complex caused by the trauma they endured in the 20th century. It needs another Crimea of sorts.

Since there will be no more victories in Ukraine, Syria comes as a natural alternative. Crucially for Putin’s regime, Syria is where the West has failed miserably, which allows him to once again present himself as the only real can-do man among the world leaders. His unique experience of putting down an extremely brutal and insane Islamist insurgency in Chechnya gives him a lot of confidence when it comes to fighting the Islamic State, which sure as hell has been massively infiltrated by Russian agents of Northern Caucasus and Central Asian background. Another concern is that the warlord and mercenary class that Putin has bred in Chechnya and Donbass needs to be permanently fed with war, lest it turns arms against the regime.

But ultimately, there is no end game for Putin in Syria – all he needs is a TV picture of Russians doing something that passes for saving the world, no matter what the end result might be. The imitation of efficiency, bold actions and strong views is the essence of the current Russian regime.

Putin’s only real war is against the domestic opposition and its leader Alexey Navalny, but his entourage is imaginative enough to avoid waging this war in the streets of Moscow. The whole point of meddling in Ukraine and Syria is to create the right TV picture and commentary for domestic consumption. What passes for Kremlin’s foreign policy is run by media-savvy ‘Wag the Dog’ types, but their level of cynicism is only comparable to the Bolshevik’s or Islamic State’s ability to unleash unrestrained and unprecedented terror.

What the West mistakes for a message to itself, is not addressed to it all. The Kremlin is only talking to the imaginary West of its own TV broadcasts and it doesn’t care a bit that the real West might take it personally.

Written by fullofbias

September 23, 2015 at 9:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. what a bunch of horse excrement!

    Nina Danko

    March 15, 2016 at 6:33 pm

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