The Great Debate
The West has been unable to develop a coherent strategic policy toward Russia. There is little agreement on what Russia is and how to deal with it, too much speculation about what President Vladimir Putin will or will not do.
The year ahead could see the outbreak of the third Chechen war, which, in turn, could be the death knell of the Russian Federation in its current borders.
from Anatole Kaletsky:
The “day of silence” observed this week by the Ukrainian army and its pro-Russian rebel opponents was an event of enormous economic importance for global economics as well as geopolitics.
It’s something of a tradition in journalism to gaze into the crystal ball and give readers a view of what we believe will come with the New Year. Below are my 10 predictions for 2015.
Vladimir Putin’s religious, ethnic rhetoric gets a little scary in Russian state-of-the-union address
Vladimir Putin lives in a scary world, where enemies plot tirelessly to undermine, trick, and destroy Russia. Containment wasn’t just a Cold War policy but a practice of Russia’s rivals for centuries. Even without a conflict in Ukraine, the United States and European Union would have come up with another pretext for imposing economic sanctions; they were an inevitable response to a rising Russia.
The official Kremlin narrative on the war in eastern Ukraine is clear and simple: after seizing power in February, a Western-backed “junta” in Kiev sent neo-Nazi gangs – then tanks and warplanes – to stamp out peaceful protests by the Russian-speaking community. The locals who took up arms are freedom fighters, and the only help they get from Russia is humanitarian aid. For the past six months, Russian state television has carpet-bombed its viewers with this message, day in and day out.