A History of Russian ‘Militarism’ in Point Form

  • Granted independence to various nations in order to withdraw from WWI.
  • To get the vital industrial and port city of Leningrad out of artillery range of the border, Russia offered Finland a much larger territory farther North in exchange for the Karelian isthmus. Finland refused, Russia pursued its vital security interest militarily and achieved its limited goal at great, unnecessary cost to both.
  • Petitioned Britain and others for mutual defense treaties when war with Germany became inevitable. Rebuffed by western powers happy to see Fascism destroy Bolshevism, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was crafted to buy as much time as possible before invasion.
  • Some time after Afghanistan’s domestically initiated and popularly unsupported communist coup unexpected by Moscow, the deranged prime minister had the president killed, took over and instituted bedlam. The USSR reluctantly intervened to reestablish order and the norms of their bloc (As Vietnam did in Cambodia). Without a clear endgame and with the US and Saudis nurturing Bin Laden and his takfiri ilk there, this did not end well and the fallout continues to plague us all.
  • Of all great multi-ethnic political entities which disintegrated in the twentieth century, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire or the British Empire and Raj particularly, The Soviet Union ended with the least use of state violence, with a few local civil wars occurring around the fringes. Members of the Russian elite eager to become rich bourgeoisie rather than austere cadres took the initiative in abandoning socialism and disintegrating the union. Many smaller countries were handed their independence unprepared.
  • on March 17th 1991 Gorbachyov held the New Union Referendum, in which the Baltics were not included, their exit from the USSR being assumed. The results of the referendum were disregarded due to the Soviet Coup. The fact remains that the highest authorities with the support of the Soviet people were ready to respect the results of this referendum. Without the coup aftermath and the unconstitutional Belavezha Accords, the Baltics would have been let go anyway.
  • On September 6th 1991 separatists stormed the Chechen Supreme Soviet and defenestrated its chairman. War ensued, with the separatists supported by similar forces as the anti-Soviets in Afghanistan. Although a peace treaty was reached between Russia and independent Ichkeria (Chechnya), the latter invaded the Russian federal subject of Dagestan in 1999. The lawlessness of Ichkeria had cost it popular support and Russia was able to reestablish order. The conflict was incredibly brutal. Russia viewed what was at stake to be the Ottomanization of the Russian Federation- a precedent, once set which could encourage other separatist groups to turn an 8th of the world’s surface into a thousand Syrias, Iraqs, Palestines, Balkans, Libyas, and Yemens.
  • Russian peacekeepers had been holding the line in Georgia from the civil war at the collapse of the USSR to August 2008. At that time Sakashvilli gambled that if he attacked South Ossetia, provoking a Russian reaction, NATO would come to his aid. He bet wrong. With the definitive defeat of the Georgian military by a tiny, ill-prepared fraction of the Russian armed forces which had a clear march on Tbilisi, Russia kindly pulled its troops back to the breakaway republics.
  • With the Ukrainian economy in dire straits, Yanukovich refused to sign the EU agreement in Vilnius in October 2013, having received an offer with less strings attached and more funding from Russia. Protests ensued. Far-right groups staged shootings of protesters, framing the state security services. Conceding to negotiations, Yanukovich agreed to early elections and a reduction of presidential power. Nevertheless, shortly thereafter, far right mostly western-Ukrainian groups seized an opportunity to stage a coup. Two days later they cancelled a law allowing regions to officiate and educate in their own predominant language if not Ukrainian, in contravention of the European Convention of Human Rights. Shocked by these details and the methods employed by the far right, Donbass residents set up self-defence structures and demanded more regional autonomy, federalism and the right to use their own language. The coup-installed regime responded with an “anti-terrorist operation” during which private state-and-US-backed militias targeted schools, kindergartens and hospitals. These private militias were then incorporated into a new ‘national guard’ though their methods changed little. Brutalized and alienated, Donbass residents only then pushed for secession or incorporation into Russia. Private volunteers flooded in from Russia and beyond, including those with military training. Some argue that Russia supplied the Donbass with war materiel on credit and that command was gradually taken over by Russian security personnel in order to avoid geopolitical inexpedience. In a recent conversation with Donetsk residents while I was in Ukraine, I mentioned that the situation is portrayed as a Russian invasion in the western media. The response was, “that’s not how we see it. after all that’s happened, we can no longer bring ourselves to speak Ukrainian.” Meanwhile, US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland is on record selecting the post-coup prime minister and bragging about the 4 billion $US spent to shift Ukraine geopolitically westward. Russia opted to lose a large friendly voting bloc within Ukraine by annexing Crimea with the 25000 troops already present there rather than let Crimea become an unsinkable NATO aircraft carrier on Russia’s southwest flank (not to mention the potential loss of access to the Mediterranean). Corruption and living conditions continue to worsen after Ukraine chose it’s ‘European’ path, with no reasonable hope of improvement in sight. It is to the West nothing more than an economic rape victim and a spearhead in the continued Balkanization (or, as above I prefer Ottomanization) of the former USSR. NATO is happy, overjoyed even, to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.
  • With allies like Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, it’s little wonder that US coalition ‘efforts’ to fight ISIS have met such little success. ISIS is clearly directly supported by the latter two, and ISIS actions nicely dovetail with Israeli strategist Oded Yinon’s suggested ‘strategy for Israel’- spread chaos and division rather than allow strong regional adversaries. While Chechnya for example has become an over-subsidized relatively wealthy subject of the RF, the US leaves in its wake Libyas (thanks Hillary) and Iraqs, perhaps under the delusion that liberal democracy springs inexorably from human nature, or perhaps out of sheer malice. Shed all the tears you like about the purported misdeeds that the Western Media, which has never relinquished its Cold War mentality, ascribe to Assad, circumstantially a staunch ally of Iran and Russia and a foe of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Syria before the war was probably the most inclusive Arab state. There’s a reason, like it or not, and fairly reported or not, that Alawite Assad has broad popular support and the loyalty of a predominantly Sunni military. The involvement of Russian Aerospace forces had a greater effect in its first two weeks on reversing gains of ISIS, Nusra, and other fictively moderate child-beheading takfiri terrorist forces, than four years of US coalition grandstanding.

 

This list excludes the Polish-Soviet war, Prague Spring and Hungarian Revolution, all of which occurred in their own way due to the flaws of Marxist-Leninism inapplicable to current conditions. I used to find it amazing how liberal westerners get so self-satisfied to see through the ideology and propaganda of those they see as ‘other,’ backwards and ‘bad,’ but obstinately refuse to question their own self-righteous, hypocritical worldview. But I’ve realized that they do subconsciously see their own hypocrisy, and probably subconsciously revel in the violence they inflict on those ‘beyond the limes.’ What they do though, is project their crimes onto their designated Jungian ‘shadow,’ usually Russia and Putin personally. Deceit, meddling in other countries elections and internal affairs and outright aggression are all as American as filling an SUV with fuel bought from terrorist-funding Saudis at a gas station built on the site of a US army massacre of Native Americans. Yet they subconsciously or even semi-consciously project such faults onto their ‘shadow,’ against which they cozily contrast and define themselves as righteous and wholesome. They have principles, after all. In true christian tradition what does it matter if they never actually follow them, as long as they can plant the flag of those principles in blood of their enemies? It’s the same with escapists everywhere, morons among the Russians blame the nations problems on the barbarism of Caucasian and Central Asian migrant workers, Eastern Europeans beholden to Wall Street/NATO media believe if they only cut ties with barbarous Russia a promised land of civilized progress and prosperity awaits, While in Western Europe their demons are being projected onto Muslim migrants and refugees (not to say that popular concerns about off-shoring industry and resultant unemployment, arguably exacerbated by migration, aren’t real problems). It’s the same dynamic everywhere, the immature, subconsciously well-aware of their own wretchedness, seek to avoid taking a long hard look at themselves by projecting their innate barbarism onto whatever otherable group fits the bill. They quixotically seek to cast their own demons into the nearest ‘pack of swine’ and drive them over the nearest cliff. It’s yet another symptom of the juvenile bent of our bourgeois, materialist, individualist times. Everything, particularly history, is reduced to the easily quantified and digested. Nuance is an unnecessary nuisance. Anthropocentrism and the egomaniacal self-congratulation of Western Liberalism as the culmination of history and torch-bearer of ideals can no more be questioned than an infant is able to question that it is the centre of the universe without intervention of force majeure and an ensuing shrieking tantrum. Good luck kiddies.

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