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What drives Russia

Mark Champion, at Bloomberg ($) nicely skewers the solipsism of those who imagine that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “provoked” and therefore partly the fault of the West.

Russia is hardly the first empire to resist the loss of long-held colonies, so there’s nothing unique about its attempt. But few would suggest the Hapsburg, Ottoman, British or French empires had a right to hold on to, let alone restore, their imperial claims, or that the desire to do so was “provoked,” or that the world would be better off had they been able to cling on.

Understanding Putin’s outlook is key to grasping that the “neutrality” and “demilitarization” he demands of Russia’s neighbors is not his end goal. It is a prerequisite for rebuilding Russia’s state-civilization and Moscow’s status as the beating heart of a great power. Every peace proposal for Ukraine needs to keep that fact front and center. And if a once and future President Trump wants to play the role of mediator, by all means. But he should start by reading the Kremlin’s new college textbook.

He has a lot on his plate in the next few months, but Sir Keir Starmer, the new UK prime minister (gulp) will need to grasp this point, along with many others.

3 comments to What drives Russia

  • Paul Marks

    I support an independent, sovereign, Ukraine.

    Whether the present government of Ukraine supports an independent Ukraine – I do not know. They say that they do not – that they, on the contrary, support Ukraine being under the European Union and the various other institutions of international “governance” following every international fad-and-fashion – but all this could be window dressing to get vital military support from the “Woke” (Critical Theory – “trans rights for children” and so on) West. In their desperate position I might well say the same thing – pretend to want to put Ukraine under the “international community” in order to get, desperately needed, military aid – whilst, privately, having no such intention.

    I hope so – I hope that the present government of Ukraine, privately, supports an independent Ukraine.

    As for Mr Putin – he is a dreadful man who has murdered many Russians, as well as Ukrainians.

    It is no way to be an enemy of the Russian people (or a supporter of Bloomberg – one of the Corporations that is, quite rightly, despised by American, and other, conservatives) to be opposed to Mr Putin – and I am opposed to him.

    We must draw a sharp distinction between hatred of the Russian people (or some obscene, and absurd, plan to break up Russia to steal its natural resources to prop up the Credit Bubble Corporate State West for a little longer) and opposition to Mr Putin.

    Mr Putin has done great harm to the Russian people, he has done great harm to Russia, as well as to the Ukrainian people – to Ukraine, Mr Putin should be opposed.

    I predict that with President Trump back in the Whitehouse the government in Ukraine would quickly drop its commitment to the “Woke” (Critical Theory) “international community” and would sing a very different tune – and quite rightly so, in order to continue to get vital military aid against Mr Putin.

  • Paul Marks

    As for Bloomberg.

    I wish nothing bad for Michael Bloomberg or his children – I am sure they are all nice people.

    But the world would be a better place without the Bloomberg corporation (corporation – not the person) and the other parasite corporations that live, directly or indirectly, off the New York Federal Reserve.

    Once New York was a major manufacturing centre itself – and “Wall Street” (and the companies, such as financial information companies) was about serving manufacturing, mining and so on all over the United States and indeed the world.

    There were indeed abuses – such as the Civil War period National Banking Acts that gave New York privileges it (or anywhere else) should not have, but, overall, New York, even the financial industries that we call “Wall Street” were more good than bad.

    That is no longer so – now the system is more bad than good (a lot more bad than good) and it must go, it will collapse – the only question is when.

  • mickc

    It is the dying, flailing US Empire’s expansionism which is the problem, not the dead Russian Empire.

    Trump recognises the limits of US power and Europe will increasingly have to grow up and look after itself because the American people are fed up with babying it along.

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