Russias dread: to be surrounded
by people who dont like them.
The rusting "Nerpa": one of the most dangerous things in russia. A storage for radiactive waste from among other the nuclear icebreaker "Lenin". Moored just north of Murmansk she is floating only on pumps. Funny thing is that foreign states pay for trying to keep russias miserable nuclear waste as safe as humanly is possible.
The photo above shows a delilict russian nuclear waste facility
(if that is the word) in Andreeva Bay, north on the Kola Peninsula
18.th May 2014 E.R.
14. may: OMON Special Services give Simferopol a new attraction: Repression always follows russian visits abroad.
New footage from newly annexed Crimea. Is this a view to enjoy, even for the population who really wants closer ties to Moscow?
All lie. Some more than others, and states most of all. In states with a defunkt control mechanism (i.e. journalism and free press) lying has been elevated to an artform. And it is effective to the point where the truth becomes a matter of debate.
This may be a case of simply clever talking but admittedly we are facing a propaganda war that is changing the political landscape in Europe, and there seem to be unclear lines of defense. Much stemming from our own inability to call a spade for a spade. So not only is the truth become debatable, but also a victim of political correctness.
Russia is said by many to be the only place where not just the future is uncertain, but also the past.
Photo by FoxNews
Do we need a man like Putin? Maybe yes. To remind us what happened in 1939.
Russia and Putin are different from us in the West. And they need this difference, in order to keep distance and nurture the myth of Mother Rossia,- the very symbol of belonging together, in the face of all else. Right from the start, russians have seen themselfs as apart from all else. Not so hard to do so when looking east, to Asia. But a lot harder when looking west, facing cultures that all russians hanker to belong to, and yet with an increasingly desperate need to differ from.
This is part of the Russian Dilemma. To belong to the european circle, while at the same time distancing oneself from it. If ever allowed to blend freely, russian identity would simply vanish: in a recent gallup, 55 % of all young russians would emigrate if they only found a place in the west to emigrate TO.
Since long before the revolution soon 100 years little has been done to integrate russia to Europe, unless strictly on russias terms. Or Soviets tems. Just one long, hard look on the maps showing the roads and connections between west and the somewhat byzanthine east suffices: there are remarkably few. Even care was taken to not have the same width of the track on railroads, making crossing a bothersome affair.
Another type of distancing is what has been nurtured for decades. Xenophobia, at times to a level we in the west find strange. And as always the best way to keep Russia together is to have "an enemy at the gates", threatening the very soul of whatever is Russia. This is what drives Putin. The Encirclement, as illustrated on the left and going "in absurdum".
There are basically 3 ways to dominate. The simplest is to pay someone. But this Russia could never afford. The second is to scare the others: "We are strong". The third way is to scare ones own people: "They are strong"
During Putins speech to the Duma on march 18th Putin said "They are constantly trying to sweep us into a corner because we have an independent position, because we maintain it and because we call things like they are and do not engage in hypocrisy."
And in a televised interview in April he said "There are enough forces in the world that are afraid of our strength, 'our hugeness,' as one of our sovereigns said. So they seek to divide us into parts."
This is not merely a "lust for more land", although nothing hurt the russian soul more than the defeat of the Soviet Union, and thus the revelation that Russia is a country en par with all others. It hurt, because the superiority of russia got a bloodied nose.
Herein lies the key to a prominent trait in "the art of being Russian": Contempt.
Vladimir Putin as a KGB officer
stationed in Dresden
Vladimir Putin is not
more than he is a
He is a fascist.
It would serve people well to look in the reat-view mirror. Russians may be excused for not having one: In the west we worry about the Future. Russians argue non-stop over the Past. To all with some knowledge of history the paralells to Hitlers ascent to power seem clear. The contempt for weaker, the cult of the body, contempt for democratic practices and governance, his nationalism and lofty rhetoric.
The wests own far-right was quick to recognise a kindred spirit while Kremlin tries at all costs to distance from right wing extremists Kiew and in the west, happily neglecting their on version that is merely considered "patriots, nationalists and defending the Motherland from the decadence of the rotting West"
"Death is horrible, isn't it?" Putin asked viewers rhetoriclly
at the end of his recent television address.
"...but no, it appears it may be beautiful if it serves the people: Death for one's friends, one's people or for the homeland, to use the modern word."
That's as fascist as it can get. Putin and russia hates being reminded. All the more reason for us to continue doing it.