My friend Vitaliy has posted his analysis, which i.e. on a big scale resembles the western presuppositions and it’s perspective in regards to Russia. Especially it is common to explain to the public the intentions of Putin, as if the author is sitting in his mind and knows his motives.
I have a different result on this issue once my algorithm of the analysis is completed.
Feel free to compare, hopefully it makes it easier for you to make a mind up.
First of all I am not assuming that Putin is an autocrat, or a maniac as it is often portrayed in western media outlets.
However, no objective data does support this assumption any way. Rather, in Russia there is a whole range of constitutional bodies, institutions, rules, parties, media outlets, elections which are not better, but for sure not worse than in any other western country. Putin has and does obey the laws of the Russian Federation and is definitely not a Czar.
Obviously it would take more to address this possibly controversial issue, but I think we could agree, that each system has it’s flaws and why shouldn’t have the young democracy in Russia any?
One could bring up the example of the US election system, which according to the former US president Jimmy Carter does not hold the minimum standards of the UN if it is being requested to supervise an election any where in the world.
Another example is the very limited political spectrum in the US which is comprised by only two political parties. In addition to it, none of the two parties represents actually a particular political program – the elections are rather decided by sexual appeal of the candidate and the effectiveness of the ads financed by undisclosed patrons.
Needless to say that – in my opinion – all policies are dictated any way by Pentagon, or other wise, why did Obama not close the torture Prison in Guantanamo Bay for the intention to do so he received a Nobel price ?
The other problem, which Vitaliy does address in his analysis to some degree is the double standard the western countries, and especially the USA do apply when assessing the behavior of different countries.
It seems it is OK to bomb Iraq, Libya, Syria, to violate International Law when ever it seems advancing the US cause, but in case of Russia the Western countries seem to apply different standards.
But it gets even more cynical – There was an illegal overturn of a legitimate president of Ukraine in which a significant part of the opposition is an ultra right Nazi fraction, which representatives have shouted in Maidan in Kiev that they will fight the Russians and the Jews to their last breath, and it seems they had full support in preparing the coup by the West! Facts are emerging about the use of snipers by the protest organizers who shut and killed both, members of the unarmed police forces as well as protesters them self, apparently to provoke more harsh response from the authorities and to deliver effective pictures to the Western media machine.
Once the governmental buildings were overtaken and the president had to leave the capital due to threats to his family, the newly empowered “peaceful” politicians started to sew new laws with a hot needle in 10 minutes tact.
Here by it should be noticed, that the families of the members of the Ukrainian parliament of various parties were threatened as well, and were forced to vote for the new laws.
One of the first actions of the occupied parliament was to ban Russian as an official language in whole Ukraine – As if Ukraine wouldn’t have any other problems.
This act alone shows the extreme position of the new political power holders, which in no way represent the majority of the Ukrainian population, of whom the majority is of Russian origin.
At this point I will introduce a short article from RT which will round up the comparison.
On Wednesday, one day after the Russian president’s media conference on the events in Ukraine, the US State Department accused him of lying and published a “fact sheet” of Putin’s 10 “false claims” surrounding the crisis.
Moscow said that it will not respond to such “low-level propaganda.”
“We will only say, yet again, that we are dealing with unacceptable arrogance and a pretense of having a monopoly on the truth,” Lukashevich said in a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
The United States has “no moral right” to lecture about observing international laws and respecting the sovereignty of other states, the diplomat added.
“What about the bombing of former Yugoslavia or the invasion of Iraq over a fabricated cause?” Lukashevich pointed out.
There have been quite a few examples of American military foreign interventions when there was no real threat to US security: Vietnam, Lebanon, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Libya, and Panama.
“The Vietnam War claimed the lives of two million civilians, not to mention totally destroyed the country and polluted the environment,” the diplomat said. “On the pretext of providing security to Americans who simply happened to be in conflict zones, the US invaded Lebanon in 1958 and the Dominican Republic in 1965, attacked tiny Grenada in 1983, bombed Libya in 1986, and occupied Panama three years later.”
“Still, they dare to blame Russia of ‘armed aggression’ when it stands up for its compatriots – who comprise the majority of Crimea’s population – in order to prevent ultra-nationalist forces from organizing yet another bloody Maidan.”
Apparently, Washington cannot adequately handle the development of events which are not in line with American templates, Moscow said. But this is no reason to shift the blame, the ministry concluded.
The two nuclear powers have been involved in a bitter dispute over the Ukrainian crisis, with Washington giving its backing to the coup-appointed government. The US has repeatedly accused Russia of “invading” the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, ignoring the fact that an existing 1997 agreement between Russia and Ukraine allows Moscow to keep up to 25,000 Black Sea Fleet troops in the peninsula.
Following the violent uprising which resulted in the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich, Crimean authorities denounced the coup-appointed government in Kiev and declared that all Ukrainian law enforcement and military deployed in the peninsula must take orders from them. The government of the republic – which comprises of mostly Russian speakers – asked Moscow to provide assistance to ensure peace and order in the region.
Crimea is to decide in a March 16 referendum whether it wants to remain within Ukraine or join Russia …”
Please follow a short story, and you may make up your own opinion from it:
It is hard for me to see a full-blown war between Russia and Ukraine. There are so few cultural differences between these two countries. Ukraine has its own language, but almost everyone (outside of small villages) speaks flawless Russian. If there is a war between these two countries, it will be a civil war.
Ukraine is being pulled in three directions. The western side of the country, the one that is geographically closest to Europe and more industrialized, wants to be part of Europe and wants to retain its Ukrainian culture. The eastern part is heavily populated by Russians and wants to be part of Russia. And then there is Crimea, the stepchild that feels it has been neglected by its new parent (Ukraine) and wants to be closer to its biological parent (Russia). Just like Sochi, which is also on the warm Black Sea, Crimea is a tourist destination, and from what I’ve heard it generates a lot of tax revenue that it sends to Kiev but gets little back.
I don’t see Russia conquering Ukraine for one simple reason: Ukraine is not Norway, which has an $800 billion sovereign fund and is extremely wealthy. (I hope I’m not giving Mr. Putin new ideas here.) Ukraine is as poor as Russia would be without oil and gas. At $3,867, the country’s GDP per capita is barely one quarter that of Russia’s ($14,037). There are no synergies between the two countries except that if they merged Russia would have to worry less about the natural gas pipeline that goes through Ukraine to Europe. Putin is anything but dumb or economically illiterate; integrating Ukraine into Russia would be like tying a giant weight to Russia’s neck.
Trying to read Putin’s true intentions is difficult — or maybe not. Putin wants to walk a fine line and not veer too far from the Russian constitution. (In another life he would be a great U.S. lawyer.) Let me give you an example of how he operates. The Russian constitution allows the president only two consecutive (important word) terms. Putin probably could have done a Bloomberg and changed the constitution to run for a third term, but he didn’t. He helped his then-puppet prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, to become president and then championed change in the Russian constitution to extend the presidential term from four to six years. At the end of Medvedev’s first term, Putin then ran for president again and won. He guaranteed himself power for 12 years without violating the constitution.
Putin wants to nudge Crimea toward autonomy from Ukraine. Crimea was going to hold a referendum on May 30, which now will be pushed up to March 25. You may say, didn’t Putin just invade another sovereign nation? By placing troops in Crimea, Russia violated international law, but a strong country can justify breaking international law if it considers its actions morally right. The U.S. broke international law by sending Team Six to Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden. The U.S. did not ask and never got permission from Pakistan for our military to cross their borders, so we did violate international law; but not a single U.S. citizen (including present company) was upset about it.
Also, the Russians don’t consider Crimea to really be part of Ukraine because until 1954 it belonged to Russia. Half of its population is Russian. Currently, Russians see their troops in Crimea as peacekeepers, protecting their fellow Russians from “Ukrainian nationalists.” Putin is placing a bet that the upcoming referendum will legitimately (at least in Russian eyes) make Crimea autonomous from Ukraine. Ukrainian law doesn’t recognize this referendum as legitimate, but a few thousand troops on the ground and the presence of the Russian Navy may change Kiev’s mind.
An autonomous Crimea is a Russian Crimea. Maybe Putin, by taking advantage of political instability in Ukraine, will achieve what he really wants: control of a very strategic warm-water port without spilling a single drop of blood. He hinted at as much on Tuesday in his first public comments since the incursion, telling Russian media that he saw “no need” to use force in eastern Ukraine.
The international community, including the U.S., may show their outrage, but their options are limited to unfriending Russia on Facebook or — worst case, if things really escalate — unfollowing Russia on Twitter. We will not go to war with Russia over a peninsula that used to belong to Russia. If this story ends at Crimea (no Russian troop movements toward Kiev), then Europe and the U.S. will issue some empty threats and the G8 will revert to the G7 for a while. But international rhetoric will die down, especially if Crimean voters opt for autonomy. Russia will keep its “peacekeepers” in Crimea with the blessing of newly minted “autonomous” republic (which on paper will still be part of Ukraine).
Finally, as a bonus to Russia, Ukraine may become ineligible to join NATO, as its charter prohibits new members that have ongoing territorial disputes. So Putin may be playing three-dimensional chess while the rest of the world is still learning checkers. Or perhaps he is just an egotistical maniac who wants to bring the gang (the former Soviet republics) back together. Time will tell.