05/26/2018, 13.27
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Talk of war in Putin's Russia

by Vladimir Rozanskij

The president wants to make known that he is not afraid of a nuclear conflict. His project would aim at a "hybrid" war: to destroy a couple of European cities to guarantee the liabilities of the NATO countries in the face of the "reunification" of the empire with Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Caucasian territories.


Moscow (AsiaNews) - In recent days, the statements of a well-known Russian politician, Grigorij Javlinskij, has caused sensation.He revealed that in a May 19 meeting with  President Vladimir Putin, he asked the President the following question: "Vladimir Vladimirovich, do you realize that we are approaching war?", the president would have answered: "Yes. And we will win it ".

Javlinskij is the head of the liberal Yabloko party, which has always been against Putin in opposition, and has been insisting in public articles and interventions on the dangers of Russia's international isolation for several months. In his view, this risks ending up in a global conflict capable of destroying both Russia and much of the world, a nuclear conflict far more threatening than the Korean or Iranian adventurism. 

According to the impressions of various commentators, Javlinsky's insistence seems to reveal not only a very critical opinion about presidential politics, but also an alarm generated by confidential information regarding possible future moves by Russia on the international scene. In this sense, for example, the authoritative political scientist Andrej Piontkovskij expressed himself on Radio Svoboda on 25 May.

The interview reported by Javlinskij, confirms Piontkovskij, can hardly be invented, given the authoritativeness of the character and the lack of denial by the Kremlin. This is evidently a signal that Putin himself wanted to transmit, through one of the few truly moderate men of Russia, to spread his threatening intentions: the world must know that Putin is not afraid of war, and that he can win a nuclear conflict . If Russia really prepares itself for war, then this threat risks becoming a nightmare, that of an apocalyptic Fourth World War.

In what way the "Tsar Putin IV" intends to win the war, in fact, had already been described in some interventions by the Russian president himself in recent years, after the Ukrainian conflict had created the conditions for a confrontation with America and with NATO. In them, some concepts are reiterated, constituting the pillar of the great-Russian ideology re-launched by the annexation of Crimea: the "reunification of the Russian lands" and the "Russian world" are increasingly frequent and unequivocal expressions, starting from the historical discourse of Putin on 18 March 2014, the day of the Crimean referendum. Ukraine, according to the Russian narrative, is one of these "original lands" to be reunited, as in part the Caucasian territories, but also, for example, the Baltic countries. Precisely the ideal of "reunification" leads to the very roots of the medieval ideology of Moscow-Third Rome, which is increasingly being revised today, and the fifteenth-century enterprises of the great prince Ivan III "the reunificator", grandfather of the first tsar Ivan the Terrible.

According to this scheme, Russia should annex not only territories such as the Crimean peninsula, where all international treaties have already been broken, but pieces from Estonia or Latvia, whose borders mark the limits of NATO and the European Union itself . And as is well known, Article 5 of the Atlantic Alliance provides for the immediate intervention of all member countries in defense of the assaulted one. The scenario therefore envisages a direct conflict with America and Europe, that is, with the nuclear powers, causing them to intervene without which NATO would lose its meaning, and America would lose its pre-eminence on the international scene.

It is clear to all that Russia would not withstand a confrontation with America, which is superior even in nuclear weapons, or with Europe, superior in all forms of conventional armament. It would indeed be a "hybrid" war plan, in which the Russians would not risk mutual suicide with the United States, or a position war with the European armies. They could, however, limit themselves to striking (and annihilating) a couple of European cities, playing on the psychological aspect of nuclear terror. The Americans, according to the reconstructions of the Russian plans, would not risk self-destruction to defend Europeans, and countries like Germany or France would certainly not launch in defense of the ancient region of Courland, whether it be or not the "atavistic land" of Russian or Ugro-Finnic peoples. It would be the Ukrainian scenario, multiplied to the ninth degree.

Not surprisingly, a recent survey was carried out among German citizens with the question: "If Russia invades Estonia, should Germany keep its covenant commitments?". 70% said no, and one can imagine how much Trump's America would be willing to sacrifice to save Narva or Kovno, dark Baltic towns formerly part of the Russian empire. The hybrid war counts not only on the cold figures of arsenals and strategies, but above all on the emotions, fears or complexes that nations and peoples suffer. The inferiority complex of Putin and Russia is far deeper and more serious than that of Western superiority.

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