“HISTORY TEACHES THREE pretty clear messages. One is that all empires die. Second, empires take a long time to die. Finally, the citizens of the empire rarely recognize the warning signs for what they are.”
San Francisco Chronicle
Russia constantly portrays itself as a downtrodden nation: no one takes its priorities into account; the Americans don’t want to recognize its global significance; it’s been reduced to regional-power status and yet its “legitimate” rights to its former colonies and satellites are still not recognized.
Russia constantly asserts that it is the victim of aggression. Meanwhile, the former republics that gained their independence seem to feel much better about their situation. The Ukrainian victims of Russian aggression, for example, are experiencing a renewed sense of dignity, while the aggressor (Russia) bemoans its humiliation. In today’s political context, this victim discourse takes on particular significance. __ Mikhail Iampolski
Everyone around Russia suffers from her temper tantrums, but we constantly hear that “Russia just don’t get no respect!”
Letting Go of the Mythical Past And Living With What Is
Russia is running out of hard currency for bailing out its banks and industries. Even insiders with close links to Putin are being forced to scale back.
Russia cannot go back to its fantasies of former greatness. But Russia could provide a decent living for its people if it learned to live with its neighbors and trading partners in a peaceful manner, without bloody destructive invasions and conquests.
Western sanctions are not working, but then, they do not have to. Russia herself is doing everything necessary to diminish her own power, status, and international goodwill.
Russia’s unilateral redrawing of Ukraine’s borders has refocused minds in Germany. Putin’s annexation of Crimea, his lies that Russian troops were not involved, and his covert war in eastern Ukraine have eroded trust in the Kremlin. Germany’s political elite — unlike the isolationist, latently anti-American population at large —has no illusions that Putin’s actions are posing the greatest danger to European security since the Cold War. __ Germany Rethinks Russian Actions
Of course, “Germany” is not a person. German views on Russia are multiple and varied, depending upon one’s upbringing, history, and what side his bread is buttered. But there is nothing like a bloody criminal feud near one’s borders to cause one to begin re-thinking one’s delusions about someone who turns out to be violent and unscrupulous after all.
Russian rulership has always been barbaric and generally uncultured. One could easily blame such tendencies on the Mongol Khans that once ruled there, or the soul-killing empire of the Soviets. Regardless of the multiple origins of Russian barbarity, thanks to Putin and his KGB criminal mobocracy, it looks as if that is how the nation will slowly die.
An important note for Russia observers: Do not trust the vital statistics coming out of Putin’s Kremlin. When long-running population trends mysteriously “stop on a dime” and reverse course, be very sceptical.
A Slowly Developing Awareness of Loss of Empire
We are dealing with a delayed reaction to the collapse of empire.
… Russia constantly asserts that it is the victim of aggression. Meanwhile, the former republics that gained their independence seem to feel much better about their situation. The Ukrainian victims of Russian aggression, for example, are experiencing a renewed sense of dignity, while the aggressor (Russia) bemoans its humiliation. In today’s political context, this victim discourse takes on particular significance. __ Whining, Aggressive, Brittle Russia, post-Empire