The Country is Moscow Surrounded by Buffer Colonies

An eye-opening look inside the psychology of Russia and its leadership:

A Hunger to Dominate Like a Vampire

Nominally, the country of Russia occupies over 17 million square kilometers of land, a massive area. But if you understand that the real country is Moscow, and the rest of the country is colonial possessions, you will know that the real land area of Russia is only about 2,500 square kilometers — a much smaller area.

The colonies surrounding Moscow are simply buffer zones which provide a world-class defensive perimeter for most of the year. This perimeter has exhausted the armies of Napoleon and Hitler, and would probably inhibit the plans of more contemporary invaders — if there were any to be found.

A year ago, Vladimir Putin raised the banner of Peter the Great in order to expand Russia’s colonial territories to encompass all of Ukraine, through violent conquest. But the going has been a little slow for Russian armies, and Russian propaganda seems the most potent weapon that Moscow can wield, at the moment.

Logistics of the war in Ukraine

Not what Moscow expected

A stagnant front

Most of the Russian colonies are wastelands, either too dry, too cold, too remote, or too thinly inhabited to provide much of a living. But they serve as a buffer zone to keep most of the greediest outsiders outside of Moscow and its immediate surroundings.

From the 18th century onward, Moscow added most of its colonies to its east, Siberia and the Far East. In the 20th century Moscow added some western colonies and tributaries, but then lost most of them when the Warsaw Pact dissolved, and then later when the USSR collapsed.

Last year, Putin imagined himself as Peter the Great, and set out to retake some of the old colonies. But there is such a thing as “a colony too far.” Moscow can only support and defend so much territory in its depleted state. Putin’s calculations before invading Ukraine were badly done.

Empires have limited lifespans. Many different events can trigger the final cataclysm of decline, but imperial overreach in the face of decline is probably one of the most common. Russia was never that great, but for a long time it was able to convince the world that it was very large. Now that we know that Russia is only 2500 square kilometers rather than 17 million kilometers, the true dimensions of the country can be better apprehended.

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