Most Russian citizens, unlike the family of Boris Yeltsin and their friends, lost out on the national lottery of privatisation. They viewed the share certificates issued by the industries that employed them as valueless and promptly sold them for a handful of roubles. These were scooped up en masse by the Russian oligarchs of the … Continue reading More Bad News for Mr Putin
All too often in history Great Powers waste money and men for far too long before they are finally forced to concede defeat in a troublesome area of the world that wiser minds warned them to keep away from. Somehow, if they can just get themselves to walk away, they will see that life can … Continue reading Unforeseen Consequences
The Russian press continues to discuss the surprise attack on the Russian air base in Syria at Hmeimim that occurred on New Year's Eve. When Kommersant, on the basis of authoritative sources, originally reported the event as not only entirely unanticipated but also highly destructive of men and machines, a vigorous rebuttal as to the … Continue reading The Attack on Russia’s Air Base in Syria
Plunging into the bloody quagmire of Syria was certainly much easier than getting out, and although Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was leaving Syria to its own devices and was withdrawing its forces, declaratory policy and operational policy never matched up. This much is evident not just because Russia has reinforced its air and naval … Continue reading Putin’s Dilemma in Syria Sharpens
Interviewed by the chief editor of Komsomolskaya Pravda, Vladimir Putin showed no interest in making any concessions to resolve outstanding international issues. He congratulated Kim, North Korea's dictator, on winning the game in attaining a strategic nuclear capability. He refused to concede that Russia had interfered in the US elections in 2016. He bitched about … Continue reading Putin Disinclined to Make Concessions Before Elections
While President Trump was welcoming the bloody demonstrations on the streets of Iran, the Russian press remained vociferously silent. This is scarcely surprising. The New Year does not look so welcoming. A key piece on the geopolitical chessboard in the Kremlin is in danger of being lost: the Islamic bishop. Moscow has stuck its neck … Continue reading Is This the Beginning of an Iranian Revolution?
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992, and more urgently since President Putin came to office in 1999, the issue in international relations was how to make what had now become a unipolar world dominated by hostile American interests and preferences into a multipolar world. While Boris Yeltsin was in charge this was … Continue reading The Endless and Frustrating Attempts to Outflank American Power