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Question to Russian comrades about Russian-Western relations

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Soviet cogitations: 49
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Apr 2008, 18:47
Post 27 Aug 2008, 12:06
I have a question for all Russian comrades on this forum about the current events in Georgia and with that missile defence shield in Poland.
Many western propaganda newssources claim Russia is trying to make all these regions like South-Ossetia independent so they can be used as "satellite-states". These newssources also claim Russia wants to start World War 3 and would start by doing the same they did in Georgia in Ukraine and Moldavia.

In other words, they're saying Russia wouldn't be afraid to go to war against Europe and America.
Do you believe this is true? I highly doubt Russia would attack an economic partner as Europe to be honest, but I wanted Russian opinions. Do you think there is a chance the Russians will see Europeans as enemies?

Secondly there is that stupid American defense shield that the Polish agred to install on their terrirory. I highly oppose that shield. It shows what kind of paranoid war mongers the US Government is (I'm accusing the US government here, not the American people!) A new cold war would be the biggest dream of Bush and his friends: it boosts thir stinky arms mutlinationals and like all purely capitalist governments: money and profit are so important that theyd sacrifice peace and friendships for it.
I feel like the Polish Government betrayed Europe by agreeing to install that shield. Most Europeans don't want that shield in here.

What are your opinions? I'm really curious to hear the point of view of Russian comrades.
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Soviet cogitations: 4445
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 27 Aug 2008, 19:54
First, let me say that Russia is no angel -look at Chechnya and you'll see there are parallels between what happened there and what Saakashvili tried to do. Nevertheless if you set that aside for the moment, in this case, according to both international law and to the moral case for humanitarian intervention Russia did the right thing. The fact that Russian forces didn't move all the way to Tblisi and remove the Saakashvili government shows the restraint with which they have handled themselves. As to their recognition of these regions as independent (probably to vote be assimilated into Russia, which at least in the case of South Ossetia is extremely likely), the precedent has already been set with Kosovo, so the West really destroyed its own legal case there. There is no way that after such an adventure on the part of Saakashvili that Russia was just going to allow the situation to return to the status quo -that would just be an invitation for him to try it again.

In the cases of Moldavia and Ukraine, Russia is effectively playing its cards. People may look at what's happening in the Crimea, where Russian passports are allegedly being given out, similarly to what happened in the Georgian breakaways in the 1990s, and think Russia is getting ready to cause trouble. Personally I think it's a smart move, with some legitimate historical and political reasoning. Firstly, the Ukrainian government is trying to change the conditions on the lease agreement signed in the 1990s which would effectively impinge on the ability of Russian ships to freely move in and out of the base. Secondly, the Crimea is historically a part of Russia, given to the Ukraine by Khrushchev, and which is populated in the majority by Russians. In the 1990s they did threaten to secede, though at that time Russia rejected their claim and failed to support them, hoping to maintain good relations with the Ukrainian government. So now we have this Russian enclave situated in an area of high strategic importance, which is pro-Russian and ready to fight for independence and/or to join Russia if need be. This sends a clear message to the Ukrainian government that a) Russia will not allow NATO, which Yushchenko desperately wants to join, to reach a strategic position similar to where Russia found itself in the worst days of the Second World War, and b) unilateral Ukrainian alterations to the Crimean base agreement treaty is not only unacceptable, but Russia is actually capable of doing something about it. The Russian government hopes that this warning/threat will deter Yushchenko government from further provocations.
What Russia has been doing in these cases is to try to establish and/or maintain its sphere of influence, a concept which the West has made rather clear is somehow unacceptable (making of them great hypocrites as many comrades here will probably agree).

As to the idea that this may lead to a Cold War (I assume you mean that as of course all out-war today seems an impossibility due to the existence of nuclear weapons), it certainly wouldn't be in Russia's interests. The Cold War which already happened historically, though perhaps inevitable, was not in the USSR's interests either, and the Russia of today, which is significantly weaker, has far greater ties with the West in business, and is not in any ideological competition, would be insane to want a new period of extremely cool relations. Perhaps though, considering geopolitical competition and the aforementioned debate about spheres of influence, a new Cold War maybe just as inevitable as the old. I don't think Russians view Europeans as enemies. In fact in the post-Soviet world, and even in the last years of the Soviet era many Russians, including much of the leadership sought to 'join the European civilization' and to live in peace and cooperation (as naive and vague as that sounds).

As to the missile shield, you are entirely correct. A new Cold War for the arms manufacturers or the so called military industrial complex would be great. I've seen and read about old American Cold War analysts being brought out of storage in the media foaming at the mouth and getting huge hardons just thinking about the prospect of a resurgent 'bad guy Russia', and unfortunately the Russian military industrial complex seems just as happy thinking about how much money they can make in this new period of tensions. As to Poland's 'betrayal' -I think it's their people that the government betrayed first, as the majority, as far as I'm aware, has always been against the shield. I wonder if the Georgian conflict, and the Polish media's presentation of it (if it's been anything like it has in the US and Canada, which I assume was either of equal or greater ferocity towards Russia) finally tipped the scales, or perhaps gave the government a 'justification' to quickly wrap up the deal.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Soviet cogitations: 5154
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2007, 06:31
Post 27 Aug 2008, 22:14
I think it's their people that the government betrayed first, as the majority, as far as I'm aware, has always been against the shield.

What are you basing this on?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Aug 2008, 01:49
Post 28 Aug 2008, 12:51
I've heard that as well. A few Poles (around 3 haha) told me most Poles don't support it at all.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Post 29 Aug 2008, 01:13
The other issue of course is that NATO is collapsing at this rate and becoming a popular pan-European talk show. So the "threat" of a resurgent Russia is practically the only way to re-unify NATO.
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