The Munich Security Conference’s report cannot afford to overlook the premiere enemy of anything “West” in the world – Russia.
In the report, Russia is called with a “cute pet name” – “Putemkin’s State.” Quite the apt name, since Grigory Potemkin was a favourite of Catherine the Great and was one of the main negotiations of the Treaty of Jassy, between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, after which Moscow consolidated its power in the Black Sea. Quite showing, and admitting of Russia’s recent victories in most, if not all areas.
According to the report, Russia’s “hand is weak” but it plays it well, scoring several diplomatic victories in 2019, in comparison to the US’ several diplomatic fiascos.
“Despite no substantial change in the Kremlin’s foreign policy, the past year saw Russia’s readmission into the Council of Europe, a NATO member state receiving the Russian-built S-400 air-defense system, and the cementation of Moscow’s “status as a power broker in the Middle East.” Most significantly, however, it featured a “diplomatic overture” by French President Emmanuel Macron, who urged Europeans to “rethink the fundamentals” of their relations with Russia.”
Thus, Russia hasn’t become more assertive, or anything of the sort, but somehow, some way its foreign policy is winning. How that is possible is very clear: by not attempting to strongarm its traditional allies into submitting to its will, more than anything.
Naturally, the Baltic States are opposed to any improvement in relations with Russia, and primarily Poland as Washington’s leading proxy state in Europe, but Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania aren’t falling far behind.
How much the general public believes that Russia actually carried out killings of individuals with known ties to terrorists, or simply people who were “former” terrorists in Germany, France and so on remains unknown. Since, it is primarily established as fact by the Western establishment, based on an entire lack of evidence. But that’s also what Russia’s “assassins and spies” would do – leave no trace, which, naturally is proof in and of itself.
But since Russia’s improvement in relations with the West is in a somewhat stagnated state, at least according to the report, it is reaching other world regions, such as Africa, and even the US’ backyard – South America.
Improvement in trade and cooperation between Russia and China also needs no further elaboration.
Internally, Russian President Vladimir Putin is undergoing a crisis of power.
“In light of ongoing economic stagnation, no growth in disposable incomes, and a highly unpopular pension reform, support for Putin has plummeted. These developments and the government reshuffle of early 2020 suggest that the domestic foundations for Russia’s global power projection may slowly be wearing thin. Moscow has long been punching well above its weight. In 2019, however, it still landed numerous hits.”
In September, in response to protests the “Moscow regime” carried out “mass arrests” and that’s as much as the report provides as insight into that “heavy repression” that was carried out. It doesn’t really matter what happened, if they were released, sentenced to anything, or what they were doing when arrested, it’s just that “the regime” snuffed their voices.
As a showing for how much trust is vanishing in the Russia leadership, the graphs presented in the article show that many young people would potentially like to permanently relocate to another country, as well as the declining trust in various institutions, such as the president, the army, security forces, mass media and NGOs.
The numbers can be seen below:
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