Criminally insane, mad, off the rails, and in the manner of the Malignant Narcissist and Thug in Charge, Russia has lost all sense of boundaries and limits. Putin’s Russian Circle of Thieves has taken from the Russian People their dignity, economy, freedom, and security; it has marched into battle enslaved conscripts and either criminal or leveraged (both) officers.
I’ve made the case on this blog that the “end of the Cold War” became in its underlying reality a struggle for revenge on the west for the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan (shorthand: “’89”) and the dissolving of the Soviet Union in bankruptcy (“’91”). We are now about 30 years out (1992-2022) from Vladimir Putin’s most traumatic political memory (the fall of the SU) and very near direct war against what has become a politically absolute, criminal, and rogue state held in the grip of real mafia and political thugs.
How Close the Prospect of War with Russia?
How Free are the Russian People Under Putin?
Might There Be Some Practical Motivation for Russia’s Conquest by the Destruction of Ukraine?
Amelin, Anatoliy, Andrian Prokip, and Andreas Umland. “The Forgotten Potential of Ukraine’s Energy Reserves.” Harvard International Review, October 10, 2020.
Excluding Russia’s gas reserves in Asia, Ukraine today holds the second biggest known gas reserves in Europe. As of late 2019, known Ukrainian reserves amounted to 1.09 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, second only to Norway’s known resources of 1.53 trillion cubic meters. Yet, these enormous reserves of energy remain largely untapped. Today, Ukraine has a low annual reserve usage rate of about 2 percent. Moreover, more active exploration may yield previously undiscovered gas fields, which would further increase the overall volume of Ukraine’s deposits.
A Note on the End of the Cold War and Russia’s Persistent Imperial Vanity
I’ve no idea what CIA, GHCQ, NSA, et al. have been doing, but I’ve cause to believe I’ve both found and uncovered The Dots, fuzzy and large though they may be. Here they are:
.Felix Dzerzhinsky, born September 11, 1877
.Dawisha (RIP) Soviet Nomenklatura Transition Plan
.Zawahiri in Russia, ’96-7
.Satter on Moscow Apartment Bombings
.9/11 Reflexive Control->New Nationalism EU/NATO
.Sustained Active Measures | Russian Mafia State | Syrian Barbarism | Trump Ascendancy
.Ukraine, 2014 Crimean Annexation, Invasion 2022
Circumstantial? Coincidental? Disconnected?
I don’t think so.
I suspect one or more Soviet Era KGB found themselves driving cabs early in 1992 and determined to get themselves back into business inside the state (watch Nekrasov’s documentary).
Motivating Zawahiri to team up with Osama Bin Laden to work on fireworks for 9/11?
Addressing Islamic Extremism (and Osama Bin Laden) may have been something Moscow and Washington thought they might work on together.
Wishing not to repeat myself nor dull the reading with definitions (“Active Measures”, “Destabilization Operations”, “Hybrid Warfare”, etc.), it may do to stop here but with the observation that Russia’s barbaric behavior in Syria starting in 2011 may have also set the stage not only for the invasion of Ukraine but added emphasis to its various nuclear-related civilizational, existential, and political threats: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has no conscience.
Regarding the term “Mafia State” as applied to Russia
Galeotti, Mark. “Gangster’s paradise: how organised crime took over Russia.” The Guardian, March 23, 2018.
McIlvenna-Davis, Dylan. “Gangs and Gulags: How Vladimir Putin Utilizes Organized Crime to Power his Mafia State.” Berkeley Political Review, December 16, 2019.
These newly established enforcers formed the seedy underbelly of Russian society that expanded upon the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the move towards free-market practices. Since his rise, Vladimir Putin has incentivized gangsters to do his bidding in a new way. Rather than overt collusion, the Russian government, as ABC puts it, “make[s] its views known” and allows gangs to operate within the guidelines set forward by Putin.
As the European Council on Foreign Relations notes, more and more crime networks tangentially linked to Russian actors have appeared all over Europe. Multiple politically convenient assassinations or assassination attempts have been made on anti-Russia figures by gang members who have been accused of being Russian assets. The Russian government, via the Russian mafia, has dabbled in ventures ranging from hacking to money laundering.
Nevzlin, Leonid. “The Result of 20 Years of Putin: Russia as a Mafia State.” Institute of Modern Russia, January 24, 2020.
The west handled the “end of the Cold War” as if the key elements in “east-west rivalry” had been resolved and returns to the previous state of affairs could be dulled through cooperation, peace, and prosperity.
As much has proven over time an horrendous goof however noble the intents.
Regarding Russia’s “help” with the “War on Terror”: Rowlett, Justin. “Russia ‘arming the Afghan Taliban’, says US.” BBC, March 23, 2018; Maynes, Charles. “The Russian Embassy in Kabul Is Now Under Protection of the Taliban.” NPR, August 16, 2021.
The West–EU/NATO–has been “played” by Moscow.
Putin & Co.’s Russia presents as nothing less than a most barbaric, criminal, and self-centered enterprise bent, enthralled, and maddened by its own destructive capability, narcissistic paranoia (see “Paranoid Delusional Narcissistic Reflection of Motivation”) and grandiose messianic delusions.
This with Russia’s criminal political enterprise persistent through Putin more from the Bolshevik camp than the Romanov will end in Russia internally–or from without but with consideration for The Russians en masse and for the world’s Modern International Standards in cultural comportment, development, integration, law, technology, and trade, all of which Putin & Co. have chosen to degrade and destroy without putting up anything at all that could be called Good.