Today's international isolation of Russia is due to, among other things, the policy of economic sanctions launched back in 2014 by the United States, the European Union, and later joined by other NATO Allies and Council of Europe member states as forced action in response to Russia's meddling in Ukraine and violation of the latter's territorial integrity, including through temporary occupation of Crimea and launching hostilities in the country's east.
After break-up of the Soviet Union, Ukraine and Russia each inherited a variety of military technologies of that period. Over the years, Ukraine's defense sector companies expressly aimed worked towards seeking of further development, in pursuit of Western-level technologies. Conversely, Russia chose not to follow the path of the modern world, keeping its focus on the easiest, which is discrediting competitors through intelligence masterminds and their foreign contacts across the world's map.
Russia has now found itself in a rather difficult situation: western sanctions and an raging pandemic are increasingly undermining their already vulnerable economy, sowing in the minds of ordinary Russians a "seed of doubt" about the effectiveness and stability of Putin's rule. This cannot but terrify the Russian president and his clique, so Kremlin propaganda pundits and intelligence agencies opted for what they believe would be a "win-win game". They are now trying to make things look like Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 has achieved global dominance, while working to compromise Western big pharma competitors.
Origin, alas, is not always a guarantee of virtue. All are the subject to temptations. This is well known in Europe. Christian folk apocrypha about some poor charcoal burner Peter Munch who sold his heart to the «prince of this world» for huge fortunes and, in the end, receives retribution, proves it. The seducer has many hypostases. In modern Europe, these are Russian officials, special services and propagandists (mistakenly called journalists). They seek out the poor in spirit and tempt them with money, success, and exclusiveness. As the saying goes, trouble begins with small mistakes. The seduced, and the one who successfully sold himself, no longer cares about whether the recruiter has encouraged him to do the right thing, or he is helping an archenemy who dreams of those times when Moscow will again get a grip on those who used to tremble before them. And, of course, it doesn’t matter whether he deceives the world or slandered innocent souls...
Ukraine’s security and intelligence services have struggled with reputational issues ever since independence. During the early post-Soviet period, the Security Services and Foreign Intelligence Service operated with much the same mentality as the KGB during the Cold War, with the West seen as the main adversary. However, this has long since ceased to be the case. In the years following the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution, an overdue Ukrainianization process has taken place within the country’s intelligence services. This transformation was on display recently when the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine unveiled the 74-page “White Book 2021” analyzing current international threats to Ukrainian security.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on January 25-28 will hold the first part of this year's regular session in a hybrid format, allowing delegates to participate both via video link and by attending the Strasbourg event in person.
Tragic history is known to repeat itself. The first time it's pure tragedy, and the second – it's also a farce. However, as we already saw in 2014, farce can also turn out to be bloody. Today, the number of parallel lines between modern Russia's foreign policy and that of the Third Reich is staggering and thus frightening. Some other right-wing radical regimes in Europe try not to lag behind Russia's Putinists, having also decided to start "getting up from their knees" and revisit the roots of the "soil and blood" ideology, which laid the foundation of Nazism). In doing so, they look at the experience of their predecessors, the accomplices of Nazi criminals who could be found in any European country.
Russia is constantly trying to manipulate various international platforms and formats to spread its propaganda. December 2, 2020, the Russian Federation tried to use the Arria-formula meeting of the UN Security Council members to legitimize representatives of the “LPR/DPR” militants, invited by Russia as a third party to express their opinion. Representatives of the so-called DPR and LPR — N. Nikonorova and V. Deinego — for the first time at a meeting of the UN Security Council were going to report on the subject: “Implementation of the 2015 Minsk Package of Measures on the settlement in Ukraine: a year since Paris “Normandie” Summit”. Some kind of the Kremlin’s attempt to impose direct negotiations between the militants and Ukraine on the eve of the 2019 Paris Summit in the Normandy format.
Agresywna polityka Rosji na arenie międzynarodowej polegająca na eksportowaniu wpływów geopolitycznych z regionu na region jest jednym z największych wyzwań stojących przed demokratycznym światem. Afryka Północna i Środkowa, Bliski Wschód, Kaukaz i Arktyka to tylko niektóre z wielu regionów, w których Rosja (choć nie zawsze z powodzeniem) próbuje ustalić agendę. Europa Wschodnia, ze względu na swoje znaczenie strategiczne, geograficzne i historyczne, jest dla Rosji najważniejszym regionem, w którym utrata wpływów wywoła „efekt domina” we wszystkich zewnętrznych ofensywach Kremla.
W tym tygodniu przestrzeń informacyjna Rosji (i nie tylko) została wysadzona w powietrze przez nowe dane o życiu osobistym Putina. Pomimo tego, że doczekali się szerokiej dyskusji, szereg pytań pozostało bez odpowiedzi - kto na tym skorzysta, dokąd to prowadzi i jakie będą konsekwencje. To, co dzieje się dzisiaj, rok temu było po prostu niemożliwe. Informacje o życiu osobistym prezydenta oraz jego zdrowiu są szczególnie chronione. Ale systemowy kryzys zarządzania w Rosji, który spowodował gospodarczy i społeczny, zerwał wszystkie tajne zasłony, pokazał sednu problemów, ujawnił kłamstwa i korupcję.
Moscow has been making every effort to legitimize the annexation of Crimea for several years. Varieties of methods are used. For example, dubious structures like “Friends of Crimea” are being created (it promotes the idea of some “Russian realities on the Peninsula,” I wonder which exactly - the lack of water, the ecological disaster caused by sulfuric acid air pollution in Armyansk or the garbage pyramids?). These are some “public tribunals” (once created for terrorist purposes, but were plundered). These are the voyages of European politicians (bought by Russia, by the way, relatively inexpensively) to the territory of the occupied Peninsula.
Russia has been losing its grip on the former Soviet republics it aims to bring under the Kremlin’s sphere of influence. Recent crises in Belarus, Central Asia, and the Caucasus region have made it difficult for President Vladimir Putin’s image as a master tactician of global power.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the main focus in his address will be on the global challenge the COVID-19 is posing. At the same time, he will remain silent on Russia having become another major challenge to the international community in the time of crisis. While the whole world is fighting the pandemic, Moscow tried to push through the UN General Assembly its version of the Declaration of Solidarity in the face of the challenges posed by COVID-19, where the idea of lifting international sanctions off itself and its satellites was on among high-profile theses. Thus, from the UN rostrum, the Russian Federation tried to spread the narrative that, in the face of a common deadly threat, the West should forget about sanctions and turn a blind eye to Russian aggression against Ukraine, forget about the problems of Donbas and Crimea, and unite with the Kremlin. And if not, then it's the U.S. and EU who will be responsible for new corona victims.
On September 8, Russian defense chief Sergei Shoigu chaired a conference call with the Russian defense ministry leadership. Media said the minister focused on the upcoming international large-scale Caucasus-2020 military-strategic exercises, set to be held in the Southern Military District, on the territory of Chechnya, Dagestan and North Ossetia starting September 21. He also touched upon athletic records set at ARMI-2020 international games.
US relations with Russia have plummeted nearly to Cold War levels and a series of latest events and accusations have come as a stark reminder of the Russian state’s assertive actions abroad, from military operations in the Middle East to alleged election-meddling in the West. The US officials are closely watching Russia’s actions to prepare the right response which will likely make it even harder to repair Russia’s frayed ties with America. On July 9th, following reports of Russian bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan, Congressman Max Rose introduced the Stopping Malign Actions from Russian Terrorism (SMART) Act with Congresswoman Kendra Horn of Oklahoma to require the US Department of State to determine if the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.