Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Would-Be Bully-Boys of Russia Are Feeling Nostalgic Toward the Soviet Past

Russia is facing several critical problems, that will only get worse if Russian leaders fail to acknowledge the massive mistakes of the Soviet past.
The current battles between Russia and Estonia (concerning the reburial of Soviet soldiers' remains) have much wider significance than just being one more spat between Russia and its former vassals.

The roots of this clash go much deeper than the gas wars against Ukraine (and then Belarus), than the war of wines against Georgia, and deeper even than Russia's struggle against the deployment of US missile defence elements in Eastern Europe.

The fundamental cause of this conflict lies in the main unsolved issue of modern Russia: the denial by the Kremlin, and by President Vladimir Putin, of the Soviet regime's criminal nature.

Not only was the Soviet Union a criminal state, it was a hopelessly failed criminal state. The fact that Putin and his cronies seem to want to re-live the "glory days" of the USSR, suggests that they have learned nothing from the past.

If that is true, it may be necessary to pull out a page from over a generation ago, and begin to play China against Russia once again. Given the huge problem that Russia has with Chinese immigration to Eastern Siberia, that may not be too difficult.

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