Russia shows West it’s still a Superpower

1,500 dead as Russian troops raid Georgian town – Europe, World – The Independent

Russia sent hundreds of tanks and troops into the separatist province of South Ossetia and bombed Georgian towns today in a major escalation of the conflict that has left scores of civilians dead and wounded.

Russia has been waiting for this moment for a long time. The West was given an indication of it’s belligerence a little over a year ago when Russia cut off the gas supplies to its neighbours Georgia and Ukraine and then doubled the price to have it turned back on.

I am sure that the real point of this wasn’t to scare the Georgians, or even to extort more money from them, but to show Europe just what Russia was prepared to do, if it thought that it had reason to.

After the end of the Cold War, Russia was weak, it couldn’t hold the nations that once formed the USSR together and it attempted to draw the line in Chechnya but was unable to keep the region as part of Russia, at least at first. By 1999 things were different, Russia was stronger and Chechnya was brought into line.

After Chechnya, it seems a re-invigorated Russia may now be turning it’s attention further south, to Georgia.

Russia has been attempting to reassert itself on the world stage in recent years, the money from gas and oil has made sure that it’s once threadbare and unpaid army is once again one of the best in the world. It has also demonstrated that it is not afraid to project its influence outside its own border, even making assassinations, just like the old days.

It was only a matter of time before it stopped taking the slights from its former colonies, who have been moving closer and closer to the West, and further away from Russia. Cutting off of the gas was just one part of this.

Where once there would have been condemnation, threats of aid cuts and the like, now there is only silence. Europe won’t speak out, it cannot threaten Russia and it certainly cannot confront Russia militarily, even if the tanks were to start moving West.

Europe buys most of its oil and gas from Russia, if Russia were to turn off the tap, Europe would be crippled. Russia has, quite literally, got Europe by the short and curlies.

As for the war in Georgia, it cannot really even be called a war. Georgia has a standing army of 37,000 men, with a reserve of about 100,000. Russia has about 400,000 men but very deep pockets, with 2.5 million men available for military service.

Georgia has about 250 tanks, Russia could send just 1 out of every 100 of its tanks into Georgia, and still outnumber the Georgians.

Most modern wars are won in the air; Georgia has about 70 aircraft in its air force, Russia again has over 100 times that number.

This is quite literally a walk in the park for Russia, Georgia can only put up a resistant for so long, before it will be forced to surrender and take whatever terms Russia dictates.

The Georgian appeals for aid from the West have fallen on deaf ears, no one wants to, nor can they afford to get involved. The US is bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan and Russia knows that any threats from America would be empty. Europe cannot afford to antagonise Russia too much because of the energy problems.

It seems that now Georgia will have to give up its aspirations of joining NATO and the EU, if not its independence.

But Georgia is surely just a stepping stone for a resurgent Russia, it now has the military might, the support of the Russian public, and a lack of world opposition, to basically do as it pleases and turn the tide of its declining power and influence. Russian leaders must already be eyeing that other troublesome neighbour, that too harbours ambitions of joining NATO and the EU, Ukraine.

Although a different proposition (the Ukraine has a standing army of 300,000 men, 4000 tanks and 2000 aircraft), Ukraine may too be forced to move closer to Russia, to avoid any problems.

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4 responses to “Russia shows West it’s still a Superpower

  1. Russia is a Superpower again. This NATO expansion in post Soviet countries is a direct violation again Russia when the US former president Ronald Reagan promised Russia back in 1989, that they would not allow NATO membership to post Soviet countries and that agreement has been clearly violated by the US & NATO and Bilderberg.

    I support Russia and if it needs to overthrow George & Ukraine (widely higher Russian anyway) of putting NATO in Russia’s backyard, I praise Russia to go in and take them out and over throw these countries to say to the world, that the this private iron curtin called NATO will not invade anymore post soviet union countries. NATO is a threat and people don’t understand what NATO is doing and how they threaten & lie to countries. Google Bilderberg & NATO and find out the new cold war of the West is doing.

    Russia is a Superpower again, ref link here:
    http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?id=768929

  2. Thank you for the comment Scott.

    While I agree about NATO’s expansion being not only unjustified, but also pointless, I cannot agree that Russia should now be able to retake all parts of the old Soviet Empire.

    Would it be OK if Britain were to decide to re-include parts of the old Empire, destroying their Governments and installing puppets, simply because they felt wronged elsewhere?

    NATO is a strange one, it’s whole purpose was to stand as a counterpoint to the USSR, and it is no longer needed. Russia, whilst strong is not the USSR and the EU alone is more than an economic and military match, as is China and the US.

    NATO no longer even functions, just look at France and Germany’s (as well as others) contributions in Afghanistan and has become a pointless club.

    I also have some sympathy for Russia, they were treated shoddily after the end of the Cold War and have been largely marginalised. The status of ‘Superpower’ in my view is a little irrelevant and pointless, and just seems to be a superfluous moniker. For me Russia never lost the superpower status, the West and particularly the US just stopped referring to Russia as one. That said these days, I don’t think that there really are any true superpowers.

    Russia has a right to be annoyed that NATO (which was an organisation set up to counter them) is being extended to their borders, I don’t like the idea of that myself, after all where will it end? China in NATO? What if Russia asked to join?

    Despite this sympathy I don’t believe that Russia, which has become an autocratic state, has any cause to invade a free and democratic nation.

    As for Bilderberg, I do find it strange that these people meet in such a way and I think that it shouldn’t be allowed, if these powerful people need to hold seminars they should be open and in an official capacity, not in secret. That said I don’t think that they form some sort of conspiracy, they are just corrupt.

    I once saw Ken Clarke entering the Bilderberg conference, so clearly the Bilderberg Group are not all powerful.

  3. I don’t think it is parts of the Soviet countries back but what Russia’s wealth can do for other countries what NATO & EU can’t do or hasn’t done. Georgia had more money under the old Soviet system than it does now. If they were a NATO member, they would have give money money to the US for miltary expenses to sell them weapons. The US is in NATO for the money and NATO can’t help Georgia even if they were a member, France, Germany, Sweden & Italy are backing down against Russia. There is no question that Russia is a superpower again but the issue now is, to teach the US & NATO a lesson did expanding when this was not the agreement under former president Ronald Reagan to Russia.

  4. I think that the lesson here is not to underestimate Russia. Despite all the posturing and the threats, there is nothing that the West can do. If Russian tanks roll into the Georgian capital, all the West will be able to send is condemnation, and hope that the tanks don’t start heading West.

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