Once in a while, when political and/or economic factors reveal themselves in a certain way, as we saw with the OSCE report regarding last August's war between Russia and Georgia, we get to see sober/accurate analysis by western sources about various topics of concern; in this case, Russia. I highly recommend this new BBC video report on Russia. Good job, BBC... for a change.

Arevordi


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Should we be Scared of Russia?

PANORAMA: Should we be Scared of Russia (part 1): http://ru.youtube.com/watch?v=BvnutD4WIYA
PANORAMA: Should we be Scared of Russia (part 2): http://ru.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z_xCO...eature=related
PANORAMA: Should we be Scared of Russia (part 3): http://ru.youtube.com/watch?v=toi6fa...eature=related

November, 2008

Panorama reporter Mark Franchetti investigates the growing gulf between Russa and the West The sight in August of old people and children cramming onto tractors and into carts to flee from Russian tanks has rekindled notions of Russia as aggressor and oppressor. The short war between Russia and Georgia began when Georgia invaded its Moscow-backed breakaway republic of South Ossetia last summer. Russian troops stationed there were killed and Russia retaliated by invading Georgia. Hundreds of deaths and widespread destruction followed and relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated to levels not seen since the Cold War. From the West's point of view, this looked like Russia flexing its muscles in Georgia, that the Kremlin is slipping back into its old expansionist ways, and is on the march again. Georgia was just the beginning, according to some in the West. Indeed, Britain's Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, has warned of the threat of a new Cold War. But Russia views everything entirely differently. Russia's new President, Dmitry Medvedev, says he does not want a new Cold War, but is not afraid of one either.

Russian psyche

So how concerned should we be? Could the current tensions really degenerate into a new Cold War or even violent confrontation? In Panorama: Should we be scared of Russia? Sunday Times Moscow correspondent Mark Franchetti tries to answer those questions. The key to understanding whether the former superpower really is a threat is understanding how its inhabitants see themselves now, years on from the collapse of the Soviet Union. In Should we be Scared of Russia? Franchetti seeks to uncover the current Russian mood -speaking to people living in the country's vibrant capital of Moscow, to its rural poor, and to ethnic Russians who, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, find themselves living outside of the motherland. And in doing finds that far from seeing themselves as aggressors, the majority of Russians say that in fact it is Russia which is under attack.

Nato flashpoint

Fuelling the idea of a Russia under siege is the belief that the West is trying to encircle the country, particularly through US plans for a European-based missile defence shield and the eastward expansion of Nato, which has seen both Georgia and Ukraine promised membership. Panorama travels to a flashpoint of Russian concern over Nato's eastward shift, the Crimean port city of Sevastopol - a little piece of Russia, sitting on the Ukrainian coast. Despite being in Ukraine, Sevastopol is still home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet and has been so for more than 200 years. But there is a problem - Russia only leases its base from the Ukrainian government and the lease runs out in 2017. Our reporter sees first-hand the tensions in the city, where the majority of the population view themselves as Russia - even if they lack Russian citizenship - and talks to Russian nationalists who say they will fight to keep the fleet in Crimea and Ukraine out of Nato. In Russia itself, Franchetti examines the changing face of Moscow, which has been transformed from a city of Soviet austerity to a place something more akin to Dallas - where Moscow's beautiful people go to see and be seen at glamorous parties, such as the one to celebrate the first Russian edition of the society magazine Tatler, to which Panorama was invited. But even there, where the guests are educated, sophisticated and travel abroad, people complain that the West doesn't understand Russia, a feeling which our reporter discovers goes all the way up to the highest echelons of power.

'Dignity returned'

Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister, Sergei Ivanov - a close associate of the man who is still the most powerful in Russia, Vladimir Putin - tells the programme that the West does not believe that Russia is a European country, sharing European moral, historic, religious values, sharing market economy principles: "If we disagree on this or that point, they say: 'Oh, Russia is a special country, it is still not European, it is an Asian country, we should not trust Russia'," Mr Ivanov says. And, as our reporter finds, nowhere is the gap of misunderstanding between Russia and the West more apparent than in their opposing views of president-turned-prime-minister Mr Putin. In the West, Mr Putin is vilified as a thuggish bully, surrounded by a cadre of fellow ex-KGB agents who, like him, have little concern for human rights. But, as Panorama finds, despite crushing opposition voices, cancelling regional elections and clamping down on the media, a staggering 90% of Russians approve of his leadership according to recent polls. In fact, most Russians wanted Mr Putin to change the constitution to stay on for a third term as president. According to Oscar-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov, a close friend of Mr Putin, the strongman's appeal lies in the fact that he has "given Russia her dignity back".

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programme...ma/7648564.stm

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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult for me because I had no assistance from anywhere. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside urged me to keep going; and I did. When Armenia joined the EEU and integrated into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago I finally felt a deep sense of relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my back. And when Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan reemerged in Armenian politics, I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back as I really needed the rest.

Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the internal urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal.

Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say anything if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however moderate the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what readers of this blog have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments. To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what. If you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or just attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself.

Please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Posts in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics. Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you for reading.