Asked about Russia’s intervention in Ukraine at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last month, President Vladimir V. Putin spoke bitterly of America and Europe. “They have pushed us back to the line beyond which we can’t retreat,” he said.
This was more than a political blame game. His answer revealed both a concerted anti-Western strategy, in which the West is seen as the enemy, and also a policy of brinkmanship. The implicit message was that if the West acted in a manner not to the Kremlin’s liking, that could prompt an ultimate response, maybe even a nuclear one.
In April, after speaking to people close to Mr.… Seguir leyendo »
Last week, opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed near the Kremlin. Independent commentators, politicians and the thousands who took to the streets of Moscow and other Russian cities in protest on Sunday hold no illusions as to the motive behind his shooting. Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader of the Yabloko party and a veteran of the pro-democracy movement, said: “The political responsibility for the murder lies with the regime and personally with President Putin — all those who started and waged the war [in Ukraine] along with the hate propaganda.” The columnist and radio host Yulia Latynina said: “We have entered a new era — the era of physical annihilation of political opponents of the regime.”
Yes, this murder is an important demarcation in the degradation of politics of Russia, which are linked organically to Russia’s foreign policy.… Seguir leyendo »