Moscow military analyst: Preparing for a war in 2025, Putin wants new Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to divide up Ukraine

PEACE A LA RUSSE: The red and blue arrows form a Russian word "МИР" meaning "peace" in this cartoon from a Russian newspaper. (Image: mk.ru)

PEACE A LA RUSSE: The red and blue arrows form a Russian word "МИР" meaning "peace" in this cartoon from a Russian newspaper. (Image: mk.ru) 

2015/07/26 • Analysis & Opinion, Military analysis, Russia, Ukraine

Vladimir Putin changed his public assessment of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which opened the way to World War II because he wants a new Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with the West to divide up Ukraine and give him time to prepare for a new world “resource war” at the end of the 2020s, according to Pavel Felgenhauer.

Felgenhauer, perhaps Russia’s leading independent military analyst, says that in Moscow today, there is still circulating the view that the West would be prepared to give up Ukraine in exchange for something else and that such a swap could serve Russia’s purposes because Moscow does not want Ukraine or even part of Ukraine to be part of the West.

Since at least February 2013, he continues, Russian military planners have been convinced that sometime “after 2025 or 2030,” there will be “a major world war” over resources and that Russia would be at risk because of its size and immense reserves of oil, gas, water and so on.

Pavel Felgengauer

Pavel Felgenhauer, Russian military analyst

Felgenhauer notes in an interview with Artem Dekhtyarenko of “Apostrophe” that [Secretary of the Security Council of Russia] Nikolay Patrushev raised those concerns to a higher level in his remarks last fall and that, over the objections of former finance minister Aleksey Kudrin, Moscow launched a multi-billion-ruble plan to rearm in preparation for that conflict.

According to the Kremlin authors of this plan, the analyst says, the Americans have been thinking about how to block it and they have supposedly chosen to put Ukraine in Russia’s way so that Moscow will have to spend money on a conflict there rather than invest in its larger and–from the American point of view–more threatening rearmament program.

Because that is how the Kremlin views the situation, Felgenhauer suggests, “there are no chances to speak even about the freezing of the conflict” there “because a freezing of the conflict would leave Ukraine in the West and that is unacceptable.”

Kremlin officials constantly say that Russia does not want to fight with NATO, but what they are really saying, the analyst argues, is that “we do not intend to fight now. We are preparing for 2025 or 2030.” Russia is not prepared to fight now, but it can be prepared to fight by then.

A view of the Russian entry point into the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea occupied by Russia in March 2014 (Image: Kommersant.ru)

A view of the Russian entry point into the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea occupied by Russia in March 2014 (Image: Kommersant.ru)

Russia is spending enormous sums on this program of rearmament, Felgenhauer says. It is cutting social program and the population is being impoverished, with “all efforts being thrown at military rearmament and–in the first case–nuclear rearmament in order to restrain the Americans.”

Russia today is “much weaker qualitatively and quantitatively” than NATO overall, but there are some places on “the eastern front” where it has certain advantages. Nonetheless, qualitatively [Russia] is not ready. I hope,” Felgenhauer says, “that is this is understood by everyone including in the Kremlin.”

Military exercises in Russia (Image: Gazeta.ru)

Military exercises in Russia (Image: Gazeta.ru)

Nonetheless, direct confrontation between Moscow and the West will likely continue to grow, he argues. And even if Moscow does not attack the Baltic countries – and Felgenhauer says the West would have defended them making any such attack unlikely – there are risks that an accident could trigger a war far sooner than the Kremlin wants.

Both sides are increasing military maneuvers, and the Russian side is flying its planes in a way that could lead to an accident that would trigger a crisis. Russian military planes are flying in places and without transponders as they did in the Cold War, but there are ten times as many civilian aircraft in those zones as 30 years ago – and that makes an accident more probable.

In other comments, Felgenhauer says that Russia’s turn to China is intended to address its needs for capital now that it cannot get that from the West, but Moscow and Beijing have a partnership not an alliance because they want different things and some of these things are incompatible.

Moreover, he reminds that NATO could take in Ukraine as a member even “without the Donbas and Crimea” because there is nothing in the NATO Charter that precludes that happening. At the same time, however, he points out that Article Five does not mean that NATO would necessarily go to war if one of its members were to be attacked.

And he suggests that while he has doubts that “Putin gave the order” to shoot down the Malaysian airliner, the Kremlin leader began lying about the true situation early and has made a decision to continue to lie even if that is not in his interests, just as US President Richard Nixon did at the time of Watergate.

Edited by: A. N.

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Murf

    Putin doesn’t understand that. He only sees it as weakness.
    He does not see how when you mobilize a society towards a goal, little can stand in their way.

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    I don’t think Dwarfstan will run out of gas soon- its proven gas reserves are huge. But it doesn’t have a monopoly, and it’s been alienating its customers. Lithuania has an LNG terminal near Klaipeda which entered service last year, and is now importing Norwegian gas. Currently the terminal handles about 25% of Lithuania’s annual consumption, but it has the capacity to handle about 90% of the consumption of all three Baltics. The first effect is that Gazprom, which made Lithuania pay through the nose, had to drop the price considerably or lose ALL sales to Vilnius. No doubt Riga and Tallinn will also want to make use of the terminal- less sales and less $$$ for Gazprom and the dwarf.
    Poland is applying the finishing touch to its terminal near Stettin. Guess where the gas that passes through that terminal will NOT be coming from. Again, NOT from Gazprom and again, less $$$ for Gazprom.
    Norway has taken over as the EU’s No. 1 gas supplier, which will hurt Dwarfstan’s economy even further in addition to the huge drop in oil and gas prices. And it will be several years before the gas will start flowing to China, as the pipelines don’t exist and have to be laid first. Peking has the dwarf’s “delicate parts” in a vice and it depends on Peking’s mood whether he will be singing alto, contralto or soprano.
    Even the Ukrainians are slowly reducing their dependency on the dwarf’s gas. The sooner Kyiv can tell the dwarf what he can do with his gas the better.

    • Nomid

      LOL… I hope they go for soprano

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        The dwarf wants to lay a second pipeline parallel to the first Nordstream line. It will be a complete waste of money- the current one can already handle the needs of Gazprom’s most important customer in the EU, Germany. But even Germany is becoming increasingly reluctant to depend on the dwarf’s gas and is set to diversify its supply. The line’s sole intended purpose is to make the Ukraine’s system unnecessary, just as Southstream was.
        The dwarf buying up large amounts of gold to boost his reserves has proved to be another waste of money. The gold price has gone down significantly recently, resulting in the dwarf’s gold reserves currently being worth the same as in 2012 when they were a lot smaller. He bought at the peak of the market, or close to it. Apparently he hasn’t heard of of the old wisdom “Buy when everybody’s selling, sell when everybody’s buying”. There is, of course, the possibility that the gold price will go up again.

    • Murf

      I always enjoy hearing about Putin’s travails.
      In addition Azerbaijan and Turkey are working on a pipeline that will bring Azer’s gas to Europe.
      And the US will be exporting gas with in two years. Most will end up in Asia were the price is higher but it will reduce the over all market price.
      As soon as the NUC deal goes through, Iran will be pumping out gas and oil as fast as possible.
      Also there is trouble in paradise. China is backing out of the gas deal because Australian gas is cheaper and immediately available.
      I love how trolls talk about what a great leader Putin is when he is in fact fuking up by the numbers.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        It’s 100% certain that Estonia and Latvia will also be making use of the Lithuanian LNG terminal. Next year a gas pipeline, currently under construction, will interconnect all three Baltics. Gazprom will be forced to cut its price for E & L as well, even if they don’t make use of the connection, which is highly unlikely. Either way, less $$$ for Gazprom, for the dwarf’s private bank accounts and for Dwarfstan’s treasury. Even though the Baltics are minor customers, it still means ouch!- at a time when Dwarfstan’s economy is going down the drain, slowly but surely.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        China has postponed the construction of the gas pipeline from Dwarfstan until further notice because of the current Chinese economic turmoil. It could be a tactic to extort- er, negotiate I mean- an even lower price from the dwarf, which was already too low for the dwarf to make any kind of profit according to enegry experts.
        Peking doen’t really need the dwarf’s gas to begin with and will now require less gas overall, so the dwarf will have to come up with a really good offer- good for Peking, that is, but bad for the dwarf. Oh well, he can always sell parts of Dwarfstan to Peking if he needs cash.

        • Murf

          He has burned up what little good will he had with that no vote at the UNSC.
          Some experts are predicting oil at 35-40.
          So whats Putin going to cut from the budget this year?

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            He and his fellow crooks can steal less of the oil and gas money- highly unlikely, I admit. Which leaves slashing the state budget. Defence and the security services won’t get less, so that leaves “unimportant” things such as health care, education, infrastructure to take another hammering. He could also decide to give Kadyrov less, cut funding to his protectorates Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and the Crimea. The LNR and DNR won’t get anything- not that they are getting much apart from guns and ammo.
            If things get really tough he can always sell the Kuriles to Tokyo or parts of the Far East to Peking- the Chinese will grab it for nothing in 5 years or so anyway, might as well get some cash for what will otherwise be lost with nothing to show for it. And there are always the pensioners, until now his biggest supporters, to squeeze. Who cares about popularity in a dictatorship? He can always blame the evil degenerate gay west for his and Dwarfstan’s woes. Tsar Vladimir the not so Great is always right….. isn’t he???

          • Murf

            Well yeah! Of course he is all ways right!
            This whole “wreck the economy” thing was all apart of his master plan to lull the wast into a false sense of safety so he could catch us off guard.
            (Seriously. I had a troll tell me that once. )
            I read he is cutting the gov employees by 100k.
            The puppets will be cut loose next.
            I wonder how many women are not going to get a mammogram and die of cancer?
            All so Vlad gets his war toys.