‘In Russia today, I see a country preparing for a major war,’ Pastukhov says

The Russian Army. Photo: social networks.

The Russian Army. Photo: social networks.  

International, More

Russia today, Vladimir Pastukhov says, is “a country preparing for a major war,” because Vladimir Putin understands that the policies of bluff and bluster he has used with effect in Georgia and Ukraine will at some point not sustain his goals because the world will come to understand both what he is about and what Russia’s real power position is.

In an extensive interview for Ekho Moskvy’s “Personally Yours” program yesterday, Pastukhov, a London-based political analyst, says that Russia today, “unfortunately,” is “situated on the periphery of the main trends of the development of humanity” and is unprepared to accept what that means.

“Russia today is much weaker above all in military affairs,” Pastukhov continues. And the situation is going to get worse. At the scientific-technical level, “humanity is moving forward by gigantic steps and some kind of new arms systems are going to come online in the near future.” Putin is leading others to devote more resources in that direction by his “bold behavior.”

“Over the last 20 years,” the analyst says, he “has made quite a lot of predictions. Practically not a single good one has occurred, while all the bad ones have.” That makes what he sees in Putin’s Russia now especially disturbing because it is difficult to see how it will not lead the world to a major war.

There is ever greater danger that the situation in the world will get out of control, with one or both sides misreading the actions of the other and miscalculating.

“I can assuredly say only one thing,” Pastukhov continues. “I see a country which is preparing for a major war.” That is the only possible explanation for Putin’s pension reforms: he needs money for arms.

“Wars begin,” he points out, “not because someone doesn’t sympathize with someone else. Wars begin because there arise contradictions in relations between states which cannot be resolved by other means.” Right now, “the irresolvable contradiction is the growing imperial ambitions of Russia” and the desire of the rest of the world to live differently.

For Russia, Pastukhov argues, “today’s wars are profoundly imperialistic ones. These are wars of the 19th century model. Russia seeks to maintain at any price its direct (not indirect) imperial influence on the territory which it considers to be its from time immemorial – the territory of the former USSR and in part Eastern Europe.”

No other civilized country having nuclear wars is doing anything like that, he says.

In a related comment, Pastukhov says that US President Donald Trump is “Richard Nixon in reverse.” Nixon was an anti-communist opponent of Russia forced by circumstances to begin détente. Trump in contrast is an admirer of Putin and wants good relations with Moscow but is being forced by circumstances at home and abroad to move in the opposite direction.

One aspect of this is that Trump will be forced to avoid meeting with Putin in public as was the case in Argentina. But it is a mistake to make too much of this: “Putin and Trump have other channels of communications,” and they will use them. In fact, Pastukhov says, Putin prefers such backchannels because he prefers “the secret to the obvious and hidden mediators to career diplomats.”

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Edited by: A. N.

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