Thursday, July 18, 2024

Another Call for Moscow to Create Something like Komintern to Overthrow Existing World Order

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 15 – In May, Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, suggested that Moscow should draw on the experience with the Komintern to unify those around the world who favor overthrowing the world order “created and remains dominated by the West” (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2024/05/moscow-should-draw-on-history-of.html).

            Now, in an indication that his words are gaining a following in the Russian capital and may even lead to the creation of such an organization, Roman Trunov, a Nezavisimaya Gazeta journalist, says that the Komintern serves as a model for the kind of alliance of parties and groups that can serve Moscow’s interests now (ng.ru/ideas/2024-07-16/8_9050_comintern.html).

            While acknowledging that the situation is different today than it was a century ago and that the Komintern was not without its problems, Trunov like Naryshkin insists that such a union can help both all of its parts, on the one hand, and Moscow, on the other, to achieve their common goals.

            Given that any such project would likely emerge out of the SVR rather than more publicly from the Kremlin, it is uncertain just how much Putin would acknowledge its existence or rely on it openly; but the appearance of Trunov’s article suggests that there is now a push to create something, even if it stays within the shadows of Russian espionage activities.   

Russian Citizens Among Those Involved in Crocus City Hall Terrorist Attack, Chikhanchin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 15 – As is its custom, the Kremlin has sought to place the blame for the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack in Moscow last spring on foreigners, but  now Yury Chikhanchin, the head of the Russian financial intelligence service says, it has become clear that Russian citizens were among those involved.

            He says that it would have been impossible for the terrorists to achieve their goals without such support, but his acknowledgement made during a presentation to Russia’s Federation Council undercuts the Kremlin’s messages (tass.ru/proisshestviya/21371177 and newizv.ru/news/2024-07-16/glava-finrazvedki-rf-k-teraktu-v-krokuse-prichastny-ochen-mnogie-rossiyane-431925).

            More than that, Chikhchancin’s conclusion means that within the Russian leadership, there is a growing awareness that Moscow is threatened not just by foreigners but by Russian citizens, a recognition that may lead to even harsher repression against the population of that country.

Organized Crime has Risen in Russia Dramatically Since Start of Putin’s War in Ukraine and will Increase Still More with Return of Veterans, Statistics and Experts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 15 – The number of crimes committed by organized criminal groups in Russia during the first five months of 2024 was 76 percent higher (to a total of 16,900 cases) than during the same period a year earlier, the interior ministry reports, with experts saying this is the result of Putin’s war in Ukraine and will increase still further as veterans return home.

            These figures and the predictions of Russian experts continue a trend which began when the war started, according to the We Can Explain telegram channel which also notes that ever more of these crimes are being committed by people with guns, another trend linked with the war and making combatting such crimes harder (t.me/mozhemobyasnit/18408).

            According to one retired interior ministry expert, the illegal trafficking in guns has risen astronomically, with guns of various kinds now being freely traded in some regions of the country, typically among veterans of the war in Ukraine who have become accustomed to using guns to settle all things.

            If Moscow doesn’t address this problem and work on the rehabilitation of veterans, Vladimir Zherebenkov, a Moscow lawyer says, then there will be a continuing rise in the number of organized criminal groups and armed criminals just as there were after all earlier Russian military actions.

 

Moscow Facing Growing Problems with Its Icebreaker Fleet, Allowing China and Other Countries to Gain Advantages on the Northern Sea Route

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 15 – Russia is keeping its icebreakers in service long after they were slated to be retired because it has been forced to delay or cancel programs for building new ones as a result of the West’s sanctions regime; and those trends are sparking fears of disaster on the one hand and allowing China and other countries to gain on Russia in this sector.

            Russia’s problems are longstanding and intensifying, experts say, and call into question Putin’s plans for the development of the Northern Sea Route (ridl.io/ru/arkticheskaya-ekonomika-rossii-na-fone-vojny/ and ispionline.it/en/publication/moscows-arctic-projects-amidst-the-war-sanctions-lng-projects-icebreakers-and-the-northern-sea-route-178452).

            Moreover, while Russia retains a large lead over other countries in terms of the number of icebreakers, a lead that Russian experts believe will allow Moscow to continue to dominate the icebreaker balance (rosbalt.ru/news/2024-07-15/zapad-pugayut-boevye-ledokoly-stroyaschiesya-v-peterburge-5139174), other countries are actively developing their fleets.

            Among those doing so now are Canada, Finland, the US and China (trtrussian.com/novosti/kanada-vstupaet-v-borbu-za-arktiku-18183924, thebarentsobserver.com/en/2024/07/finland-canada-us-and-build-icebreakers-arctic and thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2024/07/china-commissions-new-icebreaker).

            Building such ships takes from three to eight years, although China has been on an accelerated schedule; and thus the real crisis for Russia lies ahead, although the problems in its shipyards and with its aging fleet are such that there is almost no chance that Moscow will lose its dominance in this area which is critical for control of Arctic seaways.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Only Revival of Siberian River Diversion Plans Can Solve Central Asia’s Growing Water Shortages, Nazarov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 15 – Even if the countries of Central Asia find the two billion US dollars in outside assistance they need to improve their water distribution systems and even if they do everything right and cooperate with one another, Ravshan Nazarov says, they won’t be able to solve their water problems.

            The only realistic approach, the expert at Uzbekistan’s Institute of State and Law says,  is to “return to the idea of the transfer of part of the excess flow of Siberian rivers to Central Asia” (podrobno.uz/cat/economic/krupnye-investitsii-i-sibirskie-reki-chto-nuzhno-uzbekistanu-dlya-resheniya-vodnogo-voprosa/).

            According to Nazarov, “no measures at all will be sufficient to save the water sector of Central Asia in only ten to twenty years because the volumes of water in the region are falling while the population is growing and water consumption  for domestic, industrial and agricultural needs are increasing alongside them.”

            And he has told the leaders of the region’s counties, “the only real project is to return to the Siberian river diversion project,” which the Soviet leadership rejected in the years before the end of the Soviet Union. Unless water from this source comes to Central Asia, “it is pointless to talk about the use of any water-saving technologies in the region.”

            Nazarov’s words are the latest and most blunt of the rising tide of calls to revive the Siberian river diversion project with Central Asians increasingly saying that Moscow must agree or lose influence and control in the region because of the humanitarian disaster that will occur if water shortages in Central Asia intensify.

            For background on this, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2023/12/russia-must-divert-siberian-river-water.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2023/10/failure-to-divert-siberian-river-water.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2023/08/climate-change-and-ukraine-war-may.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2023/02/russia-must-revive-siberian-river.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/07/omsk-social-chamber-leader-seeks-to.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/06/moscow-urged-to-revive-siberian-river.html.

Russian Empire Must be Destroyed or New Putins will Arise Again and Again, Gabbasov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 15 – Many believe that once Putin is gone, he can be replaced by democratic leaders who will take the country in an entirely new direction, Ruslan Gabbasov says; but unless the Russian empire is demolished, there is no guarantee that new Putins will again arise and carry out repressive and aggressive policies like his.

            To prevent that, the head of the Bashkir National Political Center in Vilnius says, the world must finally recognize that the problems Moscow confronts it with stem not just from Putin but from the forces that will remain at work as long as the Russian empire remains (atodangos.com/rusijos-vientisumas-gresme-civilizuotam-pasauliui/ in Lithuanian and  region.expert/evil-empire/ in Russian).

            “No one can give any guarantee that even after two terms of an administration headed by some Gary Kasparov or Yuliya Navalnaya as president of Russia that some Igor Strelkov will not come to power” and will repeat what Putin is doing by manipulating the Russian people with talk about how deceived and abused they have been.

            And then everything now going on will be repeated once again, Gabbasov says. Some may say this is too pessimistic; but no one can point to a case in Russian history when that is not exactly what has occurred. “Even in Russia’s most democratic years, 1991-1999, it conducted wars in Transnistria, and against the Chechen Republic Ichkeria.”

            “To break this vicious imperial circle under the name of Russia,” he continues, “it simply must exist as a state. This empire must fall apart into dozens of independent states which will then choose their own paths of development.” Some will be democratic, others less so, but none will be as dangerously aggressive as the Russian Empire now is.

Bolshevik Revolution was Above All First Challenge to Western World by Non-Western One, Kotsyubinsky Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 15 – The importance of the Bolshevik revolution, Daniil Kotsyubinsky says in a brief article that is already attracting widespread attention, was not its call to build communism but rather that it was “the first modernized challenge to the West by non-Western civilizations, albeit one camouflaged under a Westernizing ideology.”

            Understanding this, the St. Petersburg social theorist and philosopher says, is important in its own right but also because it underscores an important continuity that is becoming ever more visible in Moscow’s policies of turning away from the West and taking its proper place among the powers of the non-Western world (gorod-812.ru/velikij-oktyabr-i-konecz-chelovechestva/).

            While the Bolsheviks attacked Sultan Galiyev, the activist within their own ranks that argued Russia should lead a revolt of the global south against the West, Kotsyubinsky says, Lenin in fact recognized that that was what his revolution was about and that this would become Russia’s trajectory in the future.

            In one of the last article he wrote before he was silenced by illness and death, Lenin in January 1923 said that the future of the world would depend on the outcome of a struggle between a dying West and the rising powers of Russia, India, China and the rest who having taken what they could from the West must eventually break free from it.

            This is “the true political testament of the Bolshevik leader and his message to humanity,” one that Russia is now in fact continuing, And it is this legacy, Kotsyubinsky says, that explains why the authority of Russia remains “quite high” among the leading countries of the non-Western world.

            Intentionally or not, this description of the Leninist project helps to fit the 1917 revolution into the single stream of Russian history that Vladimir Putin has sought to promote; but it may also lead to a reevaluation of Sultan Galiyev, who continues to be attacked but who spoke even more clearly about this meaning of the Bolshevik revolution than did its leader.

            On Sultan Galiyev and his continuing legacy not only within the Russian Federation but more generally, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/12/putins-turn-to-east-and-talk-about.html and https://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/01/three-events-in-sultan-galiyevs-life.html.