Putin’s Real Shadow

The Dangerous Mystification of Russia

30 May 2019

The biggest power of Russia today is that it is trying to shape people’s imaginations and makes them believe that its political, economical and military power is greater than it really is.

The geopolitical race is on in the Arctic, where Russia is modernizing its military and civic infrastructure, including a new military base established on Kotelny Island, one among three military outposts, to take advantage of global warming that is melting the ice, making underwater gas and oil reserves available to commercial mining activities.

Recently, Russian military experts have arrived in the civic and politically torn Venezuela to offer “training and strategy” for the government; at the same time, Russia is in talks with other international partners to set up a naval base in Sudan and another logistics centre in Eritrea. Taking into consideration the Kremlin’s further alleged/proven interventions in foreign elections, such as the 2016 US presidential election, 2017 elections in France and Germany, it seems like President Putin’s effort to put Russia back on the world stage as a formidable “superpower” akin to the former Soviet Union and in the same league with the United States or China wasn’t a long shot after all.

Lóránt Győri
Péter Krekó

One could argue, as Gurganus and Rumer from Carnegie Endowment do, that this means to a certain extent the successful “return of Russia as an important global actor” as a result of a consistent and expansive Russian foreign policy effort that disrupts the West-led post-Cold War international order, projects power to far geographical corners of the world and targets adversaries’ political or societal weaknesses in an opportunistic manner.

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