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Is Russia Doomed?

Is Russia Doomed?

Paul Craig Roberts

Winston Churchill said that Russia was “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”  Having read two contrasting news reports of attitudes in Russia, I understand what Churchill meant.

General Valery Gerasimov, chairman of the Russian General Staff, has concluded from Washington’s many NATO intensified drills on Russia’s border that Washington and its NATO puppet states are preparing for a major conflict.  In a briefing to foreign military attaches in Moscow, Gerasimov said that the increased number and scale of military exercises conducted by NATO members indicates that the alliance “is purposefully training its troops to be engaged in a major military conflict.”  https://www.rt.com/news/476178-nato-big-war-kremlin/ 

The Kremlim’s spokesperson said that the Russian government trusts the opinion of General Gerasimov.

To be clear, based on analyzed evidence the Russian military sees Washington and its vassals preparing for war with Russia. The Russian government states that it trusts the opinion of the Russian military leadership.

Yet, a contemporaneous poll published by the Levada Center, an independent Russian pollster, reports that 80% of Russians see Washington and its NATO vassals as “friends.” https://tsarizm.com/news/eastern-europe/2020/02/18/poll-4-out-of-5-russians-view-west-as-a-friend/ 

“Only 3% of Russian respondents said they see the West as Russia’s enemy, Levada said. Another 16% said they view the West as a rival.

“Two-thirds of Levada’s respondents (67%) said Russia should treat the West as a “partner,” while 11% said Russia should treat the West as a “friend,” according to the Kommersant business daily’s breakdown of the data.”

The extraordinary difference between the view of the Russian general staff and ordinary Russians is hard to explain. Who is communicating with the Russian people?  Their leaders? Or the Western funded NGOs and media that feed Western propaganda to the Russian people?  Are the Russian people still listening to the Voice of America?

If these  contrasting news reports are correct, then Russia is faced with the fact that the awareness of the government that Washington and its European vassals are an enemy intent on war is not shared by the Russian population. This implies a total failure of communication between the Russian government committed to Russian national sovereignty and the Russian people who apparently see no risk of being colonized by their friends in the West. 

How can the Russian people, humiliated by American sanctions and endless denunciations of their elected president, who led them out of American captivity, and threatened by Washington’s nuclear missiles on their border, possiblly believe in friendship and partnership with Washington? 

If the polls are correct, and the Russian people do not understand Washington’s hegemonic impulse, Russian sovereignty is not a sure thing.

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