Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Walls To Break or The Bad Case of Sibling Rivalry: The perspectives for the U.S. - Russian relations in 2014 in the historical cross-section and beyond the Olympics

The Walls To Break or The Bad Case of Sibling Rivalry: 

The perspectives for the U.S. - Russian relations in 2014 in the historical cross-section and beyond the Olympics

This concept might serve as a useful psychological paradigm (conceptual framework) for understanding the current state of the U.S. - Russian relations.

Historically, the USA and Russia may be viewed as the offspring ( if Canada is of the same English speaking family, then Russia is more of a cousin) of the old great European Civilization which expanded eastward into Siberia and Asia and westward into the Americas.

Just as much as Africa is a cousin also, simply due to the fact that a great many Americans have African roots and contribute into the current American culture and her social and political lives. The notion of "European Civilization" is not race or ethnicity based and is not exclusionary, it is culture based and is inclusionary, since the concepts and terms "European Civilization" and "Western culture" are nearly synonymous. Thus for example, the Americans of various racial and ethnic backgrounds are the part of the American culture which in turn is the part of the Western Culture.

Let us compare the US and Russia in their histories and as cultures in order to attempt the understanding of the nature of their relations including Foreign Relations, and the nature of their rivalries at the beginning of 2014.

Historically and geopolitically there are some similarities among them: e.g., they are about the same age as modern states, about 300 years old; and there are some very significant differences between them in the determinants of their national characters.

Presently, the U.S.A. - Russia relations still appear to be in the forefront of the World system and World politics, mixing the modest amount of affection and cooperation with the exceeding portion of rivalry and distrust, especially as of late, in Mr. Putin's third Presidential term which appears to be his "Imperial Presidency" at its height.

It appears also that on a US side there is a certain amount of disappointment (and quite legitimate), it did accumulate, and there is a tendency to de-emphasize the relations somewhat (and also quite legitimately) or in other words to assign them "their proper place" in importance and interests preferences due to unsatisfactory rate of return and unsuitability of rewarding the undesirable behaviors. Russia's importance in the World continues to fall with her economic, political and social slowdowns and declines, and for the US there is always quite a number of parties around to invest the attention, time and good will. However, Russia, for now and for a number of reasons does remain an important interlocutor and is on a "First Ten" list.
The Putin-3 doctrines and policies exhibited, in widely accepted observations, anti-European, anti-American and anti-Western sentiments.
The major historical, cultural and political thrust and trend in Russia's development however, the long term trend of the past three centuries appears to be in tendency to connect and complete The Great European Circle (just off "The Terms Mint Press"): the result of European colonial expansion (and very different characters and types of it in the cases of the US and Russia are of note), and not necessarily at the expense or the exclusion of the Southern cultural and political hemisphere but as a certain counterpoint to it.

The true connection and to a certain degree, integration, depending on the success of continuing process of adoption of the Western and European values by Russia, might be the promising and fruitful outcome, leading to a safer and healthier World.

The predominance of rivalry and competition component at the present moment is determined by the multitude of objective and subjective factors, most of which were carried over from the old Soviet - American rivalries and Cold War defeat related affections and offences taken, with much passion but little reason.
These rivalries are not the product or desire of the relatively international cooperation oriented Obama Administration.

Here are some quotes on US-Russia relations and anti-Americanism:

"It is hard to imagine a more interesting—and confusing—time to take stock of modern U.S.-Russian relations."

Read more: The Confusing State of U.S.-Russia Relations |

"The White House insists that it hasn’t given up on Russia, but there is only so much time and attention it can devote to low-reward relationships. Putin, on the other hand, appears to discern a threat in nearly everything the United States does, and it is clear that the collapse of the reset has left little momentum for further cooperation.
For the past two decades, disputes between Russia and the United States were handled on a practical level. They had to do with clashes of interest, dealings with Russia’s neighbors, the use of force, conflicts over trade — and sometimes just respect.

But Putin, now in his third term, has introduced an ideological element into the relationship for the first time since the Soviet era. Russia is taking a sharply nationalistic turn and is claiming for itself a unique set of homegrown values.

Putin is saying that Russia is no longer answerable to the West on issues ranging from gay rights to religious tolerance to the rule of law to democracy itself.
“What has Russia got? It’s got chutzpah. That’s its greatest strategic reserve,” said Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security services at New York University.
The United States and Russia, in any case, are heading in separate directions — or wish they could. The coming year brings a slew of challenges that will force the two nations to engage, even if at arm’s length and with a palpable lack of enthusiasm. Putin acknowledged as much in a New Year’s message this week." 

By Published: January 2

U.S. relations with Russia face critical tests in 2014 as Putin, Obama fail to fulfill expectations - The Washington Post 

The hypothetical but probable issue of a "less stable Russia" in Putin-3 was also entertained: 
Preparing for a Less Stable Russia | William Courtney

See also: 

U.S.-Russia Relations and 2014 Winter Olympics - C-SPAN Video Library 

U.S. Russia Relations - Huffington Post Review

Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images - Although no one knew it at the time, April 8, 2010, was the high point of the reset, as President Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in Prague.

"American presidents have repeatedly attempted to forge a strong and productive partnership only to be held hostage to the deep mistrust born of the Cold War. For the United States, Russia remains a priority because of its nuclear weapons arsenal, its strategic location bordering Europe and Asia, and its ability to support--or thwart--American interests. Why has it been so difficult to move the relationship forward? What are the prospects for doing so in the future? Is the effort doomed to fail again and again? 

The Limits of Partnership

Angela Stent served as an adviser on Russia under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and maintains close ties with key policymakers in both countries. Here, she argues that the same contentious issues--terrorism, missile defense, Iran, nuclear proliferation, Afghanistan, the former Soviet space, the greater Middle East--have been in every president's inbox, Democrat and Republican alike, since the collapse of the USSR. Stent vividly describes how Clinton and Bush sought inroads with Russia and staked much on their personal ties to Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin--only to leave office with relations at a low point--and how Barack Obama managed to restore ties only to see them undermined by a Putin regime resentful of American dominance and determined to restore Russia's great power status.

Stent, A.: The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century. (eBook and Cloth)

Anti-Americanism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

in Russia: Main article: Anti-American sentiment in Russia
Russia has long history of Anti-Americanism, dating back to early days of Cold War. In some of the latest Russian population polls, United States and its allies, constantly top the list of "greatest threats".[115][116] In 2013, 30% of Russians had a "very unfavorable" or "somewhat unfavorable" view of Americans and 40% viewed the U.S. in a "very unfavorable" or "somewhat unfavorable" light.[79] 

Anti-American sentiment in Russia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"According to some Russian experts, anti-American sentiments are driven largely by domestic political climate and has loose relationship to U.S. Foreign Policy actions.[72] 
The Heritage Foundation sites that anti-American rhetoric is currently a standard feature of the majority of Russian mass media broadcasts.[76] And further cites that "The Kremlin is using anti-Americanism as a strategic tool for pursuing domestic and foreign policy goals. Through media controlled or owned by the state, the Russian government is deliberately spreading poisonous anti-U.S. propaganda at home and abroad, blaming many of Russia's problems on the West, particularly the United States. The partial success of this policy exposes a number of serious failures in U.S. public diplomacy, which has been in decline since the end of the Cold War."[77]
Ideology is mostly gone or was transformed into the idea of the "new Russian conservatism" (if that almost meaningless hodge-podge can be called an idea), geopolitics stayed and continue to be the cornerstone of this rivalry.

V. Putin as a person and as a politician appears to be the center and the embodiment of the newly revived anti-American sentiment in Russia and internationally.

The criticism of  Putin-3 Foreign Policy (at least throughout the most of 2013) is practically universal among the many observers of the scene:

"Since Mr Putin regained the presidency last year, his foreign policy has foundered. Russia has not faced such a serious need to rethink its role in the world for more than a quarter century.
Can the rest of us do anything to hasten a Russian reassessment? Anti-Putin crusading will not help much; to many Russians, it simply confirms he is doing the right thing. But conciliation is not the right response either; it too suggests he is getting results. What Russian policy makers and experts alike should hear from Europe and the US – a message delivered more in sorrow than in anger – is that their foreign policy has gone way off track. Until it rights itself, Russia will have less and less global influence.
The old remark about Britain in the 1960s – that it had lost an empire but not yet found a role – captures Moscow's predicament exactly. More than 20 years after the Soviet collapse, Russians have to think this problem through for themselves. Mr Putin, unfortunately, keeps putting the answer out of reach.

Russia’s Foreign Policy Is Nearing Complete Failure

Author: Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies
November 3, 2013

Financial Times
Stephen Sestanovich: Russia’s Foreign Policy Is Nearing Complete Failure - Council on Foreign Relations

Some authors stress the roles of the US and global politics and economy in this two-way or multi-directional process:

"Putin’s return to the Kremlin is viewed by many skeptics as a threat to
cooperation and a blow for the Obama administration’s ‘‘reset’’ policy. We,
however, are more optimistic and believe that unlike two previous U.S.—Russian
rapprochements, both of which ended in disappointment in 1991—1992 after
the emergence of the new Russia and in 2001—2002 after 9/11the current
warming trend should be more sustainable (unless there is a significant change in
U.S. policy if there is a new U.S. administration in January 2013).
Russian elites are still unsure about the durability of U.S. power capacity, but
they have seen the United States renew itself in the wake of global foreign and
economic setbacks beforein the 1980s, for example. Russians are as aware as
anybody of the current U.S. fiscal challenges and the questions about whether
the U.S. political system will be capable of resolving them. They are also
watching closely the political commitment of the United States to stabilize
Afghanistan. If the United States makes progress on these domestic and foreign
policy fronts, and more importantly continues to pursue a pragmatic set of
policies that accommodates some of Russia’s core interests, then the current
trend toward a more positive assessment of U.S. power and growing cooperation
on a wide variety of issues will continue.

In other words, the United States is the critical variable for Russia and its
relations with the United States, not Putin’s return.

The larger variable for Russian domestic and foreign policy broadly is the
global economy. A return to global recession in
2012 would depress the oil price, hurt Russia’s
economic performance more than other major
economies as the crisis in 2008—2009 did
because of the high dependence on oil and gas
revenues for budget stability and economic
growth and force significant cutbacks in the
Russian budget. If such a downturn were prolonged, the spectrum of possibilities
for the Russian economy is wide, ranging from a return to liberalism to a Russian
nationalist revanche."

Russian Foreign Policy: Continuity in Change -
by Andrew C. Kuchins and Igor A. Zevelev

M.N.: Apparently "the shows of force" are still important in this world and especially for Russians with their arithmetical "naked powers equations" and "might makes right" driven mentality. The projections of political, economic and military powers are viewed as their expressions and as the way to evaluate and measure these powers and to adjust their own political and other behaviors accordingly. This is very dry, mechanical, pragmatic and practical approach. I wonder what role in international politics is played by the individual, group and mass emotions: a sense of belonging and responsibility to civilization and culture, for example. They can say: "O.K." and play "hockey" to demonstrate their acquaintance with team work but how committed are they and will they be - to the team? How genuine this commitment will be? Will this commitment be emotionally strengthened with shared attachments to the common historical and cultural heritage?
With regard to Afghanistan as a particular case, point and instance for example, it would be in Russia's best interests to continue cooperation and to join the Western forces for the control of terrorism and narcotraffic which might spill into Russia in fast and easy waves under the conditions of power vacuum.

See also:

Vladimir Putin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Times names Vladimir Putin 'Person of the Year'

V. Putin as a person and as a politician - Google Search

The name of the Putin's-3 personal Olympic game is his political and personal survival, and he looks like he intends to win this game and tries to get his best shot at it. However, beyond these personal Olympics, things in Russia economically and with regard to Human Rights and healthy political and judicial processes, practices and systems and their healthy functioning remain rather bleak and obviously turned even more so in Putin's third Presidential term.
The new "Russian conservatism" as the pseudo-ideology and as the politics reveal  the ruling circle's (and Mr. Putin's first and most of all; Belkovsky might not be very far from the truth) clearly hostile and almost hysterical homophobic attitudes towards any liberties in general and Gay Rights in particular. Russians cannot live without ideologies, be it the "Third Rome", or panslavinism or communism or the euroasianism or any other "ism". In between of some bread and sausages supplied by the $100 per barrel oil and this newly invented and minted "ism", Russians also got their fare share of some entertainment such as "Times" and "Forbes" magazines' ratings and the new soap opera "Snowden in Russia".

The year of 2013 was somewhat of the "annus horribilis" for the US and the Obama Administration.

President Obama's efforts to reset U.S. - Russia relations were marked by its high and low points but the general attitude remains rather benign and the cooperation in security matters was offered.

The site of the first of Volgograd bombings of 2013

In the aftermath of bombings, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued the call for international cooperation in war on terrorism: "The suicide blasts in Volgograd signal that it’s time for international players to stop dividing terrorists into “good” and “bad” ones based on geopolitical agenda, and to unite the globe in a battle against the threat..."
Volgograd blasts follow same template as US, Syrian, Afghan attacks – Russia — RT Russian politics

The US response was prompt and cooperative:

“The U.S. government has offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games, and we would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators and other participants,” National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said on Monday [1.30.14]. The U.S. government quickly condemned the pair of bombings, which killed at least 31 people, in Volgograd, a little more than 400 miles from Sochi, where the Winter Olympics will be held in February. President Barack Obama was briefed on the attacks during his vacation in Hawaii. 
Security issues are one of the bright notes in the complex U.S.-Russia relationship. While the two countries don’t often see eye to eye on trade or regional issues, they have maintained close counterterrorism ties. Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have a strained personal relationship that has been on display at several recent international summits, with Obama saying in September that efforts to expand the relationship between the two countries had “hit a wall.” U.S. and Russian officials have tangled over issues as varied as the Syrian civil war and gay rights, with Obama appointing a low-level delegation to the Olympics, as well as several gay athletes, in protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws. “We always cooperate with the Russians on counterterrorism,” Harf said on Monday.
In 2011, Russian security and intelligence services encouraged American officials to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. After the attack, U.S. and Russian officials shared intelligence about Tsarnaev as part of the investigation, including details on Tsarnaev’s six-month visit to Dagestan in the North Caucasus, a region less than 400 miles from Sochi that is home to an Islamic insurgency.
The Associated Press reported that Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told reporters on Monday that the military-to-military relationship between the two countries “is as good as it’s ever been.” 

"Obama called for a "reset" of relations with Russia, but critics debate whether or not it has improved bilateral relations or has conceded too much to Russia", states Wikipedia. 

The year of 2014 brings the Russian chairmanship of G-8, but the question remains if the true conversion from the "7 + 1" status is in the offing or it will just serve as a backdrop to "Putin as The Czar of the World" show.

"Ya Czar yesho!" - "I am The Czar, still!" - (for how much longer, that's the question) this line from "Boris Godunov" seems to describe well Mr. Putin's somewhat hyperactive (but how productive?) if not at times frenetic style on the domestic and world political stages.
The show must go on.

Президент посетил комплекс трамплинов 

The true and urgent agenda for international cooperation includes the issues of joint efforts against terrorism, international organised crime and drugs trafficking. A bit of "rock 'n' roll" in the subjects of World Human and gay rights should spice up the list.

In defense of surveillance, I must say that the joint international efforts at expanding, improving and coordinating the surveillance activity might be the key in search for the solutions for control and cure of the humanity's common ills, such as terrorism, crimes, drugs and others.
That's where the very real and strategic threat against the modern states as the efficient carriers of civilization comes from, not from the internal political dissent or "the excesses" of liberalism as Mr. Putin sees them.
This might be a more productive discussion than the overwrought and over-provoked anger regarding the "spying in high places": they "doth protest too much, methinks".

"What is to be done?" - this eternal question of Russian politics and social life might have many different answers and answerers but my favorite one would be to repeat this memorable old line of President R. Reagan:

Mr. Putin, tear down these walls!
The walls of oppression, bigotry, corruption and deceit.
The walls of distrust, hostility, xenophobia and anti-Americanism.
Your legacy, but most importantly Russia's fate do depend on these demolition efforts.

I also think that it would be wise to ratchet down a bit, or to say it directly, simply to stop this clearly state sponsored anti-American propaganda and to stop using it as a tool for the domestic manipulation of Russian masses. Do not make a wrong enemy for yourselves, especially if in the process you might loose a potentially very good, big and important friend. I doubt very much that something like this, on such a scale, and with such a degree of hostility is going on in the US.

Americans attitudes towards Russia

Americans Least Favorable Toward Iran:

March 7, 2013

Americans Least Favorable Toward Iran

Canada, Great Britain, Germany, and Japan get highest marks

by Frank Newport and Igor Himelfarb

PRINCETON, NJ -- Nearly nine in 10 Americans have an unfavorable view of Iran, making it the worst rated country out of 22 asked about. Seven other countries -- Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Pakistan, and North Korea -- also receive unfavorable ratings of 70% or more. Eighty percent or more of Americans have favorable images of Canada, Great Britain, Germany, and Japan.
Next, I’d like your overall opinion of some foreign countries. What is your overall opinion of [RANDOM ORDER]? Is it very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable, or very unfavorable? February 2013 results
These ratings were included in Gallup's World Affairs survey conducted Feb. 7-10, and provide a unique window into Americans' top-of-mind reactions toward a number of countries that are frequently in the news. Many of these reactions are negative: Americans give 15 out of the 22 countries a more unfavorable than favorable rating. Complete country ratings are found on page 2.

The recent developments: the amnesty and the releases of Pussy Riot singers and Mr. Khodorkovsky (some called them "concessions"), are definitely the encouraging sign and a baby step in the right direction, although somewhat of "too little, too late" variety.

Historical determinism with which Mr. Putin is probably well familiar from his student years and in his current practices might be well at play in the historical process of Europeanization and globalization of Russia and it most likely will transcend the backward winds of the reactionary, backward, Soviet looking Putinism as the pseudo-ideology of Russian nationalism and "conservatism".

That what the current historical and geopolitical cross-section of the U.S. - Russian relations seems to demonstrate.
In the case of Russia, the waves of Europeanisation and Revolutions were always interconnected and Modernization and Socioeconomic Progress also followed jointly. These Revolutions were of the various kinds and types and they were usually from above, e.g. Peter the Great's revolution, when he "dragged Russia into Europe by her hair" (some opinion-makers claim that what Russia needs now is another Peter the Great); the ill-fated December Revolution of 1825, or the Revolutions of 1917, both the February and October, when many of the Bolsheviks and many of other revolutionaries were from the upper and upper middle class families. All these most recent historical and psychosocial cataclysms were possibly of the similar nature: Russia had to always catch up with Europe and, by inevitable, only and clear extension, with the state of modern civilization. Her Asiatic post Mongol-Tatar Invasion Past, when the Viking dominated, of European origin, Orthodox Christianized state was virtually converted into the joint one with the conquerors and later was liberated slowly; was always too much of a historical burden for her.
The periods of Revolutions in Russia were often followed by the periods of Reactions, or "Termidors", as L. Trotsky called them: the pull back periods, when the goals and the achievements of these Revolutions were partially defeated and erased, as if in a retaliatory comeback of Asiatic sadistic Horde.
In (Romanov's) Russia, historically the State had (and perceived that it had) the duty to Europeanise and civilize the country in many different aspects and respects: culturally, politically, economically, socially.
As A. Pushkin said so famously and as V. Putin is so fond of quoting, "the Crown in Russia had always been the chief European", or we might be tempted to quip, "The European in Chief". Which is not surprising at all, given the Romanov's blood connections with the main European Royal Houses and their secret obsession to cleanse themselves of Katherine I, Peter the Great's commoner wife and Empress', "dubious genetic legacy" and of her "non-noble" origins and her most likely Hebrew heritage.
In Stalin's Russia, the State, with all its real and perceived duties and obligations, grew to a monstrous, totalitarian, fascist-like proportions, under the "sugar pill for masses" cover of the communist ideology. This system did not work: it collapsed under its own weight and could not function and survive in modern conditions; and it was burdened by its Asiatic xenophobia also, mostly of the anti Western European and anti USA types.
Contemporary, "Putin's and Post Putin Russia" should avoid these old traps, if they want their political structure to remain viable.
The renewed, fledgling contemporary Russian state and body politics should be allowed to straighten out its long suppressed and tired of ideological and historical burdens - "isms" bones and recapture its European frame and the European frame of reference.
"Uncertainty and evasiveness were convenient because they helped muffle societal divisions. But in late 2011, public acquiescence was broken by the Moscow protests, and the Kremlin felt the urge to consolidate the majority against the Moscow troublemakers. This called for more clarity on values and principles, and a new identity. Over the past two years, this identity has gained explicitly anti-Western and antiliberal shape. The Pussy Riot trial, the “anti-gay” legislation, the overt and self-righteous xenophobia, or the detention of Greenpeace members are but a few examples of overt rejection of Western values. These and other antiliberal, antisecular, antimodern developments are driven by the  political shifts inside Russia, but today Russia’s foreign policy stance, and relations with the United States in particular, are largely shaped by her domestic policy agenda.    
The identity currently in the making may be not too solid—there’s too much “against” about it and too little “for”—but for the moment it resonates well with the broad public mindset. As long as Russia’s quest for identity takes the anti-Western and anti-American path, this will preclude constructive or reliable relations with the United States. America can hardly make a difference in this process, especially since the United States itself is currently facing soul-searching questions regarding its own role in the world." 
Maria Lipman is editor-in-chief of Carnegie Moscow Center’s Pro et Contra journal.
Carnegie Corporation of New York: Rebuilding U.S.-Russia Relations

See also: National identity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


If modernization in Russia (in all its senses and not just or necessarily as a slogan of the past Medvedev's political campaign) is to proceed without major and potentially unpleasant social upheavals and outbursts, it has to acquire a certain energetic revolutionary tempo. My crazy advice would be: be even more liberal, open, tolerant, democratic and law respecting, non-corrupt, progressive state than the most liberal (Scandinavian, for example) of the European countries. Legalize gay marriage and marijuana, for example. Introduce free of charge high quality Internet education, make your health care free and high quality. Etc., etc., etc.
I have a crazy suspicion that this general and political liberalization will among other things, improve the investment climate and will help the economy also.
It might also attract a wave of migration from the Europe and the Americas, which will bring new blood, new energy, new spirit, new ideas, new creativity and also the new genes, which might be healthy for Russia.
I do have a nagging suspicion that the true, if culturally and historically subconscious, roots of the notorious "anti gay propaganda law", is, in fact, Russia's historical spy-phobia, connected with her historical xenophobia and complex and also historical and cultural homophilia-homophobia. All this might stem from 1934, Kirov's murder, the Night of the Long Knives and Stalin's and Hitler's anti-homosexuality laws. This "law" does not make any sense legally, socially and medically; it is discriminatory by its nature: children should not be exposed to any "propaganda", be it "homosexual" or "heterosexual". Ask the leading Western jurists to conduct the legal expertise of this "law" and see what they say, the over-concerned Russian lawmakers. It appears even on a surface, without going into depths of jurisprudence, that your "over-concern" is based on your own discriminatory and sick homophobia.


"Russia has recently received criticism from around the world and across the international community for enacting a law that bans the distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" to minors.[3] Since the passage of the anti-gay propaganda law, the media has reported the arrest of a gay rights activist[4] as well as a surging incidence of hate crimes motivated by homophobia,[5][6] including hate crimes perpetrated by neo-Nazi groups against gay minors.[7][8] A law prohibiting gay pride parades in Moscow for one-hundred years has also recently been enacted.[9]International rights groups[who?] have described the current situation as the worst human rights climate in the post-Soviet era, while Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva has called passage of the law against gay propaganda "a step toward the Middle Ages."[10][10] 

International reactions and boycott[edit]

International human rights organisations[61][62] and the governments of developed democracies around the world have strongly condemned this Russian law.[63][64] The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned this Russian statute and another similar one in Moldova (which was later repealed)[65] as discriminatory and has made clear that the Russian statute in question is a violation of international human rights law,[66][67] including the right of gay children to receive proper information.[68][69] The European Parliament has condemned Russia for homophobic discrimination and censorship[70] and the Council of Europe has called on Russia to protect LGBT rights properly.[71] The European Court of Human Rights had previously fined Russia for other infringements of LGBT rights.[72] In 2012 the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that a similar statute in the Russia's Ryazan Region was discriminatory, infringed on freedom of expression, and was inadmissible under international law - a Russian court in Ryazan later agreed and struck it down.[73][74] Some members of the gay community commenced a boycott of Russian goods, particularly Russian vodka.[75] Notable individuals have also responded to that ban." 

From:  LGBT rights in Russia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 


It seems to me that the psychosocial mechanisms underlying the Russian militant nationalism, xenophobia, anti-Americanism and homophobia are quite similar: these are the mechanisms of social exclusion and stereotyping, the inventions and assignments of social roles to "others": "threatening gays and foreigners". 

It is the attempt to unify and solidify the Russian society for domestic political purposes, along the quasi fascist and Stalinist lines and ultimately its purpose is to enhance the chances of political survival and domination for the current Russian "elites" and their banner: V. Putin. Yesterday the covenient targets of this exclusion and stereotyping were "capitalists", Germans and "zhidi" (jews, "kikes"), today they are the "black-ass" inhabitants of the Caucasus Mountains, Americans and gays. Who will be the convenient targets tomorrow? 
This circumstance also betrays the deep political and personal insecurity of the current Russian "elites", the question about their own legitimacy within their own minds, if they have to resort to this type of discriminatory tactics as the instrument of social control.

Too little of a deep and broad thinking of philosophers kings and too much of a voluntaristic Russian 
"chutzpah" as a "strategic reserve", as was quoted earlier. 

See also: 

social stereotyping - GS

ethnic stereotyping - Google Search

Ethnic stereotype - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

gender stereotyping - Google Search

stereotyping of gays - Google Search

fascist tendencies in Russia - Google Search

Stalinist tendencies in Russia - Google Search

social control - Google Search

social control theory - Google Search

social control sociology - Google Search

13/14 Фото пресс-службы Президента РоссииВ центре подготовки волонтёров зимних Олимпийских игр.   4 января 2014 года

As we can see on this photo, Mr. Putin might not be really averse to the rainbow colors, but he tries to assemble them according to his own design, as he sees it.

Be all this as it may,  the revolutionary tempos sometimes require the revolutionary U-turns.

"Главное здесь другое: как во времена СССР, политическое и военное руководство России рассматривает США в качестве неприятеля."  

"The main thing here is something else: just like in the times of the USSR, the political and military leadership of Russia views the USA as an enemy."

That's how the BBC commented on Mr. Putin's address to the nation and to the elites at the end of 2013, and I would add to this that this erroneous perception became rather unfortunately the matter of official doctrine and official policies in Putin's third term. 

What kind of genuine cooperation in the very important security, anti-terrorism and drugs trafficking issues (which were put on G-8 agenda, and rightly so) could there be if your main and the most important "partner" in this group is treated and officially referred to as an "enemy"? 


"A virulent, irrational anti-Americanism has  survived the collapse of their Soviet dream, and therefore this country – or at least its leaders - will always be opposed to US interests as well as the American goal of safeguarding democracy and human rights in certain countries. To a large extent this is true: a significant segment of the Russian population, including the current leadership, suffers from Stockholm syndrome, feeling nostalgia for the times when under barbaric, inhuman despotism, their country was one of the two superpowers; they will always see the USA, under whatever government, and whatever policies they pursue, as the incarnation of pure evil. This tendency has indeed poisoned Russian-American relations since the end of the Cold War, and has prevented reaching a relation of understanding between the two countries. This anti-Americanism goes hand in hand with a reversion from free market economics and the western idea of democracy and rule of law: the Putin administration has effectively appealed to the authoritarian mentality engrained in Orthodox civilization and played the demagogue instead of making the effort needed to transform his country into a modern nation. Moreover, this anti-western mentality has, not surprisingly, resulted in some foreign policy blunders which will only become obvious within the coming decades, such as Russia’s support of Iran, the Assad regime, and North Korea; and in general, its cooperation in the forming of a world-wide anti-western bloc.
It seems there are no really “moral” players in the Islamic world, only potentially moral players; rather, two power blocs are exploiting conflicts in the Middle East, the most prominent of which is the Sunni-Shiite divide, and are preoccupied with attempting to offset each other’s influence and diminish each other’s power. But both blocs, namely the western and the Russian-dominated bloc, are in fact destroying themselves in trying to destroy each other, since the only winner in this rivalry is emergent Islam  (although, of course, on the western side policies are now more determined by genuinely pro-jihadist and anti-Zionist, anti-western ideology than by simple rivalry with Russia and China, or just by neglect and lack of will-power.)
While terrorism is certainly a reaction to American policies, this does not in the least mean that the US is committing moral errors, but it just learns [teaches - M.N.] us the vital lesson the progressives want to conceal from us: that an irrational Islamic totalitarianism is on the rise, and that it is bent on destroying every civilization that does not comply with its own rules
...I believe the threat to be the greatest on the Russian side, because this threat will also decisively change the course of events in Europe if not properly dealt with.
This threat is mainly connected with a domestic issue of Russia, that has escaped the western public, namely the growth of Russia’s Muslim population. 
Since the fall of the USSR, the Muslim population has grown by forty percent, while the ethnic Russian population is declining at a frightening speed.
To summarize, Russian politics and society are even more schizophrenic at the beginning of the 21st century than western-European: on the one hand the country is grappling with its domestic Islamic threat, but on the other hand is forced by its foreign policy to support the rise of global Islamism in Iran and elsewhere and to stress its non-western character. 
Among Russia’s middle class opposition, Islam in Russia does not even rank as a problem, while an Islamic takeover of Russia, and with it of the “heartland”, to speak in geopolitical terms, is a possibility if the current trend is not reversed; and an Islamic Russia with easy approach to Europe, in combination with Turkey and Europe’s Muslim population, will inevitably mean the fall of one of the two strongholds of western civilization.
But what is certain, is that Russia, as younger brother of the western civilization, urgently needs to be incorporated in an alliance against Islam, and that in any case a united west will possess more self-confidence and will-power to deal with its greatest problem. Only thus will the survival of the west be ensured.

Islamic Terrorism and the US-Russian Rivalry | The Brussels Journal


"Healthy competition" between the states as Mr. Kerry once put it, is normal; the irrational, emotionally tinged rivalries, fears and old memories might be counterproductive.

Make a radical reassessment, a bold U-turn in a right direction in your relations with US, Mr. Putin and the current Russian leadership: review and reject your perception of the US as an "enemy" and the opponent and adopt the organically connected with the Russian history and culture European - American framework, including Foreign Policy and Human Rights issues.
If leaders (political, social, cultural, economic "elites") start, the masses will follow. That's how it usually was and is in Russia, not the other way around; the "public opinion" regarding various policy issues as presented in the new "Russian conservatism doctrine" is only used as the lame and hypocritical, if not cynical excuse.
Be open to new realities, points of view and possibilities.

In his recent interview Ambassador McFaul stroke some positive and optimistic notes about the state of US - Russian relations, and maybe not without a basis:
"Despite the disagreements, McFaul characterized the relationship in mostly positive terms.
"I have a feeling that American-Russian relations have reached the level of some sort of mutual understanding where we can strictly disagree on some issues and at the same time cooperate on other ones," McFaul said.
"Most probably it would have worked before, but now we can achieve such agreements. It is because we know each other well. Maybe I am a big optimist -- and, indeed, I am -- but this is my feeling right now." " 

Фото пресс-службы Президента России
С главой РЖД Владимиром Якуниным во время осмотра железнодорожной станции «Красная поляна».
4 января 2014 года

On this recent photo Mr. Putin looks like he is extending his hand and is ready for a good and strong handshake, if only tentatively. I think that this (if it is interpreted correctly) and other friendly gestures of this kind will be met with understanding and proper consideration. It is delightful to see some signs of cooperation, maybe small, but important: mood, atmospherics and trend setting in some of the recent developments.


M.N.: With regard to security matters,

"Antiterrorist cooperation between the United States and Russia has not improved markedly after the Boston bombings. As elsewhere, security services are loath to share too much information. In the U.S.-Russian case, mutual mistrust runs particularly deep. Cold War hostility is anything but forgotten, and post–Cold War collaboration has been less than satisfying for either party.
An influential school of thought in Russia believes the United States is using the North Caucasus insurgency to destabilize Russia and weaken it. For some in the United States, Russian spies in America fall into the same category as al-Qaeda operatives. It is no wonder the Russian security services are not interested in sharing information about their war on terror within Russia with their U.S. colleagues, the more so that they do not think Americans have much to share with them on that issue." 
Volgograd attacks
It was observed that  

"There is little cause for optimism however, as anti-Americanism is promoted from above in Russia; and as Russian counter-terrorism operations with the United States and its allies have fallen victim to the counterproductive climate that has prevailed in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing." 

It was noted  also:
"Following the Boston Marathon incident, both countries would do well to redouble their efforts on information sharing.
Will Russia overplay its hand? Or, will it bring partners into the fold?"

"Let's make the 2014 Winter Games a safe event for all. Over to you, President Putin." 
2014 Sochi Olympics: Russia in terrorists' crosshairs - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

M.N.: And I would add: and not the Olympics only, but beyond them.

Michael Novakhov


Links and Quotes (Last Update on 1.18.14): 


Happy New Year: Looking Back, Looking Forward - by M. McFaul


OECD Report on Russia Specifies Ills and Antidotes | News | The Moscow Times

Journalist's Expulsion Reveals Visa Quagmire | News | The Moscow Times


Russia 2014: Challenges of the New Year 

» Russia 2014: Challenges of the New Year
15/01/14 14:23 from Home
The year 2014 will be an intense one for Russia. In February, Sochi will host the Olympic Games. The G8 summit will also be held in Sochi in June. Ukraine, relations with which are far from settled, will remain the Kremlin’s foreign poli...

One gets the impression that Russian President Vladimir Putin prefers to be engaged in foreign policy, rather than in domestic affairs. The year 2013 was rather successful for him, although Russia’s progress can be considered limited. First of all, there’s Syria, in which Putin has played a central role in the prevention of war. In addition, Russia and the United States managed to avoid a new wave of confrontation following the passage of a sinister law prohibiting the adoption of Russian orphans by U.S. citizens, and following the mutual introduction of sanctions “lists.” Most of Russia’s problems remain unsolved, however. Moscow continues to be worried about the anti-ballistic missile issue, and the Russian leadership’s ideological alienation from Western democratic values continues to grow. Although Putin’s rhetoric against the West softened noticeably in 2013, compared to late 2012, the lull in his attacks seems like an attempt to obscure the growing value gap between Russia and the democratic world.
In this regard, the Kremlin’s foreign policy priorities will markedly contradict its domestic political priorities in the coming year. On the one hand, Putin is likely to continue to adhere to the “conservative” agenda, relying on “traditional values,” the ideological meaning ​​of which is tied to the current trend in Russian politics of opposing Western values. Putin has had to increasingly explain why Russia does not go down the democratic road in the Western sense, pursuing the full range of human rights for its citizens—why “we” are not like “them.”
On the other hand, in 2014 Russia will lead the G8 summit, and this will work to constrain the “conservative wave.” The Russian leadership’s choice of priorities is not accidental: anti-narcotics cooperation (linked to this is the issue of expansion of Russia’s influence on the situation in Afghanistan against the backdrop of the U.S. withdrawal, the optimization of cooperation with NATO); the fight against terrorism (perhaps the best theme for effective interaction between Russia and the U.S. and NATO); conflict settlement; the formation of a global risk management system for natural and man-made disasters (where Russia is trying to take the initiative by proposing a set of technological solutions); and global health security. The success of Russia’s leadership of the G8 depends on Putin’s restraint within the country; in fact, under certain circumstances, Western leaders will refuse to attend the G8 summit, as well as the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. In this sense, the greatest danger could be Putin’s frustration with Russia’s inability to integrate into the group of full-fledged world leaders. He experienced such a disappointment in 2005–2007, and this resulted in him taking his policy in the direction of “sovereign democracy” and “state corporatism. 

» Russian Foreign Ministry Criticizes EU Countries
15/01/14 14:36 from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Russia's Foreign Ministry has released a critical report on the human rights situation in the European Union in 2013.

U.S.-Russia Relations in 2013: A Year of Living Ambiguously 

» U.S.-Russia Relations in 2013: A Year of Living Ambiguously
15/01/14 13:19 from Home
The year 2013 was not an easy one for the United States, and Russian President Vladimir Putin used the situation to strengthen his position both on the world stage and in the post-Soviet space. Donald N. Jensen, Resident Fellow at the Ce...

The United States thus had some solid achievements in its dealings with Russia in 2013—among the most important of which was keeping the relationship on track despite recurring tensions. But it has not yet replaced the Reset with an approach to Russia that is more coherent and far-sighted. First, the U.S. focus in recent months on specific issues—an arms control treaty, increasing economic ties, and Iran’s nuclear weapons program—has lacked a strategic dimension that sufficiently takes into account the shift in the Eurasian balance of power away from the West, especially in the former Soviet periphery. Second, the United States’ approach to Russia was too Russia-centered, thereby encouraging the Kremlin’s delusion that Moscow is a global power with comparable status to Washington (and thus that the United States must accept Moscow’s claimed privileged status and Russia’s special place in the world). In reality, the idea that the United States and Russia have a central relationship is an archaic leftover of Cold War thinking. Finally, Russia’s advocacy of the primacy of global security interests is broadly consistent with the views of the “realists” who have manned key positions in the Obama administration. Worthy but less “hard” issues such as human rights promotion have received short shrift from the White House.


Three scenarios for US-Russia relations in 2014 | Russia Direct 

This article summarizes the opinions of Russian experts. The following is the list of issues, delineated in a quite pragmatic and somewhat dry "nuts and bolts" fashion and apparently in order of importance as they see it:
  • Magnitsky List Expansion and Russian responses to it
Magnitsky List - Google Search
  • Security of Sochi Olympics 
  • Snowden Affair
  • Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan 
  • Afghanistan after the withdrawal of troops, the signs of a civil war in Afghanistan and "some cooperation on Afghanistan issues"
  • North Korea
  • The role of the UK as a  successful negotiator (mediator) in dialogue between Russia and the USA
  • Arms Control and Disarmament Negotiations between the US and Russia 
  • Missile Defense Issues and missile defense system in Europe, Iskander missile systems in the Kaliningrad Region 
  • Negotiations on signing of an agreement on trade and investments
  • Joint exploration of the Arctic 
  • Circumpolar security as an important new strategic arena 
  • Problems on the southern borders of Russia 
  • "Absence of any kind of an agenda as the main problem" between Moscow and Washington 
  • "Peculiarities in the perceptions" about democracy and human rights

» G8 Presidency to Be Marked by Transparency and Efficiency, Putin Says
09/01/14 16:00 from The Moscow Times Top Stories
Russia's presidency of the Group of Eight this year will focus on transparency and efficiency in the fight against terrorism and elimination of protectionist barriers in trade, President Vladimir Putin said. 

Russia is capable of putting forward working agenda for the G8 that would meet common interests and help expand interstate cooperation, said Dr. Ariel Cohen, leading expert in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy at the Heritage Foundation.
Commenting on upcoming Russia's G8 Presidency, he said one of the most important aspects of the future cooperation would be combatting terrorism and radical Islamism. "Russia has the right to include this issue in next year's priorities, and the G8 could do a lot to promote cooperation in this area," he said.

He also believes it is critical to discuss joint efforts towards preventing aggravation of Central Asia developments after the US and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. "It has great significance for Russia, as it is the most important country with both formal and informal obligations to safeguard security in the post-Soviet space and in Central Asia," Dr. Cohen said. 
» IOC Member Says One-Third of Olympic Funds Lost to Corruption
10/01/14 03:22 from The Moscow Times Top Stories
A member of the International Olympic Committee has criticized Russia's handling of the Sochi Winter Olympics, saying they have been marred by rampant corruption and about one-third of the funds allocated to prepare for the event have be... 

» IOC Member Critical Of Sochi Costs, Corruption
10/01/14 10:35 from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
A member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says the reported $50 billion Russia is spending on the Sochi Olympics is an exorbitant sum that serves as a "bad example" for other countries.

Investigators Find 6th Victim of Stavropol Killings | News | The Moscow Times

» Russia on alert after five bodies found with gunshot wounds
09/01/14 18:10 from World news: Russia |
Victims found in Stavropol, gateway to region where Islamist militants have threatened to disrupt Winter Olympics in Sochi Russian security forces are on alert after the discovery of an explosive device and at least five bodies with guns...

» Police Detain At Least 700 in Volgograd Anti-Terror Raid
09/01/14 16:00 from The Moscow Times Top Stories
Police in Volgograd have detained more than 700 people in an anti-terror sweep following two bombings that killed at least 34 people.

» Moscow Bombings Suspect Killed in Dagestan
09/01/14 16:00 from The Moscow Times Top Stories
Special troops have shot and killed a militant in Dagestan who may have been behind two suicide bombings in the Moscow metro in 2010 that killed 40 people, officials said Friday. 

» Sochi Launches Massive Security Offensive Ahead of Olympics
09/01/14 16:00 from The Moscow Times Top Stories
A massive security operation began in Sochi on Tuesday, a month before the opening of the Winter Olympic Games amid heightened security concerns over two recent suicide bombings in the nearby southern region of Volgograd. 

» U.S. Private Security Firm On Standby in Case of Emergency During Olympics
09/01/14 16:00 from The Moscow Times Top Stories
A U.S. crisis-response firm will have five aircraft on standby during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in the event that an emergency requires an evacuation.

Майкл Макфол - Как в США менялись взгляды на проблему равенства представителей ЛГБТ-сообщества

Sochi 2014 News:
FBI Sending Dozens of Agents to Russia to Strengthen Security at Winter Olympics
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is dispatching several dozen agents to Russia to help with security during the Sochi Winter Olympics, the FBI's head has announced.
FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that two dozen agents and other specialists will be based in Moscow, and another dozen in Sochi. His agency is working with Russian security services, as cooperation has improved amid terrorism threats surrounding the Games, Comey said, The Wall Street Journal reported.
While the FBI's personnel will be on hand to provide assistance, ensuring security at the Olympics is ultimately "a Russian responsibility," he said.
Comey credited Russian security forces with devoting "enormous resources and effort" to securing the Games, echoing the view pronounced earlier by former U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney and head of the U.S. delegation to Sochi Janet Napolitano that Russia is taking sufficient precautions to ensure a safe Olympics.
In another sign of increased cooperation, a private U.S. crisis-response firm that is assisting the U.S. ski and snowboard teams during the Olympics will have five aircraft on standby during the Games in the event that an emergency requires an evacuation, the firm, Global Rescue, said earlier this week.
Concerns about security in Sochi were heightened in the wake of two apparent suicide bombings that killed at least 34 people on Dec. 29 and 30 in Volgograd, 700 kilometers away.

» FBI Enlisted to Help Secure Sochi
09/01/14 16:00 from The St. Petersburg Times
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is sending dozens of its personnel to Russia to help secure the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi from possible terror attacks, its director told reporters. 

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is sending dozens of its personnel to Russia to help secure the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi from possible terror attacks, its director told reporters.
FBI director James Comey said about two dozen agents and other personnel will be sent to Moscow and more than a dozen others will be based in the Black Sea resort that is hosting the Winter Olympics from February 7 to 23. Some of them are already there, he told the Wall Street Journal.
“Securing any Olympics is an enormous task,” the Washington Post quoted Comey as saying. “I think it’s particularly challenging in Sochi because of its proximity to areas of unrest and sources of a terrorist threat.”
Comey said although his agency is willing to help Russia, security at the Games is ultimately Moscow’s responsibility. He also expressed confidence that Russia will keep the Games safe.
“I think the Russian government understands the threat and is devoting the resources to address it,” Comey told Reuters.
Russia launched the largest security operation in Olympic history this week in a bid to prevent terrorism, particularly from the neighboring North Caucasus, a region plagued by an Islamist insurgency.
Security was tightened for Sochi after two suicide bombers killed 34 people and injured more than 100 late last month in attacks on Volgograd's main train station and on a trolleybus. The city is 630 kilometers (400 miles) from Sochi.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Volgograd, but the Russian security services believe they were the work of Islamic militants from the North Caucasus region.

» U.S. to Send Icebreaker to Salvage Russian and Chinese Ships Trapped in Antarctic
09/01/14 16:00 from The Moscow Times Top Stories
The U.S. has agreed to send an icebreaker to salvage the Akademik Shokalsky, a Russian ship that has been stuck in Antarctic waters since Christmas Eve, and a Chinese vessel that got trapped during an earlier rescue operation. 
U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Allyson Conroy said the commander of the Polar Star can cope with the challenges presented by the region, ABC News reported. 

The commander "has a lot of experience with ice-breaking, this is not his first gig, he's been doing this for a while," she said.

Read more:
The Moscow Times 


Christianity and islam - Google Search

Christianity and Islam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christianity vs islam - Google Search

Eurasian idea - Google Search

Eurasianism - Google Search

Eurasianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Russia assumes G8 presidency, lays out key agenda — RT Business

Address by President Vladimir Putin on Russia assuming the G8 Presidency | News | G8


G7+1 - Google Search

"Healthy competition" between the states kerry - Google Search


legal expertise of Russian anti gay propaganda law - Google Search

current Russian "elites" - Google Search

social control - Google Search

Volgograd blasts follow same template as US, Syrian, Afghan attacks – Russia — RT Russian politics

US, Russia and Afghanistan - GS

us russia and afghanistan war

us russia and afghanistan relations

us russia and afghanistan history

us russia cold war afghanistan

us russia afghanistan cooperation

us russia afghanistan counter narcotics

us russia afghanistan counternarcotics strategy

Afghanistan after 2014: The Way Forward for Russia - Ifri

International Relations (IMEMO) in Moscow. From 2007 to 2009, she ... She is also a member of U.S.-Russia Expert group on. Afghan narcotrafficking. ..... Perspectives on Counterterrorism Strategy, London: RUSI, 2009, p. 112–121,.

IFRI - Home-Page - Institut français des relations internationales


Russian Foreign Policy: Continuity in Change -
by Andrew C. Kuchins and Igor A. Zevelev

Russian Foreign Policy: Continuity in Change - Center for Strategic ...

by AC Kuchins - ‎2012 - ‎Cited by 6 - ‎Related articles
structural reasons involving debates among Russian elites about foreign policy ... would soon become a fully Western country. Becoming part of the West greatly ... These could be combined in a new global concert framework—one that would.


Islamic Terrorism and the US-Russian Rivalry | The Brussels Journal

Volgograd bombings of 2013 - Google Search

spying in high places surveillance snowden - Google Search

Europeanisation - Google Search

europeanization of russia peter the great - Google Search


"Конечно, Россия не Европа. Точно так же, как Япония не Европа.  Россия — это пример самой поразительной в мире реформы при самых неблагоприятных политических и социальных обстоятельствах. Россия — это дичок, навсегда привитый Европой. Толчок, сообщенный государству Петром, был столь велик, что избавиться от прививки не смог даже Сталин. То, что сделал в России Петр I в конце ХVII в., большинство азиатских государств — Южная Корея, Тайвань, Сингапур, Китай — стали делать только в конце ХХ-го.
Московское царство — это не Европа. А Российская империя — это Европа. И не случайно Санкт-Петербург — это копия Стокгольма, кратно превосходящая качеством оригинал.
И если в чем сейчас нуждается Россия — так это в новом Петре Первом."
europeanization of russia - Google Search

Europeanization of Russia. Moscow between the partnership for modernization, and the role of a great power:

"In the preface, Mr. Erler calls into question the Eurasian idea and Russia’s role in building bridges between continents as the focus of its foreign policy. In his opinion,such ideas are generally opportunistic and are more likely to determine the content of op-eds in Russia than actual policy.

Mr. Erler believes that in reality Russia is dominated by what can be called «Europeanization». It is reflected in the following trends: intensified EU-Russian political relations; a common understanding of their security responsibilities; promotion of economic cooperation with Europe with due account of mutual interests; partnership with Europe on such global issues as climate control, energy supplies, water resources and food distribution. Finally, this applies to the further development of Russia’s political and social system on the basis of common European values, such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the market economy, as well as the role of civil society, which assumes some responsibility for running the state and is endowed with its own rights and opportunities to take action.

In an article on Russian gas supplies to the EU, Uwe Halbach quotes facts and figures to dispel the myth of “Europe’s energy dependence” and proved that there is a “mutual and symmetric dependence, or, to be more precise, mutually complementary interests.”

The author believes that the Eurasian Union has been obviously modeled on the EU, and that Russia “seriously” intends to reorganize the post-Soviet space. True, he calls it “Integration Theater” because of Moscow’s desire to lead the future alliance. Is Russia capable of carrying out its intentions? The problem is whether Russia can become a “magnet of integration,” considering that it faces many unresolved problems. The appeal of European unification was rooted in trustworthy promises of prosperity and unified behavior of the member-countries with the simultaneous integration of the potentially leading powers and oversight of them. To repeat the EU’s success, the founders of the Eurasian Union must take these moments into consideration.

Christian Wipperfürth believes that a Russian version of the European Union, the Eurasian Union in the post-Soviet space, is a nonstarter. He examines Moscow-Beijing relations as an alternative. Considering China’s rapid rise in the economy and other spheres,Russia would most likely play the role of junior partner, which Russia would find unacceptable, of course. In the long term, the author considers the possibility of a “Eurasian community,” with Europe pooling efforts with Russia and China to parry challenge in Europe and Asia."

The Creation of a Europeanized Elite in Russia. Public Role and Subjective Self.

new russian elites are becoming the part of the west - Google Search

Is the West ready for the rise of the Russian elite? | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

August 5, 2013 Pavel Koshkin, Russia Direct
A new report from the Valdai Discussion Club forecasts how the values and attitudes of the Russian elite will impact Russian domestic and foreign policy and spurs debates among experts.
Russian Foreign Policy: Continuity in Change -

Russian Foreign Policy: Continuity in Change - by Andrew C. Kuchins and Igor A. Zevelev:

"The debating parameters over Russia’s national identity and its core foreign
policy goals are rooted in five elements of Russian history.

First, an enduring belief exists that Russia is a great power and must be treated as such.

Second, that international politics is essentially a Darwinian or Hobbesian competition
in which ‘‘realist’’ and ‘‘neo-realist’’ state-centric power politics is the dominant

Third, that Russia from Peter the Great 300 years ago to Putin and
Medvedev today continually faces challenges to ‘‘catch up’’ to the economic,
technological, and military achievements of its rivals.

Fourth, that strategies concerning how to catch up are based in, and continue to define, contested
aspects of Russian national identity that link domestic economic and political
order with foreign policy priorities and orientation.

And fifth, that the central debate today and for at least 200 years revolves around the extent to which
Western liberalism is an appropriate model for Russia, and subsequently how
closely Moscow should ally with the West, or certain partners in it, to achieve its


U.S. - Russia relations - Google Search

u.s. Russian Relations

Preparing for a Less Stable Russia | William Courtney

High and low points in Obama’s effort to ‘reset’ U.S.-Russian relations - The Washington Post

American-Russian ties in 2014: Shared goals, different approaches | The BRICS Post

The Confusing State of U.S.-Russia Relations |

200 Years of U.S.-Russia Relations

Why Putin’s Defense of “Traditional Values” Is Really a War on Freedom

Islamic Terrorism and the US-Russian Rivalry | The Brussels Journal


determinants of national characters - Google Search

National psychology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

National Psychology refers to the (real or alleged) distinctive psychological make-up of particular nationsethnic groups or peoples, and to the comparative study of those characteristics insocial psychologysociologypolitical science and anthropology.
The assumption of national psychology is that different ethnic groups, or the people living in a national territory, are characterized by a distinctive "mix" of human attitudesvaluesemotions,motivation and abilities which is culturally reinforced by language, the familyschooling, the state and the media.
National psychology plays a role in politics via the ideology of nationalism. Politicians will appeal e.g. to "the French people", "the American people", the "Russian people", the idea being that members of a nation have a common national identity, are part of a national community, and share common interests (the "national interest"). Politicians must try to unify and integrate people to work together for common goals, and appealing to their common national characteristics is often part of that.
Closely related is the idea of the national character which refers to the values, norms and customs which people of a nation typically hold, their typical emotional responses, and what they regard as virtue and vice - all factors which determine how they will habitually respond to situations.
National psychology has sometimes been used to explain why economic development occurred in a different way in different countries, or why a particular turn of political events happened as it did.
Reference is sometimes made to the "national psyche" or the "soul" of a nation, to explain why some public events can trigger a commotion or uproar in a country, or why a particular nation gets particularly enthusiastic or obsessed with a sport or cultural practice.
The idea is that a nation shares a specific cultural mentalitymorality or mindset, embedded in its language and institutions, which causes it to react much more strongly, or much less strongly, to particular situations than people of other nations would, and that people from different nations have different problem-solving strategies.
  • the mentality of a nation may change over time, through shared experiences, and therefore that the characteristics which are thought to be "typical" of a nation may change over time. In modern society, often the young generation no longer identifies with the ways of the old generation, including their ideas of national identity and norms.

  • When there are fights about identity, when people feel insecure about their identity, or when they try to get their identity accepted by others, a lot of people may claim they have important characteristics in common, or that they differ greatly from others, even although there is in truth little objective evidence for it. A fairly large "national movement" may appear of people sharing a national belief, even although in reality they do not have all that much in common. That is, people's desire to feel that they have something in common, makes them act "as though" it already exists, even though this is not really true. 

In some strands of postmodernism, nations are no longer viewed as legally enforced territories but as imagined communities in which national identification becomes increasingly vaguer. Thus, for example, Michel Foucault claimed that in the West, "the project of the science of the subject has gravitated, in ever-narrowing circles, around the question of sex" (Foucault, The history of sexuality, Vol. 1, Vintage, p. 70). This could be understood to mean that people really identify more with sexuality than nationality nowadays.

National identity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ethnic stereotype - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nationalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ideology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

National character studies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Geoffrey Gorer's The People of Great Russia: A Psychological Study (1949)
This last monograph led to the demise of National Character Studies and Culture and Personality as a whole due to its poor reception. In it, Gorer argues that the personality of the Russians, so distasteful to their enemies and his sponsor, the Americans, resulting from their practice of swaddling infants, wrapping them tightly in blankets. This, Gorer posited, generated cold and removed personalities in adulthood. This theory became known as the "swaddling hypothesis," and was generally regarded as unworkable, simplistic, and hastily determined.


European Civilization - Google Search

European civilization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Western culture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Civilization and Culture - Google Search

Culture during the Cold War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Europeanization - Google Search

globalization and europeanization - Google Search

Europeanization theory - Google Search

Jonas - HL History - Blog: The Europeanisation of Russia by Peter the Great


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European empires - From Wikipedia
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Human Language Families - From Wikipedia 

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File:Major religions distribution.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Snowden showed us we are sleepwalking into Orwellian horror - ex ...

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Snowden showed us we are sleepwalking into Orwellian horror ... chance to see what is really going on behind the closed doors of Big Brother.
  1. Islamic Terrorism and the US-Russian Rivalry | The Brussels Journal

    May 21, 2013 - Islamic Terrorism and the US-Russian Rivalry ... This tendency has indeed poisoned Russian-American relations since the end of the .... But what is certain, is that Russia, as younger brother of the western civilization, urgently ...
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The perspectives for U.S. - Russian relations in 2014 - Google Search 

Carnegie Corporation of New York: Rebuilding U.S.-Russia Relations

The perspectives for U.S. - Russian relations in 2014 - Google Search

The Future of Transatlantic Security Cooperation after 2014

Stent, A.: The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century. (eBook and Cloth)

anti-American sentiment inside Russia - Google Search

Anti-Americanism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The 5 Biggest Events That Shaped Putin's 2013 | Opinion | The Moscow Times:

The state-sponsored anti-gay campaign: 

The Kremlin's propaganda machine went out in full force this year to convince Russians that the greatest threat to Russia — along with the U.S. and NATO — are homosexuals.
Leading the homophobia campaign throughout the year were Dmitry Kiselyov and Arkady ­Mamontov, news and talk show hosts on ­Rossia 1 state television, and a series of pseudo-­documentaries on other state-controlled television stations. They all told viewers that homosexuality in Russia was a Western conspiracy meant to corrupt the country's fundamental moral and spiritual values, exacerbate its demographic crisis and spread HIV among Russians.
The State Duma joined the anti-gay campaign, passing the controversial "gay propaganda law" unanimously in June. The law, which ­essentially codifies Russia's homosexuals and lesbians as ­second-class citizens, states that anyone who ­expresses a "distorted understanding of the ­social equality of traditional and nontraditional sexual ­relations" in the presence of a minor is subject to a fine of 5,000 rubles ($150). At least three Russians have already been fined under the law.
The irony is that if anyone has a "distorted ­understanding" of homosexuality, it is the Duma deputies. The Liberal Democratic Party took this ignorance one step further, introducing a bill that would use state funds to "treat" homosexuals of their ­"illness" with the goal of turning them into heterosexuals.
The other irony is that while the new law is presented as a defense against gay propaganda, the real propagandizers are the government and church, which are trying to impose their "spiritual, traditional and moral values" on those who have "nontraditional" values.

Read more:
The Moscow Times 


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Putinism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

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Belkovsky on Putin's latent homosexuality - Google Search

Russian President Vladimir Putin Is 'Latently Gay,' Alleges Controversial New Biography

New Book on Vladimir Putin Claims Russian President Flees From People - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Gay Russia’s choice: Back to the closet or pack it in - The Globe and Mail

Russia's anti-gay law causing wrong kind of international attention -

HIV & AIDS Information :: European physicians condemn impact of Russian anti-gay law on HIV prevention and care

  1. Putin is 'Latently Gay', New Biography Suggests| Gay News ...

    Dec 4, 2013 - According to BelkovskyPutin's alleged affair with beautiful former gymnast and Olympic champion Alina ... A 2007 photo shot at which Putin's reputation as a "gay icon" was apparently established ... Better latent than never.

  2. Russian Scientist Claims Vladimir Putin Is Gay — And The ... - Queerty

    Dec 4, 2013 - According to Belkovsky, for Putin ”sex and a sex life are alien” but he posits that ... Of course, latent homosexuality might explain why Puts is so ...

  3. Putin is A Latent Homosexual New Biography Suggests. | the real ...

    Dec 5, 2013 - A new book from “a star columnist” at a Moscow tabloid is making headlines in Russia, Spiegel reports. The book, by Stanislav Belkovsky...

  4. Russian Scientist Claims Vladimir Putin Is Gay — And The Evidence ...

    Belkovsky says Putin's alleged affair with a former gymnast/Olympic ... Of course,latent homosexuality might explain why Puts is so gung-homo with his anti-gay ...

  5. Putin is "latently gay" new biography suggests... -

    Dec 5, 2013 - 10 posts - ‎8 authors
    According to BelkovskyPutin's alleged affair with beautiful former .... of link between very homophobic men and latent homosexuality exists.
The perspectives for U.S. - Russian relations in 2014 - Google Search

  1. Russia-U.S. Relations Are Bad, But They're About to Get Worse ...

    Aug 12, 2013 - An understanding of the decline in Russia-U.S. relations must take into account ... From the Russian perspective, the U.S. has failed to be cooperative as well. ... Meet The People Who Think America Is 2014 Years Old.

  2. u.s. Russian Relations - Huffington Post

    U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul's YouTube Presentation From a Public Diplomacy Perspective ... the Russian perspective to an American audience and hopefully to reach a large ... The Impact of the Midterm Elections on the US-Russian Relations .... Meet The People Who Think America Is 2014 Years Old.

Vladimir Ilyich Putin, Conservative Icon

How Vladimir Putin Ruthlessly Maintains Russia's Grip on the East - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Maintaining Russian Power: Pulling Strings in Kiev - SPIEGEL ONLINE

'New World Leader of the Conservatives'
Following Snowden, Syria, Iran and other foreign-policy coups, Putin now sees himself in a role that he finds equally gratifying: an "arbiter of global politics."
"For Putin, all it took was 20 minutes with Obama on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg to avert a bombing of Syria and to lay the groundwork for a solution to the Syrian chemical weapons problem," says a senior Russian diplomat.
According to an unpublished, 44-page report by the Institute for Strategic Studies, the Kremlin's most powerful think tank, to which SPIEGEL has gained access, Putin's authority is now "so extensive that he can even influence a vote on Syria in the US Congress." The report praises Putin as the "new world leader of the conservatives."
The report's authors write that the hour of conservatives has now come worldwide because "the ideological populism of the left" -- a reference to men like Obama and French President François Hollande -- "is dividing society." 

In Putin's model, only a leader knows what's best for his people. "The non-liberal empire helps to explain Russia's turning away from Europe by citing subversive European values," says Frolov, "and it allows the Kremlin to hold onto the illusion that it is playing in the same league as America, China and the EU."
No Putin project embodies this illusion quite as much as the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. They symbolize both Putin's dream of a new greatness and his weakness. The Kremlin chief has had new highways, tunnels and railroads constructed in the Caucasus, as well as a state-of-the-art train station and two winter resorts. Corruption and nepotism were partly response for an explosion in costs -- from the original estimate of €9 billion to more than €37 billion. And only a national leader with Putin's ambitions, and only a country with megalomaniacal tendencies, could hit upon the idea of holding winter games in a Black Sea resort town with a subtropical climate.
Russia intends to use the Olympics to present its unique features to a marveling world, which explains why the Kremlin had 14,000 people carry the Olympic torch along a 65,000-kilometer (40,600-mile) route throughout Russia -- both of which are record figures. Naturally, the torch relay began on Red Square, and of course the ceremony coincided with Putin's birthday. The Kremlin sent a diver with the torch to the bottom of Lake Baikal, the world's deepest freshwater lake. Cosmonauts carried it into space in a rocket, camel riders took it across the southern Russian steppes, sled dogs pulled it through the Arctic and an icebreaker ferried it to the North Pole.


Основными чертами новой консервативной политики В.Путина стали приверженность традиционным ценностям, рациональность и последовательность позиции. При этом те страны, которые не могли "сдержать обещания", оказались в проигрыше по итогам этого года. "Именно непоследовательность позиции представителей ЕС стала причиной отказа от ассоциации с Украиной, - напомнил эксперт, - а непоследовательность в отношениях с Египтом нанесла удар по американским интересам".

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Эксперт: Владимир Путин стал лидером мирового консерватизма :: Политика ::


Не называя США, Владимир Путин озвучил давнюю обеспокоенность российского руководства происходящей там технической революцией, прежде всего, созданием крылатых ракет большой дальности с высокоточными неядерными боеприпасами.
О ЕС Путин упомянул один раз - в контексте продолжения длящейся уже много лет работы над проектом нового договора о сотрудничестве. Об отношениях с Соединенными Штатами и Китаем не говорил вообще.
Зато он сформулировал свое концептуальное понимание места России в мире и задач внешней политики Москвы.
Слов о партнерстве, сотрудничестве, интеграции в мировое сообщество, использовании возможностей Запада для экономического и технологического развития России не прозвучало. Упор был сделан на конкуренцию: надо последовательно и эффективно продвигать свои интересы и ценности.
"Мы не претендуем на звание какой-то сверхдержавы […] Но мы будем стремиться быть лидерами", - заявил Путин.
"Главное здесь другое: как во времена СССР, политическое и военное руководство России рассматривает США в качестве неприятеля."  

Путин определился с идеологией - он консерватор - BBC Russian - Россия
Путин в послании обличил "аморальный интернационал" - BBC Russian - Экономика
 Published on  1/3/14 3:03 PM | Last Update on: 1/9/2014