Thursday, 11 November 2021

Back to the USSR?


The last of the old conflicts in Europe: the remnants of the old Soviet Union versus the European Union.

Who can deny that Russia is still smarting by the collapse of the USSR and the loss of almost all the countries that were behind its Iron Curtain?

All of them except Belarus, of course; another of the residue of old Europe, subjugated by dictatorial rule, just as Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Germany used to be.

We thought those issues had been resolved. 

A modern Europe, held together by the democratic European Union, with human rights at the centre of its raison d'être.

But we must think again. New Europeans are still threatened by the Old Europeans, who could undo all the progress of the past 70 years.

  • Does Russia relish the collapse of the EU? 
  • Does Russia want to ‘control’ its old territories again, such as the Baltic States? 

Of course. 

  • Did Russia play a key role in Brexit winning the referendum? 

That remains unproven, but there are multiple sources saying that evidence exists to show that Russia attempted to persuade the British public to leave the European Union.

I’d say that the circumstantial evidence is now compelling. Russia has the motive, and the means.

On BBC Radio 4 News today, their Moscow correspondent, Steve Rosenberg, asked the question:

Does Russia benefit from chaos on Belarus’s border with the EU?

And he answered:

In many ways it does.

He added:

Any upheaval in the EU is viewed positively in Moscow.

The Guardian reports this evening that Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko, has threatened to cut deliveries of gas to Europe via a major pipeline.

Da. That’ll help to create EU chaos. 

The Guardian report adds:

Backed by the Kremlin, Lukashenko has struck a defiant note after inciting a migrant crisis at the border, where thousands of people, mainly from Middle Eastern countries, are camped out as temperatures plunge below freezing.

Da. More Russian supported chaos for the EU.


European officials said that they expected the crisis to worsen. 

‘The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said that the picture from the border camps between Belarus and Poland were “terrible”. 

“Lukashenko is responsible for this suffering. He abuses people to put the EU under pressure."

Da. Russia and Belarus working together to create more EU chaos.

In the UK, the British government is threatening – I’d say engineering – a full-out trade war with the EU.

Da. That’ll cause even more chaos in Europe. Russia will be delighted. 

Is Britain acting in our best interests, or Russia’s? There are suspicions.

These are dangerous times. 

‘The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming’ was an American screwball comedy film, released in 1966, that parodied the fears of the Cold War.

But maybe the Russians are already here. 

Did you know that 14 ministers in Boris Johnson's government and two MPs on the Intelligence & Security committee, received donations from individuals and companies linked to Russia?

Last year the long-awaited report into Russian interference in the UK was at last published after Boris Johnson blocked its release before the 2019 general election.

The report revealed how Russia had integrated itself into British social, business, and political elites, while taking advantage of UK government policy to launder Russian money and influence.

The UK Intelligence and Security Committee concluded:

Russian influence in the UK is the new normal. 

Successive Governments have welcomed the oligarchs and their money with open arms, providing them with a means of recycling illicit finance through the London ‘laundromat’, and connections at the highest levels with access to UK companies and political figures.

But perhaps more worryingly is what we don’t know. The ‘Russia report’ revealed:

A number of issues addressed in this published version of the Russia Report are covered in more depth in the Classified Annex. 

We are not able to discuss these aspects on the grounds of national security.

Whose national security, Russia’s, or the UK’s? 

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