On March 1st, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his Address to the Federal Assembly (the upper and lower chambers of the Russian parliament, i.e., the Federation Council and State Duma). This speech was, in all likelihood, not only of political, but of historic significance – first and foremost because of the foreign policy agenda voiced in the speech. The domestic policy dimension of Putin’s speech also deserves consideration in due time.
A number of important circumstances shaped Putin’s 2018 Address to the Federal Assembly. First of all, the head of state usually addresses the Federal Assembly in December, but at the end of last year it was announced that the event would be postponed. What caused this change? The easiest explanation would be that Russian presidential elections are approaching on March 18th. Without a doubt, Putin’s March 1st speech was delivered in a pre-election context.
Against Putin’s speech, which I am inclined to consider historic, the debates between the other presidential candidates look minuscule and even absurd. Nevertheless, I believe that this would be too strong of a simplification. Vladimir Putin confidently embraces the role of leader of Russia, and if he had merely desired to engage in some political advertising, then a whole range of other topics could have been chosen for his speech. Yet the main foreign policy message of Putin’s speech, in my opinion, cannot be discussed outside of a global context and, as follows, is of global significance. This message is encapsulated in a short phrase: continued deterioration of Russia-West relations will lead to the threat of a military clash.
This “militarization” of Putin’s speech cannot be explained in terms of electoral aims, which are indeed important but rather minor compared to the list of topics which Putin addressed. This was not an appeal to the electorate, but a call on the Russian nation on the eve of serious challenges and, perhaps, a great war.
In other words, on March 1st, 2018, Russians were witnesses not to a speech by Russian politician #1, but a calling by Russia’s Supreme Commander-in-Chief in anticipation of what is, in our opinion, an inevitable war with Ukraine and, as follows, the West (the US and NATO) standing behind it.
This is why I would call President’s Putin’s Address to the Federal Assembly a “Munich speech 2.0.” To recall, in 2007 in the capital of Bavaria, Putin presented a vivid and clear picture of the injustices of the unipolar world order. His speech was then called by US minions a return to the Cold War, just as his March 1st speech has been dubbed a return to the arms race. The 2018 Address developed the same theses of the Munich speech, but 11 years later and in a drastically changed international situation. I would summarize these changes in two points: (1) the collapse of Pax Americana has become obvious; and (2) precisely due to this crisis of American hegemony, the threat of a great war has increased drastically.
Today’s situation is at once cause for both optimism and anxiety. Of course, if one so wishes they can interpret the “militaristic” part of Putin’s speech as the apotheosis of Russian militarism, although this interpretation has already been sounded far and wide and I do not think that everyone saying such is insincere. But on exactly the same side of the hypothetical barricades, it must be understood that these weapons are not for conquest, but for defending our own territory.
Vladimir Putin, as is well known, as a KGB officer serving in East Germany at the time of its Anschluss by West Germany, saw with his own eyes the West’s deception and the treacherous stupidity of the gullible Soviet elites in the likes of Gorbachev, Shevardnadze, etc.
The broken gentleman’s promise not to expand NATO eastwards that was given to Gorbachev in exchange for agreeing to “let go” of the German Democratic Republic, the creation and deployment of new NATO units a few dozen kilometers from Russia’s northern capital of St. Petersburg, and the deployment of US missile “defense” bases in Romania and Poland – all of these actions are provocations of an arms race and steps towards a real hot war, not a cold one.
Russia has numerous, acute internal problems and the Russian leadership led by President Putin is, to put it mildly, far from successfully coping with all of them. But in the current situation, Russia’s very survival as a state is at stake. Thus, like many other times in Russia’s history, the Russian people have rallied around their leader, and all forces and resources will be dedicated to strengthening the country’s armed forces.
2018 will be a year of strenuous trials for Russia and Europe.
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“continued deterioration of Russia-West relations will lead to the threat of a military clash”
Is that a bad translation? We are already seeing the threat.
To what degree are these geopolitical dances choreographed?
Notwithstanding world wars.
Medical globalism and infrastructural IofT globalism – and of course the underlying financial ‘system’ all operate beneath the scenes while attention is captured and polarised in the dynamic of conflict.
Look at the body language of the American partners and their assets.
Grave ashen faced statesmen struggling under enormous responsibility?
Or crisis actors?
Reblogged this on Floating-voter.
Some of the comments below pick up on the Gorbachev remarks. For me, Gorbachev needs to be exposed for what he is: a traitor …not just to the FSU, but to the rest of humanity. There is no need for me to labour my point: the man himself has laid out his “global perestroika” corporate commoning agenda often enough, quite often in the Graun, which should be red flag enough. If people are suspicious that the environmental movement is being gamed toward one world governance …he’s your man.
In light of this, it would pay to be extremely cynical about his part in the breakup of the FSU. [For a full picture: Dutch Disease caused by over-reliance on oil revenues and industrialization; as well as the over-bureaucratisation and de-democratisation that Trotsky predicted would have to be taken into account. As well as “external factors ” (Soros was active in the FSU from 1987).] As Alexander Zinoviev put it: “if he was not CIA: he might as well have been.”
That he has gone to become the Soros of environmentalism is undeniable. Through his various NGOs, including his “Brains Trust ” for the coming “paradigm shift” – the corporate totalitarian future is being mapped out …whilst humanity sleepwalks into it. [BTW: denialism and sitting-on-the-fence-ism are playing into the corporate agenda.] Unless we want the Pax Capitalis of totalitarian One World capitalism: we would do well to advance our own alternative.
(And if you think I am being alarmist: research his own published speeches and check out who he hangs out with and tell me I’m wrong).
BTW: if we are serious about at least protesting the coming war: then we will have to look deeper than the simplistic Russia good – America bad analysis. Vladimir Vladomirovich and Xi are jostling for a multi-polarity WITHIN the Pax Capitalis – not AGAINST it. Intra-capitalist blocs are forming on both sides …inter alia NATO, EU Military Unification (PESCO: CARD); Quads in SE Pacific; Anglo-French treaties versus EEU; SCO (BRICS is not a bloc.) It is inter-capitalist bloc imperial rivalry that will cause WW3: an Inter-capitalist cooperative pact to further sub-divide the failing global market would be doomed to failure, even if it ever gets proposed. The solution would be an emergent ecological economy and humanity (not under Gorbachev!) which cannot come from the poisonous chalice of capitalism.
I tried to up tick this but the number went from 2 to 1 and then back to 2 (just in case you are thinking that no-one agrees with you!)
a post appeared here in your real name?
Yes. A post with my initial and surname appeared at the top of a thread I had been posting on.
How bizarre. If you’re concerned at all just email us about the comment in question.
Happened to quite a few people (including me) over at Bernhard H’s Moon of Alabama blog: there were some commenters using our MoA names to make comments completely out of character with what we would normally say. The problem seems to have gone away.
I don’t know what an MoA name is but this person didn’t use my user name but used my REAL name: the initial of my first name and the full surname. You don’t have to give these details when you post to OffG so the site itself never knew who I am.
I think that it is a WordPress thing, Mikalina. the same thing happened to me.
Hi Bevin. Don’t use WordPress or any social media platform.
I only use it insofar as it appears to power the comment facility.
Sorry, lazy grammar. I meant, I don’t use WordPress or social media. I would not be so presumptuous as to tell you what to do!
I know that. But thanks for your courtesy.
MoA is short for Moon of Alabama, an alt media site, one of the best. But yes, that’s a different issue. I replied to your email btw.
Thank you for your reply. I will monitor the situation and let you know if there are any further incidences.
Apparently our Western oligarchs are all prepared to take the calculated risk that they might just have to hop in their private jets to head to their spot in a luxury underground bunker somewhere in order to hunker down and ride out the nuclear winter that follows hot on the heals of the total incineration of the planet. Like lemmings heading off to the latest version of the – “Peasant’s Crusade” – Western populations seem almost totally oblivious to the apocalyptic nature of our current circumstances, including the totally insane behavior of our so called – “leaders.”
The most worrying thing is some of them seem to believe they are the architects of the Apocalypse. We are all just pawns in the game of Chess to them. How do we wake the sleep walkers who still soak up the propaganda. How do we raise the banner for peace. Sometimes I think they would rather drift into a state of war then acknowledge how deeply they have been manipulated and how wrong they were to trust these psychopaths with our world.
The One Per Cent have a $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$tranglehold.
Putin knows this.
He has given them an ultimatum.
Will they accept defeat gracefully or wipe the pieces from the board?
“…US missile “defense” bases in Romania and Poland…”
that’s hilarious! The apotheosis of absurdity and ridiculousness. Sounds the same as, for example, “French missile “defense” bases in Australia” or “Brazilian missile “defense” bases in Norway”, haha.
Well, if the US have their “defense” bases in Romania and Poland, then I conclude that Romania and Poland are a part of the US, i.e. American land. Well, not bad at all.
Hmm, will it be OK for the US if Russia would have some military bases equipped with “Iskander” complexes, for example, in Mexico, calling it “defense” bases? I’m sure the US will not mind and worry. Especially if Russia would say “Believe us, It’s not against you guys”. Then Russia would open a military “defense” base in Cuba, and a few military “defense” bases in Canada, repeating to the US “It’s not against you guys”. I’m pretty sure the US will not worry at all.
“…an inevitable war with Ukraine…”
that sounds doubtful to me. I really don’t think there will be a war between Russia and Ukraine. Ukrainian politicians, of course, are meager in brains, but even for stupidity there must be some limit. To start a war with a nuclear super power right near you? Having in mind what happened in 2008 when Georgia attacked South Ossetia and killed russian peacekeepers, plus having in mind experience of the Russian operation in Syria (“Kalibr” missiles, X-101 missile, “Pantsir” complexes, electronic warfare systems, S-400 and other serious weapons). Plus keeping in mind vulnerable geographical position of Ukraine – if it would be a conflict, Russia could respond (I emphasize, to respond – cuz Russia would never strike first) from three directions – from the North, from the East and from the South (having an ultra-serious military base in Crimea now). Plus keeping in mind that you need money, a lot of money for the war – Ukraine can not boast of this, over the past few years on the level of the economy slipping to the level of the poorest African countries. Plus, the prospect of a two-front war – a war against the citizens of the Donbass and a war against Russia. This is pure suicide.
Given all this, I very much doubt that Ukrainian politicians would have decided to make war on Russia. Though, you know… Albert Einstein said “There are two infinite things: the Universe and human stupidity. However, about the first, I’m not sure”.
”Plus, the prospect of a two-front war – a war against the citizens of the Donbass and a war against Russia. This is pure suicide.”
Of course it is pure suicide, but that is what it is meant to be. Poroshenko will do, what any other US vassal will do – a fortiori – when the obese one gets the orders from DC. Of course the Ukie army will get yet another bloody nose to add to the defeats in Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo. But this will be political manna from heaven for the Anglo-zionist empire; they will unleash a full propaganda offensive against any Russian ‘invasion’ even if the NAF defeats the offensive. It will go something like this: Poor little Ukraine standing up to the Putin the Kremlin monster and his evil empire; something must be done; more sanctions, increasing confrontation in Syria, cancellation of Nord Stream 2. You can just see it now; it is easy to anticipate the political fallout. We will be back into 2014 again. Any political rapproachment between Russia and Europe will be put on ice for the foreseeable future, and NATO, particularly its European wing, will get a new lease of life.
On the plus side, however, the political situation inside Ukraine will become chaotic. It is difficult to see Poroshenko surviving this, even with his life. Soldiers, including the neo-nazi punitive battalions will struggle back from the front in the knowledge that they have been used as cannon-fodder by the PTB in Kiev and their US/NATO backers. Anything can happen in this situation. A bit like Germany in 1918 when the German Army mutated into units like the Freikorps (forunner to the SA) thirsting for revenge against the Weimar ‘traitors’ who had ‘stabbed them in the back’.
The situation is fluid to say the least.
I think that just publishing Putin’s speech was sufficient. He outlined exactly the Russian response to American attempts to dominate and threaten other nations by military force. Looking at the pros and cons of Gorbachev’s move to disband the Soviet Union is not relevant to the issue, in my view. I personally think it was an extremely admirable position for him to take, to be able to say that our policies were not working and let’s try something else. Actually, a very brave and courageous step to take and he fully merited receiving the Nobel prize for peace, in my view (whereas Obama receiving it made it subsequently meaningless – now they want to award to the White Helmets, I read somewhere!!!).
It is not Gorbachev’s fault that the US didn’t adhere to its promise to not move one inch towards Russia with NATO, as George Bush the first said at the time. Perhaps Gorbachev was being naive to believe any American politician, but his heart was in the right place and he believed, I am sure, that Russia was not progressing economically under its existing system.
The problem clearly lies with the insanity of American preoccupation with dominating world affairs, a kind of narcissist phobia for sure. After all, with only 4% of the world’s population, 25% of all prisoners throughout the world are incarcerated in American prisons. There are serious problems in America itself that America needs to resolve, but the root of the problem is the fact that so many people are employed by the military, in terms of the armed forces and people working in weapons production. And, obviously, you need an enemy to justify all this.
And I will repeat again, it does not fit the pattern. When a country collapses, the West always has a man on the inside.
Also, this airy fairy good hearted but fallible character who, oops, drops the ball, is becoming a bit of a meme. The FBI in the 9/11 film; the UN in the genocide in Rwanda. NGOs in Haiti. Comforting to know that it is all human error, human nature. Who wants to face up to the fact that it is deliberately planned and executed, whatever the “collateral damage”.
“…It is not Gorbachev’s fault that the US didn’t adhere to its promise to not move one inch towards Russia with NATO…”
I strongly disagree on this point. I have no doubt that this was the direct guilt of Gorbachev. It is he who is guilty of “the US didn’t adhere to its promise to not move one inch towards Russia with NATO”. To be naive and stupid – this is guilt. You can not afford the luxury of being naive. You are the president of the country. Nevermind what country – USSR, or any other country. This is your work, your direct responsibility and duty – to ensure the security of the state, as well as the reliability and legitimacy of all agreements concluded.
NATO’s promise “to not move one inch towards Russia” – this is very serious promise, and, theoretically, very serious agreement. This was a direct responsibility of Gorbachev, as head of state, to ensure the reliability and legality of this deal. But he allowed himself the luxury of being naive. He did not get written agreements from NATO “to not move one inch towards Russia”. This means that he failed to fulfill his duties as head of state. This fatal mistake and this shame will forever be associated with his name.
I suppose you are right. He should have gotten the agreement in writing.
But, I don’t believe for an instant that America seriously plans to attack Russia, though, the agreement notwithstanding. It is probably all just smoke and mirrors to justify the huge military expenditures. If Hillary had been elected and got a ‘no fly zone’ going in Syria, Russia would have certainly ignored it and Hillary certainly would have had to back down, as with Trump, if the conflict seriously escalated with Russia.
No one wants to start a nuclear war with Russia (or China), of that I am certain (unless the leaders are all suicidal maniacs, which I don’t think is the case).
We know the modus operandi for bringing down a country by the West. We have seen it many times. We also don’t believe the mainstream media when they talk of internal strife, or a myriad of other reasons for the fall of that country.
Yet, when it comes to the USSR, we fully accept what we were taught – by the MSM: it fell because it was bankrupted by the arms race; it fell because it was bankrupted by Afghanistan; and, of course, the people wanted to be part of the West.
What if the usual tentacles invaded before the collapse? ‘Advisers’, Intelligent officers, PR experts, business interests (hedgefund managers?), NGOs, charities, etc.? What if deals were made with heads of countries within the USSR, promising power and control? What if the West had a ready and willing leader to assist in the ‘changeover’, someone ‘we could work with’? What if a small revolution could be instigated on the ground in Moscow? What if a hero could emerge – someone ‘of the people’ – perhaps photos on a tank? What if he rescued the people from the communists in the Parliament? What about if all this could be spun into a narrative of incompetence and human error?
The USSR did not collapse. It was taken to pieces by the West.
President Putin hasn’t come to the end of a short road or journey. He stated clearly in 2007 that he knew the West, what it stood for and what it had done to Russia. He stated in 2011 that the people of our countries in the West were not hearing the truth due to the corruption of the Fourth Estate. And now, he has come to the end of a very, very long and painfully experienced period of history – painful for Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Syrians, and many, many more. He is saying, stop. I, for one, am in agreement. Let’s stop.
” Administrations neither start nor prevent wars they act as agents, agents on behalf of ? …”
The answer is not easy. This is a zombie civilisation-the brains that guide it are long dead.
This empire has two parts, the greater part of it consists of the satellites of the USA, the UK and Canada included, and their leaders do not think at all. They see themselves as bound to follow Washington’s lead, lest it becomes angry and issues orders. It is many years since any of the satellites dared to think for themselves on strategic geopolitical questions, so long ago that the idea of thinking independently no longer occurs to any but a few outliers who have been consulted so rarely that they haven’t had to adjust their thinking to the ‘realistic’ conclusion that America rules and it is a good thing that it does.
As to the US itself the problem there is slightly different. The country has always been ruled by a wealthy oligarchy- it has a Constitution to prove it- and the oligarchy has always ruled by consensus. Among itself, that is, it has no interest in consulting “the American People” whom it regards as a joke, idiotic, vulgar, unclean and ridiculously poor. What prevails in Washington is an attitude of mind, the product of centuries of aggression and impunity, of bloodbaths sanctified with unctuous hypocrisy, of plunder disinfected by an ideology of ‘progress.’ There is no way that foreigners can get through to Washington, it simply does not believe that anyone outside it can possibly have anything to say. Besides, the people Putin needs to address, the people whose minds he needs to change, those who might be impressed by a response to aggression and provocation, are all dead.
Jefferson, Lincoln, McKinley, either of the Roosevelts would have realised that this speech is important and that leaving the decision between war and peace up to jumped up marine martinets at home and demented followers of Stepan Bandera and Adolf Hitler abroad is a bad idea.
But they are all dead and the USA has been running on auto-pilot since a time that only very sharp octogenarians remember.
There’s no doubt that Gorbachev, Shevardnadze and their ilk were stupid and gullible, if not worse. Whether they were traitors is another matter. In truth, the treachery had been committed long before when the mistakes of Marshal Stalin were used by revisionists to inter all that had been good about the USSR, his leadership of it and working class power as a force for good in the world. V V Putin has at least recognised the importance of J V Stalin in shaping the world as we know it today and, in his footsteps, contributed to preserving at least some semblance of civilisation. However V V Putin must go much further to emulate his predecessor’s role as a pre-eminent fighter for the international working class and against the inhumane, corrupt and brutal capitalist system if he wishes to be remembered as more than a footnote in history.
working class power
Right, the people who would have been leaders of the working class, exercised real power, as they were worked to death in the slave labour camps in Siberia, or shot in the basements of the GPU prisons.
The more I read articles of this nature the more I believe I’m watching Dr Strangelove. It seems the scenarios laid out are reliant upon characters like Bucky or Jack D Ripper. Administrations neither start nor prevent wars they act as agents, agents on behalf of ? Mr Putin, Mr Trump, Mrs May etc, etc all appear to be reading a script, albeit a heavily censored one via our trustworthy press. I can see the plausibility of Mr Popov’s analysis, yet as always such a perspective engenders fear and anxiety. It seems the right questions are not being asked.
It seems the right questions are not being asked.
— in the Anglo-Zionist Empire, and its pathetic vassal states.
In Russia, the right questions have already been asked, and answered. The answers are in fact clear, for anybody with eyes to see, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, Haiti, Yugoslavia, North Korea. Hence Vladimir Putin’s speech, announcing that the era of Global Hegemony, to use somebody’s term, has now been cancelled.
I think it is unhelpful in the context of President Validimir. V. Putin address to both Russian Parliamentary chambers, and for the present commentator to comment on past matters of either Gorbachev, or Shevardnadze and others, who this commentator now cateergorise as traitors?
Because as the stark logic of Russia current claims, as defined by the President Putin is in the communinal/political envelope of self-defence: and telling it like it is. Is surely an approiate warning to the Global Communitity: and that the USA’s and its many partners in alliances – if not the American peoples.
And, recognise that this is not an act of war-mongering by Russia, but a commonsense assessment from the past and the currently continuing threat of an actual act of nuclear war threatened by the USA – and it is definitely not a war-mongering challenge by the Russian Federation State ?
In my opinion at least!
Gorbachev bought into the western flattery. Thatcher and her ‘he is a person I can do business with’ and cosying up to Ronnie and Nancy as a cute 4-some with Raisa. Gorbachev was a fool and played for a fool by the west.
The comment about Gorbachev is disingenuous and unhelpful – even so, if one reads between the lines here, in respect to Putin’s presentation of the apparent supremacy of Russia in terms of military technology (that is if you have watched the videos he showed) you could consider that he has created an fresh expedient towards Nato and the West coming to a realisation that this delusion and stupidity has to come to an end – rather than that of the continuance of the survival of the human species, which will undoubtedly include them amongst our number.
Unfortunately you’re dealing with a bunch of American sociopaths who truly believe in the old better-dead-than-red meme.
In what sense is the comment about Gorbachev ‘disingenuous’? Surely he was a monstrous fool and an inadvertent architect of this present precarious situation?
For the Soviet government to have trusted a promise made by the then US Secretary of State James Baker, that NATO would not extend membership to other eastern European states if the USSR were to agree to German reunification – in a global context in which Moscow had to know that the warlords fighting the legitimate government in Afghanistan were being aided by the US government through the CIA and other contacts (Osama bin Laden among them), and Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan were dying because of US involvement in that war – was naive at the very least and bordering on stupidity.
Calling Gorbachev treacherous is not helpful but in light of what has happened since, it’s perhaps no wonder that Russian public opinion of Gorbachev is very low.