Why Is Putin So Afraid?

onedomino

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What is Putin so afraid of? Loss of political influence in Eastern Europe? The Russians could hardly have less. Further US military integration with Eastern Europe. Certainly. Russian inability to threaten limited nuclear strikes? Possibly. See first sentence of article below.

Polish Leader Embraces Missile Plan
Enthusiastic ally is host to Bush after G-8 summit

By Mark Silva
Published June 9, 2007

Complete article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...,1,4668418.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

ROME -- President Bush, pressing ahead with plans to deploy a battery of missiles in Poland, said Friday that the defense system will guard against "regimes who might be willing to try to blackmail free nations."

Polish President Lech Kaczynski, playing host to Bush in Gdansk for a walk in the woods, a meeting and a dinner, said: "I can tell you, as far as the missile defense system is concerned ... we completely agree.


"This system has no aggressive intentions," Kaczynski said. "This is for the protection of Europe against the danger that results from the fact that not all the countries of the contemporary world" are cooperative.

Bush's plan for deployment of 10 defensive missiles in Poland faces opposition from Russia, where President Vladimir Putin calls it "premature." Yet Putin this week offered to let the U.S. share a Soviet-built radar installation in the former Soviet satellite of Azerbaijan to serve as the eyes of a missile defense network in Europe. He also suggested Friday that the U.S. station the missiles for the network on ships at sea or in Turkey or Iraq.
 

actsnoblemartin

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putin is on his way to becoming a dictator in my opinion, and he is a control freak
 

Diuretic

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I heard this being discussed on the BBC and they put it down to domestic politics. Apparently - according to the discussion I was listening to - Russians want their country to be respected, particularly after the collapse of the Soviet Union when they were, for a while, dependent on western aid. That could be all there is to it.
 
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onedomino

onedomino

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I heard this being discussed on the BBC and they put it down to domestic politics. Apparently - according to the discussion I was listening to - Russians want their country to be respected, particularly after the collapse of the Soviet Union when they were, for a while, dependent on western aid. That could be all there is to it.
Putin needs bellicosity at the G8 for domestic consumption? I would have thought that he already had a handle on Russian public opinion since he controls most of the domestic media: http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article-world.asp?parentid=66160. How does blocking a US attempt to provide a missile shield for Europe improve Russian self respect? Rather, the attempt to block the missile shield pertains more to practical geopolitical concerns such as limiting US influence in Eastern Europe. Russian feels America and its influence on its doorstep. The Warsaw Pact buffer is gone.
 

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In the discussion much was made of the problems that befell Russia after the Soviet system collapsed. I've never been to Russia so I can't speak about their patriotism but looking back at their history since the October Revolution and in particularly in the Great Patriotic War (WWII) it seems to me that they believe that their nation should be respected - not feared but respected. The recent problems in Estonia, where the Russian-speaking minority were hounded by the authorities, would, of course, never happened under the Soviet regime. The same programme introduced the man who is apparently Putin's annointed successor. From the radio journalist's description of him he sounded a bit like he wouldn't have been out of place in the Politburo.

Russia is attempting to expand its sphere of influence. Heck it was doing it under the Tsars and it continued under the Soviets, now it's picking up on old imperialist habits again, just using a different approach.
 

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