Interview

Je participerais au #Libre Journal de la livre Europe sur radio courtoisie ce 15/08/2017 avec Xavier Moreau sur le thème "La #Russie au sein de l'Europe". Les francais de l’étranger peuvent écouter la Radio en direct sur le site internet Read more

L’intégration économique et politique de l'Eurasie : objectifs réalistes ?

  Veuillez-trouver ci dessous mon interview de ce début 2017 pour la lettre de l'Association Nationale des Auditeurs Jeunes de l'Institut des Hautes Etude de Défenses Nationales /// WWW.ANAJ-IHEDN.ORG Comment définir l’axe eurasiatique ? Je crois qu’il faut tout d’abord envisager cet Read more

Conférence au MGIMO sur la politique étrangère de François Fillon (27/02/2017)

La politique étrangère de François Fillon : vers un nouveau gaullisme francais ? Photos sur le site du MGIMO Photos sur Facebook Bonjour à tous et merci beaucoup à cette institution qu’est MGIMO de nous recevoir aujourd’hui. Mon propos sera court, je souhaiterais vous parler Read more

Articles in English

Development and building institutions and traditions is more important for a new country than democracy.

* Development and building institutions and traditions is more important for a new country than democracy. That’s precisely what Pakistan needed and continues to need. In Pakistan, we need a visionary nationalistic leadership at the top backed by the strength of the Pakistani military to install a confident visionary leadership and give it consistency and continuity. That’s the formula that worked for China. The more time we waste in propping up a fake democracy, the more Pakistan will come closer to internal failure.


* Consider Mr. Musharraf and Mr. Putin, both products of military institutions in their respective countries. Both came to power around the same time. Ten years later, Musharraf faces the humiliation of exile and defeat while Putin is still in power. Musharraf led the country into internal and external chaos leaving Pakistan humiliatingly even more dependent on other countries that are taking advantage of the situation, while Putin saved Russia from collapse and reasserted Russia’s power when everyone had written that country off.

Posted on by Alexandre Latsa in Articles in English, Economie 3 Comments

A very clear analysis from Timothy Post

Since this last 3 years, i have been reading comments from pseudo specialists about Russia which sometimes made me laugh, sometimes upseted me and sometimes were making me feel totally depressed .. Many of those comments were made by people who weresupposed to be «specialists» )).. Whatever today i red this short analysis from Timothy POST and i founded that is was so clear and logical that i decided to post it ! You can find Timothy on Facebook.

» Think of the Russian presidents since perestroika as a continuum which started with a closed society and a planned economy and has as its destination a modern liberal democracy (think: France).
- The first 8 years of Yeltsin’s rule was a messy dismantling of the old system. The dislocation was perhaps unnecessarily rough but the job was finished. 
- Putin’s 8 years were about regrouping and stabilization. The key goal and accomplishment of Putin’s was that Russia was able to stand on its own two feet and was beholden to no organization (IMF, World bank, etc.) or country (USA, Germany, China, etc.). 
- Medvedev’s 8 years are all about modernizing (i.e. bringing Russia up to Western European standards)«.

One possible scenario would be for Putin to shift over to become head of the Supreme Court and a women appointed Prime Minister with the expectation that she will become President after Medvedev in 2016. This will enable Putin to continue to play a stabilizing role and also for him to take his place his unique place in history as the only person to have served as head of FSB, President, Prime Minister, and head of Supreme Court.

These guys are all on the same team and want the same thing- to ensure that Russia is self-sufficient  (economically and militarily), a full partner amongst the leading nations of the world, and to improve living standards. 

So far they have executed very well on this plan.
Posted on by Alexandre Latsa in Analyses, Articles in English 1 Comment

The Kremlin Stooge, on the politics of Russia

Marc Chapman was kind enough to translate my text «politic in Russia» that you can find on his blog here on my blog here.

His blog his excellent, i advice you all to consult it and yes, believe it or not, but like me, Mark is absolutly not Russian ;)

Posted on by Alexandre Latsa in Articles in English 2 Comments

Seliger 2010

J’ai déjà sur ce blog expliqué ce qu’est SELIGER. SELIGER 2010 à eu lieu, moins politisé, et sur le thème de l’ouverture. Je me permets ici de recoller quelques passages d’un article du Moscow Times.

LAKE SELIGER, Tver Region 
The summer camp on Lake Seliger used to be a private party for pro-Kremlin youth, but this year EU flags and a motley crew of foreign participants indicate that the times are changing.
I really don’t care about Russian politics because I am not from Russia,” said Akhilesh Chauhan, 20, a student from India who praised the friendly atmosphere at the camp.


Among the 5,000 campers at this year’s gathering, which opened last Friday and runs through July 30, are more than 800 foreigners, including students from Britain, India, Kenya, Pakistan and Slovakia.


The pro-Kremlin pundits who warned campers in years past about shadowy menaces to Russia’s “sovereign democracy” at daily lectures have given way to educators, film producers and fashion designers.


Seliger was founded as a training camp for Nashi, a youth movement created in 2005 with the support of authorities seeking to stave off  “color revolutions,” popular uprisings that led to regime change in countries like Ukraine and Georgia.
But the camp has steered away from politics to become an education forum open to all public organizations,Oleg Rozhnov, the Deputy Sport, Tourism and Youth Politics Minister who is also involved with the forum, said last year.


That does not mean that authorities have thrown the project to the wind. President Dmitry Medvedev made a splash at the Seliger camp on Thursday in his first visit as president. He previously attended in 2007 as a first deputy prime minister.


The president viewed several innovation projects by young inventors and chatted with Stanford University representatives who invited him to come and give a lecture. Medvedev gave a speech at the university in California late last month during a tour of Silicon Valley. He also visited President Barack Obama in Washington.
“I will try to settle it with Obama and come and visit you one more time,” Medvedev said Thursday, RIA-Novosti reported.
Buses carrying 400 children from another summer camp in the Tver region were stopped by traffic police for three hours to make way for Medvedev’s cortege, the opposition web site Kasparov.ru reported. But Interfax said Medvedev arrived by helicopter.


A Kremlin spokesman could not immediately say late Thursday how Medvedev had traveled to the camp but noted that decisions to block roads are made by local police, not the Kremlin.


When Nashi ran the camp, the national anthem was used as a wake-up call, and the practice has persisted. But the Nashi members in attendance are mostly employed as guides and guardians of order, not propagandists like before.
Discipline also remains strict like in Nashi times. Campers have a 1 a.m. curfew, and those who drink alcohol are kicked out on the spot. Even skipping lectures can result in a camper’s badge being punched with a hole — and three punches mean a ticket home.
But the atmosphere around the camp was cheerful during a visit this week, with campers spending their time alternating between lectures and leisure activities like rock climbing, bicycling and boat rides.


Previous Seliger camps had political posters plastered all around the place. But this year, only two big photos — of Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin — were featured on the walls of an open concert stage.


Even those traces of propaganda puzzled some guests.
“Honestly, I was very surprised [to see] Putin and Medvedev. In Japan, we do not see the pictures of political leaders in places like this,” Japanese student Yumi Tsubaki said as she sat on the grass chatting with a Russian-Korean friend, Kim Me Dua.
Tsubaki, one of 26 Japanese students at the camp, said she was an English major attracted to Seliger because of her interest in Russian culture. Some foreigners have complained about visa problems, but Tsubaki said she had no trouble.
Mikhail Mamonov, director of Seliger’s international program, said about 30 foreigners were not able to attend but insisted that no one had been denied a visa. He did not specify what prevented them from coming.


Some foreign youth who made it to Seliger were still dissatisfied, and a British student, Haidar Ali, even showed The Moscow Times a list of complaints he had compiled: no English translations during some lectures, a general lack of planning, and “couples engaging in inappropriate sexual activity.”


“They have failed in what Seliger promised to deliver,” Ali said.
He said he was particularly disappointed by the lack of political lectures by Western professors, as scheduled by organizers.


Ali said Frederick Starr, a professor on Central Asia, Afghanistan and Caucasus from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, was the only Western lecturer who had spoken so far.


The complaints did not prevent Vasily Yakemenko, who headed Nashi when its members harassed Britain’s ambassador in 2006 for attending a Russian opposition event and now heads the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, which organizes the annual camp, from speaking fondly about the foreign participation this year.
“The main topic of the international session is to open Russia to students worldwide,” Yakemenko said Wednesday, Interfax reported.


None of the foreign participants interviewed by The Moscow Times were aware of the Seliger camp’s politically charged history.


But many Russian participants noted that the gathering had improved without Nashi.
“There is more freedom and artistic spirit,” said Yana Belotserkovskaya, 19, an amateur poet from Lipetsk in central Russia who raved about a lecture by acclaimed poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko.


Representatives of foreign and Russian companies that are sponsoring the camp said they would not be involved if the camp focused on political themes like in previous years. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid problems with camp organizers. Camp partners include Russian TechnologiesKPMG,Siemens and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.


“Before it reminded me of a Communist camp. I think it has became much better now,» said one Russian company representative. «All they need to do is maybe stop broadcasting the national anthem in the morning.»



 



 

Posted on by Alexandre Latsa in Articles in English, Nashis 2 Comments

ALEXANDRE LATSА: World in the face of future challenges

Marat Kunaev, Russian bloggueur, interviewed me a few days ago, the interview can be founded in English Here and here on win.ru‘s website.
Alexandre Latsa is a French publicist, writing on the geopolitical matters connected with Russia and the other countries. He also has a blog named «Dissonance» offering «different view» to Russia and intending to replenish the lack of profound information about Russia in the French-speaking internet. Today Alexandre is a guest of our site and, as a matter of courtesy he agreed to answer our questions.
— What can you say about the general state of affairs in the world, in Europe and about Russia’s place in it and its prospects in particular?
— The existing world order began in 1945 and may now be characterized by its non-parity nature due to the unilateral America-centrism. Today, however, we are seeing certain signs of weakening of American power and emergence of new actors, while the world economic crisis has raised the issue of the economic principles that dominated over our planet until the recent times. It seems that the new shapes of tomorrow’s «great spaces» come into sight. What will they look like? Apparently, these would be the state unions or state groups, established on the grounds of economics, culture, military, religion and language…
These shapes will appear in the face of the future challenges: hyper-terrorism, ethno-civilization conflicts, strengthening of international mafia (having the equal power as the states), severe economic shocks…
Europe that we see today — the one dubbed the EU (or the Brussels Union) — seems to be incapable of giving the adequate answers to these challenges. This hyper-structure that was founded due to the reasons that «hardly» were economic — in fact in order to prevent its founding fathers from starting yet another war against one another. Without doubt, they were guided by the good intentions but the European structure appeared at the height of the Cold War (in the beginning of 1957) and in the world that was quite different from the one we live in today. The EU possesses neither respective fundamental grounds, nor the necessary instruments to secure the actual sovereignty. Today it has none and completely depends upon the NATO, it doesn’t have its own policy, it has neither internal, nor foreign policy project whatsoever. Presidents of its state-members are deprived of any freedom of actions, while the very European institutions are awkward and bureaucratized. EU seems to be approaching its collapse because of the critical situation in its members and — as the example of Greece indicates — due to absence of the economic solidarity (between Germany, Slovakia)…
It seems to me that Russia, on the contrary has all the chances to become the actor of this epoch. Political elite of this country has a realistic and modern worldview on the place that Russia is to occupy. Perhaps, the key characteristic of Russian leaders of that period is that they are «pragmatics». Besides that, thanks to its geographical location, natural resources, its status of the civilization and religious crossroads — generally speaking, thanks to the factors composing its potential power — Russia seems to have the ability to adequately perceive and react to the coming great changes.
 
— What do you think about NATO bloc and its prospects?
— NATO is a tool that America successfully uses to impose its will and consolidate its supremacy in every place it considers necessary. I don’t believe NATO to survive this period. Re-alignment of the world powers according to the «consonance» of identities will cause the growth of contradictions and discords between its country-members and the states close to them. Today’s Turkey — its clashes with America upon the issues of the War in Iraq or Israel — makes up a graphic example of that.
Russia could have also promoted the NATO collapse, had it convinced (I’d wish that to happen) the European countries to create the European security system. From the other hand, NATO influence at the Eurasian continent is to be decreased as a result of growing authority of the countries that are not parts of it — such as Russia, China or India.
 
— What’s your estimate of the Mediterranean Union?
— Mediterranean Union is a reckless project. Theoretically it could have promoted the improvement of international infrastructure and the possibility to bring the migratory influx from South to North into the legal framework but I’d be willing to know what the actual goals of this project are. So far, I see only negative reaction towards it both in South (Turkey, Egypt, Libya…) and in Europe. I don’t think that it would be brought to life on any significant level of authority.
— What is your opinion of the relationship between the USA and France, France and Russia, France and Great Britain?
— It seems to me that the influence of the Great Britain is about to face its dawn, which is not bad for Russia, because Britain would always remain what it used to be — traditionally pro-American Atlantic power «playing» against Europe.
All the French governments after De Gaulle were playing up the NATO and America interests a little at a time right until the recent policy of Sarkozy took place. This became a major strategic victory of the Atlantic powers and largely promoted the American supremacy (that does not depend upon democratic or republican label). And that has driven France to the dead-end, having made a pawn out of it, given the background signs of Germany, seemingly parting with the pro-Atlantic position. «Coalition of the regional unions» at the continent poses obvious danger to the Atlantic adherents and America, as long as it would be able to undermine NATO dominion and authority little by little. A coalition like that would also be able to take the much-talked-about «Great Game» straight to the junkyard.
Creation of «Paris-Berlin-Moscow» alliance could have become a key step towards the change of the current situation in the short prospect. Moscow indicates its willingness to bring a project like that to life and Berlin seemingly does not oppose it. I may denote that France is not making any clear and definite decisions if the question is not an internal NATO issue. Sarcozy is not an independent President; he does not belong to any kind of patriotic elite, caring about the future of the country. It seems that French policy is being born not in France, but rather follows the orders of its Washington masters. Surrender of Serbia, for example, speaks volumes about it.
 
— What would you say about the future and the present of the Ukraine?
— Russia and the Ukraine are the two sides of the same coin. For now the Ukraine follows the path that can be compared to a highway leading to independence between Brussels Union and Russia. I’m not sure that it’s the best way for Ukrainians but they are sovereign and freedom-loving nation and we have to respect their choice.
New Ukrainian President is not an artificial master, who was brought to power thanks to the intrigues of the foreigners. We may hope that unlike his predecessor he would do his work in the interests of population, not against them. The Ukraine is a weak country in a post-illness state that desperately needs its neighbor — Russia — to rely upon.
We continue to publish our interview with the French publicist Alexandre Latsa. Theme for our today’s conversation is the situation in the Middle East.— Mr. Latsa, what, in your opinion, the further development of Palestinian crisis would be?
— The very Israel’s existence disposes no other resources rather than Israeli citizens and the world-spread Jewish diasporas. As for me, I don’t see any positive prospect in that, as long as the logic itself prompts sides to the struggle for total victory with the latter destruction of the lost side. I believe that the Israel’s collapse is inevitable. Country is in the face of the demographic situation that plays into the hands of their neighbors and the irreversible turning point is to come very soon. Without the American shield — that is obviously lowering already — this state will undoubtedly decease…

I believe that the most part of Israeli population (the Russian-speaking one) might come in handy to Russia — why not to use the repatriates of Birobijan in order to develop, say, Far East? It seems to me that the presence of active Jewish (Judaic) community at its territory would answer the Russian purposes quite well — just the same way it is with other various religious communities (Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims).

— Should we expect radical changes in Afghanistan?
— Without any doubts, Western occupation is moving toward its resume that is similar to the results of the Soviet occupation. Long story short, nothing essential will change. In the meanwhile, «Talibs» (according to Alexandre Latsa, the very actuality of this term raises certain doubts) are little by little establishing their control over the country regions. And I see no other possible scenarios: Afghanistan is to remain the country of military lords, clans, tribes and Kabul where — even under the auspices of Western occupation — it turned out to be impossible to introduce fast-food restaurants and cinemas, showing the Hollywood fables. We may use the occasion to congratulate the Afghani loyalty to »their kind of freedom».

In my opinion, there’s also a risk of the regional explosion. Troops, trained against the NATO soldiers in the real combat — in case if the latter would be pulled out of the country — may find themselves new goals and the «arena of actions», destabilizing the weak states of Central Asia and, accordingly, Russia itself.

— What is the probability of American or Israeli strikes against Iran in your opinion?
— I don’t believe in the possibility of conducting a strike right against Iran. I believe that this can’t be done as long as it would have set the whole region on fire and I doubt that U. S.-Israeli coalition aims at unleashing the war. From the other hand, I don’t believe these «substantial» Iranian threats to Israel to be real at all. No kidding — Iranian officials are not self-murderers. Iranian nuclear program was supported by America and Europe since 1950s and by Russia since 1979, long before Ahmadinejad.

Theoretically, Iran’s desire to have a nuclear weapon (in the likeness of several other states) has nothing to do with the statements about «destroying Israel», which is something that a lot of Muslims — especially the Palestinian ones — desperately desire. I can ascertain that anti-Iran cooperation is perfectly systematized but the only possible solution is the discussion, not the sanctions. And here you go — the desired example of European lack of strength and unity — otherwise it could have made everyone to listen to it and support Russian efforts to organize the negotiations with Tehran.

— Should we expect any further strengthening of anti-Iran sanctions?
— Obviously, Western society, dancing to the American tune wants to fund the Israeli power furthermore. And we have to expect the further strengthening of sanctions against Iran. But let’s be serious at last: what are they for? And even the more important question: what’s next?

— What, in your opinion, the position of Georgia and Azerbaijan would be, if the warfare against Iran are actually to take place?
— Azerbaijan has a long-term dispute with Iran that they’ve decided to dim a little because of the conflict with Armenia. Azerbaijan is playing the geographic party of the Caspian Club and has the common border with Iran. I believe that this country is quite «neutral» as opposed to Georgia, which nationalistic government seems to be too pro-Western to me. Georgia has broken up the diplomatic relations with Iran due to some make-believe occasion, as long as it urges to be a dog at the U. S.-Israeli leash, preferring them to Moscow and Iran. We also have to take persistent Georgian desire to enter NATO into consideration — it believes its possibility to be more likely, had it been ready to take part in the military enterprises, threatening to destabilize the entire region. This includes the warfare against Iran as well as the fact that Georgian authorities are the children of color revolution. But still, I don’t really believe into the possibility of using the military scenario against Iran.

— What do you think about the whole situation at the Russian Ciscaucasia and the entire situation at the Caucasian region in general?
— Attempts to destabilize the situation in the Caucasus from the outside have been taking place for a long time and they continue today. Natalya Narochitskaya has perfectly explained at one of her papers that the Baltic-Black Sea arc has a strategic value for those who want to surround and weaken Russia during the «Great Game’ and gain access to the respective energetic corridors. Russian Caucasus is a one of the most important parts of Russia and non-Russian Caucasus is a pledge for the geopolitical stability of that region that borders Russia. Accordingly, Caucasus is the indispensable object for different kinds of ill-wishers (Prometeists, Americans, Wahhabites) to influence the situation. Caucasus is one the main keys to the Russian «tomorrow».

Recent events like two wars in Chechnya, war in Ossetia in 2008, wars in Ingush Republic and Dagestan give the grounds to assume that Russia is not going weaken its presence in the region even a jot. And that’s good. Federal project «Strategy of social-economic development of Ciscaucasia until 2020″ seems to be a wonderful initiative to me.

— Mr. Latsa, what would like to say to Russian readers as a conclusion? What important matters of Russo-French relationship would you like to draw attention to?
— I often read the Russian news and I think that the degree of degradation of two countries (Russia and France) is incomparable. Impoverishment of the French population during last 10 years had a huge impact, economics is unhealthy, unemployment became reality for 12% of the population and about 8% are just not taken into account by the statistics. At that, lack of political «will» of the government mutilates the country; its condition is highly explosive at the moment. In the nearest future France risks to fetch itself in the middle of the civil war. Suburbs have turned into ghettos, which population has mostly African or North African origin. Distinctive feature of this population is the counter-culture of hatred and destructive attitude toward France and its institutions. This is a mix of American culture of violence, rap, guns and the post-colonial revanchism.

Riots take place on a regular basis and about 40.000 cars are annually burnt in France so the government decided not to publish these numbers in order not to worry the people. Uncontrolled immigration, combined with the mentality of colonialism victims, authorities lacking the political opportunities and the will to solve the situation, will eventually lead to the aggravation of these discords. And mind that the same situation is unfolding in England, Belgium, and Holland…

This internal impotence of the European states quite correlates with their foreign-policy powerlessness. Neither political conscience, nor realistic worldview characterizes the European community anymore. I think that NATO is the only power, holding the European countries together. And as long as this institution is moving towards its collapse, quite soon European states would have to look for another pole of power, capable of playing the role of a director who would save the EU from destruction. It’s obvious that Russia may become such pole within a united Greater Europe, lying from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

Interviewed by Marat Kunaev
Translated from French

Posted on by Alexandre Latsa in Articles in English, ITV Alexandre Latsa, Win.ru Leave a comment

Demography in Russia, history, situation and prediction

Demography is one of Eurasia’s key topic. Within the Eurasian continent, which can be separated into two sides, the ‘European’ side and the ‘Asian’ one, the demographic gap is becoming obvious: the Asian side contains nowadays more than 50% of the world citizens while the European side contains less than 10%. Russia is now facing a really harsh demographic situation, but as opposed to the west-European countries facing those difficult decades without solving the problem (using a quiet uncontrolled immigration), Russia seems to prefer a Japan’s like solution to a France’s like solution.


It is very common in the lot of propaganda and disinformation we are being given by the mainstreams concerning Russia to read / hear that the country is losing 700.000 citizens every year and is engaged in a demographic decline that will last for decades. A recent World Bank and even a UN report ensure that the Russian population should shrink by 30% and probably reach only 100 million in 2050 (!), from its actual 141,9 million (2010).


As we shall see, this is absolutely absurd and will not happen.


The Russian demographic evolution, from 1897 to 1991
Looking at the Russian demographic evolution from 1897 to 2009 is very instructive. The analysis is based on the population «inside» the borders of the present Russia, in the Empire of 1897 but also in the USSR. The figures are given as of 01 January of the quoted year:


* In 1897, the population was 67.5 million and in 1914, 89.9 million.
Increase over 17 years: 22,235,000 inhabitants
Average increase of 1.315 million inhabitants / year.


* In 1939, the population is 108.4 million and reach 117.2 million in 1959.
Increase over 20 years: 8.8 million inhabitants.
Average increase of 440,000 persons per year. The average is obviously lowered by the dramatic events in Europe, during which the USSR has lost nearly 23 million citizens (military and civilian


* In 1959 the population was 117.2 million and about 130.6 million in 1971. 
Increase over 12 years: 13.4 million inhabitants.
Average increase: 1.115 million inhabitants / year.



* In 1971, the population is 130.6 million and 148.3 million in 1991.
Increase over 10 years: 17.7 million inhabitants.
Average increase: 1.77 million inhabitants / year.
Of course in 1989 Russia was the center of the USSR. The population of the USSR in 1992 amounted to 292 millionsagainst 148 million in Russia the same year. One can clearly discern that the strongest grothw of population was the within the USSR after 1970, during the last 20 years of existence of this political entity.


Strangely (?), in 1989, the population increase is slowing down.
- From 1983 to 1989 the population increased from 7 million in 7 years, 1 million / year.
- From 1989-1996, the population increased from 1.6 million in 7 years (!) is 228,000 inhabitants / year.


The demographic collapse, 1991 – 2005


After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia lost almost half its population. 30 million Russians, residents in the Russian republics (that became independent nations) were excluded from the general «census» of 1990 which counted 149 million inhabitants. The fall of the USSR and the social and economic collapse led Russia to a giant economic crisis. Drastic measures of reformers / liberals in the entourage of President Yeltsin were the main causes of this demographic collapse. The drastic therapy of Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais led to an economical collapse wich led to a demographic genocide. This happened very fast, tooking only a large decade. Between 1990 and 1995 the infant mortality rate raised from 56% and the rate of female mortality by 26%. The male life expectancy fell from 64 y.o. in 1990 to 57 y.o. in 1995, leading to a situation where the Russians then lived less long than the Indonesians. Female life expectancy dropped from 74 y.o. to 70 y.o. 


Between 1990 and 1995, « excess deaths » was three million people, which is twice the excess deaths of the Russian civilians during the Second World War, due to the difficult living conditions. The collapse of Russia from 1990 to 2000 could be compared to the demographic collapse of Ethiopia during the famine of 1980 or cambodia Pol Pot …


The demographic collapse first struck the elderly and then the youth. It struck with full force the Russian hospital system. Russia experimented a resurgence of diseases that existed in many countries of the third world: diphtheria, typhus, cholera, typhoid fever and also tuberculosis, hit the population hard. In 1995 the estimation was that one inmate out of ten was contaminated. Each year, according to the Harvard Institute of Statistics and the Institute of Public Health of New York, between 1990 and 1996, Russian jails relaxed some prisoners carrying 30,000 active strains and 300,000 carrying dormant strain. If nothing had been done, 12% of the population could theorically have been infected in 2005.


Between 1990 and 1998, sexually transmitted diseases soared. The number of recorded syphilis rose from 8,000 to nearly 400,000. AIDS literally exploded, if the 90’s pace of expansion had continued, 10 million of people would have been infected in 2005 (Note from Alexander Latsa: It is estimated that 500,000 people in 2009 are infected with AIDS virus). This explosion of AIDS spread was also largely due to drugs. In comparison with the5 million of addicts in the country in  1998 (3% of the population), this figure had since then been «reduced» by half.


If  young people took drugs, older strongly drank. A 1998 survey showed that 50% of men drank an average of more than half a liter of vodka a day. Between 30,000 and 40,000 people died each year of poisoned vodka. Between 1990 and 1998, were counted: 259,000 suicides, 230,000 deaths from poisoning (of Vodka), and 169,000 murders.


But mostly, the more Russians died, the less were born. In the late 1990s, there were about 3,000,000 abortions / year in Russia, and around one milion birth. The main Russian Statistical Institute estimates that in the late 1990s, more than one adult woman in three was sterile and had two reproductive disorders. This lack of female fertility was increased by the rise of prostitution in Russia but also abroad. The high emigration of men to foreign countries was largely followed by the high number of women who became (by force generally) sex slaves, especially in Western Europe.  In 1993, out of 1.6 million birth, 5% of newborn were abandoned by their relatives. In 1998, it had risen for 1.3 million birth to a rate of 9%. In 1998, one million children roamed the streets. In the end, the recent wars have dealt a blow to the young male generation, especially the first Chechen war in 1995, where thousands of young unprepared conscripts were sent to carnage.


All this led to an inexorable population decline. Russia lost seven million people in less than 20 years. The cruising speed was launched quietly with about 400 000 people less each year ! The political power, in total decomposition, proved its incapacity of doing anything. If nothing would have changed during this last decade, the number of young people aged 15-24 should be reduced by half in 2015. 


Such a « fall » is the only historical example in peacetime.


Gosplan : toward demographic’s balance (2005 – 2009)


By 2004, the year of his second term, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a federal initiative designed to restore the population’s demography. The plan included a series of measures to help the birth rate and help young couples to make a second or a third child. Some measures include financial help, from state, companies or local government but also aid and housing credits or vouchers for purchases in department stores. Some regions gave young families loans for house purchase, which may be «erased» during the birth of children, and provide tax advantages or even measures of «clemency» for late rent. In addition, the state launched a massive media campaign to appeal to «have children for the motherland


The results were really fast, as the population’s evolution is showing. Within 5 years, the decline was stopped.



- 01 January 2002 —>145,2 millions
- 01 January 2003 —> 145 millions
- 01 January 2004 —> 144,2 millions
- 01 January 2005 —> 143,5 millions
- 01 January 2006 —> 142,8 millions
- 01 January 2007 —> 142,2 millions
In 2005, loss of population reached 780.000 people.
In 2006, loss of population was around 600.000 people.

From 2002 to 2006  the loss of population was 2.400.000 people, meaning a yearly average of 600.000 pepole (!), to compare with the increase from 1 million from the 1970-1990’s period.


However things then got better :

- 01 January 2008 —> 142 millions
- 01 January 2009 —> 141,9 millions
- 01 January 2010 —> 141,9 millions

In 2007, the population fell by 300,000 so
In 2008, the population then declined 100,000
In 2009, the population has for the first time in 15 years increased in Russia.


This curve shows the Russian demography. The first vertical bar is the fall of the USSR and the second is the the establishment of demographic measures by the Russian state. This increase of births concerned 70 territories of the Federation and the reduction of deaths concerned 73 territories out of 83.
The natural increase in population was registered in 25 territories in 2009 against 21 in 2008 still according Rosstat. Siberia was the symbol of demographic rebirth, as between 2000 and 2009 its birth rate has increased sharply: 98,000 children were born in Siberia and 174,000 in 2009


According to Russian Minister of Health and Social Development Tatyana Golikova demographic stability is mainly due to the increase of births: 1,760,000 Russians were born in 2009, that is to say more than 2, 8% than in 2008: 1.714 million. The Minister also stressed that mortality remained high, 1.95 million people in 2009. The mortality rate is also down from 14.2 / 1,000 in 2009, cons 14.6/1.000 in 2008. The combined effect «decline in mortality + higher birth rate »  is constant for four years. In addition, the average life expectancy is increasing, from 69 countries in 2009 against 65 in 2000, today it is 62 for men and 74 for women.



Now, demography is entering its second phase, the first having been the revival of the birth rate. This second phase is to reduce mortality, as a lower mortality rate of 5% over 5 years (until 2015) is considered necessary if the current birth rate remains more or less stable. The objective of this second part, is to stabilize the population around 142 million inhabitants by 2016 through two main steps that are lower abortions and reduced mortality:



-         Lower aborptions
Russian’s age pyramid is showing an unavoidable reduction in the number of young women aged 20 to 29 (procreation age), that should reach 35% by 2020. To deal with this problem, the Russian Ministry of Health wants to reduce the numbers of abortions, which is one of the highest in the world. In 2008 1.714 million birth, were recorded in Russia and 1, 234,000 of abortion, a rate of 72 abortions per 1000 births, to compare to 20 abortions per 100 births in 2008 to the United States. According Tatyana Golikova, a drastic reduction in the rate of abortion is essential in order to try solving this problem. Nevertheless, the abortion rate is falling consistently and never reached the heights or other countries such as Romania. However it is true that the number of childrens under 18 went from 38 millions in 1995, to 33,5 millions in 2000 and 26,5 millions in 2008.
-         Reduce mortality
The mortality rate is too high (read here repartition), several areas are covered:
* cardiovascular disease: down 4.6% in 2009 compared to 2008.
* The decline of deaths caused by tuberculosis: 7.8% decline in 2009 compared to 2008.
* The lower rate of road deaths is already evident in 2009 the police recorded 26,084 deaths throughout the federation, 33 308 deaths in 2007.


* The fight against drug deaths: 70,000 deaths / year in 2008 are related to drug use and 30-40000 directly from overdoses. Russia counted as many consumers of narcotics than Western Europe.
* The struggle against death due to alcohol: the mortality due to intoxication with alcohol adulterated already decreased by 32%. The government in the health plan of 2020 as the target of halving the per capita alcohol consumption in 10 years, alcohol was responsible indirectly for the deaths of 500,000 people per year.


However, the natural population decline continues but depopulation was offseted by the increase in migrants. According to data provided by the Federal Migration Service, in eleven months during the year 2009, the Russian citizenship was granted to foreigners 333.474. 
Since 1999 (the end of Yeltsin’s term), the rate of emigration of Russians (or departure from Russia) is in constant decline, emigration reached 250,000 people per year in 1998 and 1999 but fell in 2008 to less than 20,000 person. 
In comparison the rate of arrivals, after dropping in 1998 to about 500.000 fell in 2004 to around 120.000. Then in 2007 it bounced back to about 280,000 people. From 1990 to 2008, immigration to Russia totalized 5,347,027 people. Not all stayed, but migration service says that would have remained in Russia 4,168,980 person or around 75%. This corresponds to an average net inflow of 231,610 persons per year. 


I would like to remind that the population of Russia is 142 million and also that these immigrants are 90% of CIS countries as can be seen here. From 1992-2007, the bulk of immigration to Russia consisted of ethnic Russians returning from former Soviet republics to 65% and 11% of citizens of various minorities in Russia, 24% are migrants from other origins.
In 2003, the share of ethnic Russians was 65%, and Slavs (including Ukraine and Belarus) 72%.In 2007, the share of Slavs decreased to 50%, the share of nationals in the Caucasus has increased by 9-21%, and Central Asia 4-14%. 


The Center surveys GKS gives us a detailed breakdown of the immigration through the entries for the years 2003-2008, but also throughout the territory of the federation.

Illegal immigration by cons is a different problem, in the words of Vladimir Putin in 2006: «The number of illegal migrants in Russia could reach $ 15 million. It’s more than in America and Europe taken together … According to current estimates, there are 500,000 people registered on the 10 million foreigners working in our country. 10 million is not a final figure because « nobody knows exactly how much they are at work here ».  In 2008, according to figures from the Federal Immigration Service (FMS), there were 9.2 million foreign citizens in Russia, 80% would come from a country of the CIS. Of these 9 million, two thirds worked illegally. 


Demography in Russia in 2010


The first half of 2010 is quite positive, the number of births (868,936) is 2.3% higher than during the same period in 2009 (849.267), with 19,569 births more. 
Mortality significantly decreased with a fall of 1.8% between  S1 2010 (1,010,988 deaths) and the H1 2009 (1,029,066 deaths) so 18,078 fewer deaths. The loss of population during the first semester of 2010 is 142,152 inhabitants, against a loss of 179,799 inhabitants for the first semester of 2009.  On the comparative six first months of both year, deaths from cardiovascular disease  fell by only 2% and deaths from cancer of 0.7% only. Death for « external reasons » also reduce for 6.1%. Within this group, road deaths, poisonings, suicides and murders fell by 10-15%. For the first time since 1998, the number of deaths in 2010 »Should» be less than 2 million. (Links).
This year, it is possible, without being to much optimistic, to say that the population should grow maybe by 100.000 people.


Russian’s demography, previsions from 2010 to 2030


Three major demographic projections have been considered for the population until 2030, by the Russian’s health ministry.


A low projection considers that the population should continue to decrease, to reach 139.630.000 inhabitants in 2016, the rate of decline should reach a medium yearly 500.000 person until 2015, and then top to 700.000 / year until 2030, where the population should stabilize around 128.000.000,  with a very low immigration rate around 200.000 people / year, which represents from 2010 to 2030 less than 4% of the population from 2030.


medium projection sees the population growth until 2016 as reaching 142.160.000 inhabitant and then reducing 200 or 300.000 / year to reach 139.730.000 in 2020. Immigration would be more consequent than in a low projection: around 350.000 /year. For memory, in 2009 334.500 citizens received the Russian nationality.


A high prevision considers that the growth of population will lead to 144.000.000 citizens in 2016 and then 148.000.000 in 2030. In this prevision, immigration would be stronger, at around 475.000 / year, but that remains relatevely weak, leading after 20 years to less than 8% of population, which is a « normal » actual European’s rate. However the big difference is that within those potential 8% should be a strong proportion of Russian speaking people, and even ethnic Slavians from Ukraine / Baltic countries… which means people from non destabilizing communities, unlike in western Europe.
Posted on by Alexandre Latsa in Articles in English, Démographie Leave a comment

WORKING WITH RUSSIA TO PREVENT EURASIAN COLLAPSE

The Eurasian region continues to disintegrate, and neither

Russia
nor the West has been able to arrest the destabilizing dynamics. Evidence of rising instability throughout the region include the August 2008 Russia-Georgia war, renewed terrorist attacks in the North Caucasus, the persistent failure of Western forces to stabilize Afghanistan, the inability of Central Asian rulers to reign in local clans and drug lords, and the paralysis of legitimately elected bodies of power in Ukraine and Moldova. 
Violence is gradually spreading, waiting for an opportunity to erupt into a large-scale conflict. 
Transregional transportation routes may soon be choked due to Russia‘s conflicts with Ukraine, Georgia, and

Turkmenistan
The West’s attempts to secure and stabilize

Eurasia after the end of the Cold War must be recognized as a failure
. In the mid-1990s, U.S. geostrategists such as Zbigniew Brzezinski recommended that the United States pursue a policy of replacing

Russia
as the referee and protector of the newly established non-Russian states in the region. After initial hesitation, the

United States
and other Western states followed this advice. Yet

Eurasia has not become stable or peaceful and continues to disintegrate. The bureaucrats in Washington and

Brussels
have failed to understand that they lack the resources, the will, and the experience to stabilize the complex region. Today — after the Iraq war and the global financial crisis — the United States is beginning to recognize its overextension, but it is not at all clear if Washington and Brussels are prepared to act differently in

Eurasia.


Russia
‘s Absence Felt.


Russia
, too, has contributed to the Eurasian meltdown. The Soviet collapse and the subsequent retreat of

Russia from the region have greatly destabilized the area. By the time Vladimir Putin assumed power in 2000, Moscow‘s severely undermined position in the region was obvious to everyone, especially after a wave of terrorist attacks took place in Chechnya and other parts of

Russia
. The relative recovery of the Russian economy during the post-Yeltsin decade began to revive Russia‘s standing in Eurasia, yet

Moscow
could ill afford serious efforts to stabilize and pacify the region. At best, the Kremlin could defend its core interests abroad and begin to escape the alternative of an unstable society, dwindling population, and truncated sovereignty. By capitalizing on high oil prices, it could also advocate multilateral arrangements in the region and strengthen its presence in neighboring economies and energy companies worldwide. Preventing a collapse in Eurasia requires recognizing

Russia
‘s role in stabilizing the region.
 

Once this is done in practice, and not rhetorically, many pieces of the region’s puzzle may start falling into place. Energy supplies may become more reliable; governments in politically contested areas — like Georgia, Ukraine, and

Moldova
— may obtain a greater legitimacy; and the so-called frozen conflicts may have a better opportunity to be resolved.

Russia
‘s recent resurgence is a response to its lacking recognition as a vital power and partner of the West. If Russia chooses to dedicate itself to obstructing Western policies in

Eurasia, we will see more of the collapsing dynamics in the region. Ukraine and Moldova may disintegrate, as did

Georgia
. Central Asia and

Azerbaijan
are likely to be subjected to a much greater degree of instability with unpredictable consequences.

Russia
too will suffer greatly as its modernization processes will be derailed. In short, the region may change beyond recognition — and possibly through the use of force. 


Spirit Of Cooperation

Non-Russian powers too must become involved as participants in establishing a collective-security arrangement in

Eurasia
. From a security perspective, it is important that the two most prominent actors in the region — NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) — develop a joint assessment of threat and closely coordinate their policies. Instead of expanding its reach further, NATO ought to learn its limitations. 
Without the full-fledged involvement of the SCO, Afghanistan is likely to turn into another version of Iraq, with additional negative implications for the

U.S.
reputation in the world. Another key issue is energy security. A new, shared understanding of energy challenges must be reached that would encourage mutual respect for each side’s critical interests. 
Viewing

Russia
as a potentially reliable alternative to traditional Middle Eastern sources of energy may serve the West and members of the region better than the image of a «neo-imperialist» bully that only seeks to subvert its neighbors’ policies.
Trying to persuade European countries to invest additional billions into the Nabucco pipeline in order to bypass

Russia
may well turn out to be a waste of money and time
. A more important and potentially unifying idea for all the parties would be to engage in the development of acceptable rules and principles of energy security among

Eurasia‘s powers. Finally, to restore the region’s capacity to function and perform basic services for its residents, it is critical to curb Russophobic nationalism. While rebuilding a Russia-centered empire would be very dangerous, there is hardly an alternative to the emergence of an economically and culturally transparent community of nations with strong ties to the former metropole. Russians and other ethnic minorities must be able freely to travel, develop their linguistic and religious traditions, and celebrate their historically significant events. The overall objective of the outside world should be to strengthen

Russia
‘s confidence as a regional gr
eat power, while discouraging it from engaging in revisionist behavior. 


Andrei Tsygankov is a professor of international relations at

San Francisco

State

University
. The views expressed in this commentary are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of RFE/RL

Posted on by Alexandre Latsa in Articles in English, Eurasisme 1 Comment

Stronger than you think !

Un article très intéressant paru hier , sous forme d’une interviw de Gleb Pavloski

02 November 2009
By Gleb Pavlovsky
Western leaders and observers persistently repeat, like a mantra, that Russia is “weak.” This judgment is based on a flawed comparison between Russia and the Soviet Union.  Measured by Soviet standards, Russia has weakened, but as former United States National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft noted, Russia still “has enormous capacities to influence the U.S. security strategy in any country.”
A country with such influence over a military superpower cannot be considered weak. In fact, the issue is not Russia’s strength per se, but whether Russia intelligently concentrates and applies it.
The new Russia has transcended its Soviet identity and managed to put down uprisings in the post-Soviet space as far away as Tajikistan. It has dealt with a new generation of security threats on its own territory — most prominently Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev — and prevented them from turning into a global force like al-Qaida.
Moreover, Russia has helped other new nations in Eastern Europe create their own identities.
Does this not demonstrate Russia’s global know-how? Is it not a contribution to international security?
The United States has recognized the Russian factor in post-Soviet state-building processes. Russia has not been the only beneficiary of its activities in the Caucasus, especially since 2000. By bringing recalcitrant minorities into a new security consensus, Russia helped transform local ethnic conflict into a constructive process of nation building.
So Russia’s claim to being a central element in Eurasian security, on par with the United States and the European Union, is not the blustering of a spent Leviathan. Rather, it is a demand for a fair international legal order.
The debate about whether the United States should allow Russia to have “special interests” in Eastern Europe is pointless. Russia’s interests are by necessity becoming global. The agenda of U.S.-Russian relations includes issues such as treaties on the reduction of strategic weapons and on nuclear nonproliferation, NATO, Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia, North Korea and the post-Soviet space. These are all global issues, not local ones.
Russia can be effective in dealing with these issues only if it becomes a competent global actor.  Yet many assume that world politics should be designed to bypass Russia. Everywhere Russians are expected to support something without participating in creating it. We are supposed to help stabilize the region around Afghanistan, for example, but only in order to create a “greater Central Asia” that will not include Russia.
It is clear that modern Russia lacks a “global status” in the Soviet sense. But the United States has also been unable to achieve the global status of a “Yalta superstate.” The U.S. global military power is undisputed, although it is used with decreasing frequency.
Sprawled over 11 time zones — five of which border China — it is impossible to expect Russia to remain merely a regional power.
A state that is involved in four global regions — Europe, Central Asia, the Far East and the Arctic — and borders several others cannot be considered “regional.”
Moreover, because the regions in which Russia has interests face a number of problems, it must seek influence over the strategies for those regions pursued by other powers of various sizes, from China and the United States, to the EU and Iran. Russia is expected to act in ways that are beneficial to U.S. and Western interests. But it is in Washington’s interest to enhance Moscow’s capacity to act and to strengthen a globally competent Russia. This would be a Russia that acts in pursuit of its own interests — the same way that the United States and the EU act.
Americans sometimes suggest that Russia has a hidden strategic agenda. But the consensus that Vladimir Putin has created in Russia since he became president in 2000 is more than a question of interests. It is a value-based reality. It is based on the possibility of a free life in a secure environment — something that Americans take for granted.
For many years, we had to deal with the problem of Russia’s very existence rather than that of the quality of its governance.
Putin’s consensus made it possible to resolve both problems without foreign assistance and interference.
Now in order to solve other problems, we need to go beyond Russia.
Gleb Pavlovsky is head of the Russia Institute. © Project Syndicate
Posted on by Alexandre Latsa in Articles in English, Nashis Leave a comment

We are facing a time of harsh decisions, mobilization, and common fight for survival.

In the first part of his interview, Sergej Chelemendik, PACE member from Slovakia, spoke about the impact of the global financial crisis on Europe, about Russia’s image in European eyes and liberal superstitions influencing European mind. In the second part of his talks in Bratislava with RPMonitor’s senior staff writer Marine Voskanyan, Mr. Chelemendik presents his view on Russia’s potential role in the post-crisis world and ideas that Europe could borrow from Russia under new historical circumstances.


Q: What do you think Russia could propose to the post-crisis world as an idea, and what is its advantage before neoliberalism?

Sergej Chelemendik: I believe Russia could propose the idea of a strong, organized and militarily supported power that protects its part of the world from rivals. That is what China and the United States cannot propose. China is a self-locked civilization which is uninterested – at least today – in active foreign policy and export of any ideology. China’s ideology is to be China. In the United States, imperial ideas, once imported from Britain, have got into the hands of illiterate and ambitious persons who have distorted its essence. In this degenerate version, this imperial idea is reduced to printing dollars and buying up resources of other nations. Today, their exchange commodity is good for nothing: with banknotes, you could at least fire a stove.

I guess Russians don’t quite understand the change that happened – that money in the definition of Marx does not exist any longer. America has created a world of substitutes. America’s ideology is Coca Cola: we sell you poisoned water and you give us money.

Q: Still, the United States continues to export democracy and the image of «American dream». Can Russia propose an alternative to this commodity? In fact, Russia has not yet formulated an articulate national idea even for domestic use.

S.C: Some persons in Russia have adopted liberalism but that is a tiny minority, if compared with Europe. Vacuum cannot exist for a long time: it will be filled with an adequate concept. Today’s «sovereign democracy» is not the best formulation but already a claim for an ideology of Russia’s own. Ideas emerge from real life. The new Russian idea is unlikely to develop from the existing constructions – Christian values, or leftist ideas. Today, Europe is interested in Russia as a reliable energy exporter. In a few years, Europe will face the problem of food, and Russia’s resources will become vitally important. In this situation, Russia, if its collects the required political energy, could introduce the idea of strong power.

Q: Will Europe really demand the idea that looks like the very totalitarianism that had been declared the enemy of the civilized society?

S.C: In the Europe of today, power as a possibility to compel someone to do something he wouldn’t like, does not exist. All the European schemes of seeking common solutions – tolerance, multiculturalism etc. are designed for a quiet oasis of well-to-do consumption. It is in fact the same as the consumerist version of communism.

The original concept of democracy was the idea of elected power of warriors which suggested that a person can pay his life and fate for his choice. Today’s European citizen is a person with a certificate, not more.

But in the times when European well-being is coming to an end, harsh decisions will be required – of which nobody in Europe is today capable.

Several months ago, groups of Albanians and Serbs collided in a physical fight in one of the quiet commercial streets of Vienna. Policemen were staying a side, not knowing how to intervene. What is Vienna, with the whole background of its imperial past, can do with this – while every eighth Austrian is an immigrant from the Balkans?

In fact, the Balkans were designed as a detonator for exploding Europe. There will be more mine fields. The European home will start to fall apart. Under these conditions, absence of power is fatal.

Q: Thus, Europe will require the same methods that it had taught Russia to get rid of?

S.C: The Europeans will have no alternative. The nations like France and Germany that have a tradition of strong power will revive it. For the rest of Europe, it will be hard to realize that we are returning to the age of larger and smaller wars.

Today’s France is the only European nation that still has a real military potential, and that is why it was reluctant to re-join NATO for so many years. France has got the Foreign Legion that is involved in real warfare. The Germans are the strongest European nation, but the shape of their army is miserable.

In the post-crisis world, Europe will be strongly interested in the idea of a strong centralized power resting upon a strong army. Russia will attract interest as the center of power of this kind, as it hasn’t lost the understanding of power. Russia will attract interest as a center of military industry, possessing also vital resources including oil, gas, and fresh water.

Therefore, Russia will also be compelled to correspond with this image, as otherwise it will be destroyed.

Q: Unfortunately, the idea of strong power often transforms in arbitrary rule of local officials, and thus discredits itself in the form of corruption.

S.C: This phenomenon is rather an indirect result of liberal influence. Corruption is a typical feature of today’s democracy, which in fact is nothing but division of money, collected from taxpayers, between a few major business players of a particular nation.

Most powerful business structures acquire the possibility to control part of the budget and distribution. Thus, Russians should not believe in the myth that European democracy is a remedy from corruption.

Q: It is true that many Russians believe that civil rights and decent behavior of officials, physicians, police inspectors etc. is available only in a «non-authoritarian» society.

S.C: I know that such illusions exist. But if Russians want to imagine the most refined implementation of today’s democracy, let them look at the powerless disaster of Ukraine.

Q: What would you say to a young Russian who believes that Europe is a society of fair and well-to-do life where individual rights are really guaranteed?

S.C: These young guys could acquire those illusions from a superficial impression of European life. But the world is rapidly changing, and young Russians will have to reassess the reality. They will have to ask themselves why the Russian and European stock markets are simultaneously collapsing, and why the recently powerful oligarchs are going bust one after another. They will have to ask themselves what to do when the American casino that everybody was playing has caught fire, the owners have promptly escaped with cash, the roulette is still turning but the whole thing does not work. And they will make their conclusions. They will change their attitude to the world and their life.

It will be a hard revelation. In my young age, a European citizen could chose between a cozy quiet life and struggle for big success. The youth of today will get a more limited choice .

We are facing a time of harsh decisions, mobilization, and common fight for survival.


Posted on by Alexandre Latsa in Analyses, Articles in English Leave a comment

What does Russia think ?

Un article intéressant à lire «ici«, ci dessous un résumé (en Anglais) :
***

The EU’s Russia policy cannot succeed as long as it continues to rest on faulty analysis and mistaken assumptions.
This is the main conclusion of What does Russia think?, a collection of politically revealing essays by intellectuals whose views influence the Kremlin — many of whom have advised Putin or Medvedev — which the European Council on Foreign Relations has published today. The collection includes essays by Fyodor Lukyanov, Valery Fadeev, Vyacheslav Glazychev, Gleb Pavlovsky and Leonid Polyakov.  
Despite a tendency toward insularity, the policy debate in Russia as reflected through these essays is ongoing and lively. As ECFR Russia experts Ivan Krastev, Mark Leonard and Andrew Wilson write in their joint introduction: «If we want to influence and deal with Russia, we need to understand it. But if we want to understand Russia, we should be interested in it. Unfortunately, we are not. Taken together, these essays show that the EU will only be able to develop an effective approach to Moscow if its policy makers rediscover some of the curiosity for Russia’s internal debates that they had during the Cold War.»

According to the intellectuals: Russia does not want to be like the EU
The overarching quest for most Russian policy-makers is not to move closer to their Western neighbours, as many in the EU would like to think, but rather to free themselves from the West. Leonid Polyakov is the Chair of General Political Sciences at Moscow State University, and has worked on developing and publicising the controversial «sovereign democracy» concept. In his essay, An Ideological Self-Portrait of the Russian Regime, Polyakov writes: «the task before us is to turn Russia from an imitator of other civilisations into a model to be imitated by others.

There is mounting distrust towards the EU in Russia
Russia fears that its borders are vulnerable, which explains the ongoing drive to surround itself with buffer states. Fyodor Lukyanov is editor of the journal Russia in Global Affairs, which produces the most widely read analysis of Russian foreign policy.  As he writes in his essay Rethinking Security in ‘Greater Europe’, «not a single country in the former Soviet Union, including Russia, can say for certain that its borders are historically justified, natural and, therefore, inviolable».

The West has lost interest in discovering what is really going on in Russia, and relies on obsolete perceptions going back to the end of the Cold War.
 
Gleb Pavlovsky is head of the Russia Institute and is one of the Kremlin’s leading strategists. He helped launch Putin as Yeltsin’s successor and ran Putin’s two election campaigns in 2000 and 2004. In his essay, Two missions in Moscow, Pavlovsky argues that western liberals focus stubbornly on what Russia lacks: «The West persistently repeats, like a mantra, that Russia is «weak». The US refuses to recognise, and the EU refuses to accept, the reality of a global Russia. This is the biggest problem in relations between Russia and the West.«

Russian political debate is far more complex than a struggle between democracy supporters and Putin followers.
 
There is an underlying «Putin consensus» in Russia — Putin’s approval rating hovers at around 70%, while support for the government he heads is not even a third of this figure. But in denouncing the «Putin consensus» as manifest authoritarianism, the West fails to appreciate its social and political origins. To understand it, one has to look back at the debilitating crisis resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the anarchic democracy that followed.  Vyacheslav Glazychev is the Managing Director of the Evropa publishing house which specialises in books on Russian politics, philosophy and history. In his essay The ‘Putin consensus’ Explained’, he argues that «fear of empty space» is the essential reason for Putin’s majority support. According to Glazychev, «the Putin phenomenon has only an indirect relationship with the rational. Without a shadow of a doubt, Putin’s macho style has an almost magical effect on the majority of Russian citizens.»

The economic crisis has strengthened Putin’s R
ussia
Contrary to many predictions, the economic crisis has made the Russian state more powerful at home and abroad. Valery Fadeev is the editor of the influential business weekly Ekspert. In his essay, Has the economic crisis changed the world view of the Russian political crisis, he writes that when the economic crisis hit, «the authorities acted quickly and nearly always correctly. They preserved the financial system at a high level of functionality and prevented panic from entering the banking market.»

***

La version Pdf est téléchargeable «la«
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