Simply Pitifully Misunderstood
"[There are the] vexing issues such as the Kremlin's seizure of Crimea, setting eastern Ukraine aflame and constantly menacing Poland and the Baltic states. This is precisely what the Kremlin has been loudly demanding for years in an unconcealed effort to divide the West."
"There are many other poisonous new elements to Russia's faltering relations with the West. They include the recent bombing of a UN humanitarian convoy in Syria, the sustained aerial bombardment of the ruins of Aleppo, persistent cyberwarfare against European allies and, according to the United States, the recent cyberhacking of Democratic Party computers to interfere with the U.S. presidential campaign."
Matthew Fisher, Postmedia News
"You know, it's very difficult to have a dialogue with the incumbent US administration. There's almost no dialogue at all. What does it look like? The US administration sets forth its requirements and then insists we should meet them. This is no dialogue, this is some kind of dictate. And that is what's going on with almost each issue."
"We have never wanted that to happen. On the contrary, we wanted to have friendly relations with such a great country as the United States, the leading economy of the world."
"We see what is going on. These are completely unfounded accusations. They accuse Russia of all mortal sins and crimes. But we know who carried out the strike on the humanitarian convoy - it was a terrorist organisation. And we know that the Americans know it too. But they prefer to have another stance on it, and engage into unfounded accusations against Russia."
"This method of running international affairs [The U.S. attempting to force a ceasefire in Syria] is called pressure and blackmail."
"It is not our partners, who should get offended about our veto of the French resolution [over Syria]. It is us, who should get offended."
Russian President Vladimir V. Putin
While oil was still selling at a favoured price on the world market the trillion rubles that the Kremlin spent on updating its armaments for the military, the establishment of a new network of military bases across Siberia, the plans to place an army division in eastern Siberia, and the deployment of a new battery of nuclear-powered ice breakers and silent submarines in the Arctic represented a full and brash display of Moscow's intentions, sans diplomatic discussions. Displaying Putin's mastery of chess moves.
The seizure of Crimea was simply a long-overdue settling of accounts, restoring to Mother Russia what was its to begin with, a sacred peninsula of heritage value, returned to its place, the beating heart of Russia. Ukraine? a satellite that has forgotten its purpose, and simply required reminding. The menace that Poland and the Baltic states claim to be emanating across their borders from rapacious Russia is simply their overactive imaginations, their base guilt at having abandoned the country that nurtured them.
From the Baltic to the Black Sea, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have forgotten what they owe to Russia, and simply needed a few reminders which the Kremlin obligingly provided. This is Russia's geographic region; the presence of NATO forces is a provocation too far. A declaration of intent nudging close to a call for all-out war, and Russia is prepared. The ultimatum put to Washington to have all troops and infrastructure from NATO nations bordering Russia removed; to have sanctions lifted, and to offer compensation for economic damages, is the price for the resumption of friendly relations.
Since NATO feels comfortable in giving military assurance to eastern Europe, Russia feels equally comfortable in basing SS-26 Iskander missiles with or without nuclear warheads in Kaliningrad. At this juncture, sweetly neutral Sweden is mulling over making application to join NATO as it reintroduces conscription and invites women to join the draft. Norway plans to increase defence spending and it, Denmark and the U.S. await delivery of new generation F-35 fighter jets.
The world is an uneasy place with the resurgence of Russian confidence and a president in whom Russians take immense pride, unafraid to contest the proud nation's detractors.