Vladimir Putin is Russia’s president again (did he ever leave?), let Cold War 2.0 begin.
The election will stand. Why? Even though his election count was surely padded, many Russians want him. I remember seeing a poll last year of Russian citizens. An overwhelming majority wanted the countries that broke away from Russian rule after being “liberated” during WWII to be returned to Russian control.
Putin wants a strong Russia and maybe even a return to the Cold War times with the US. He has pledged to increase military spending significantly. According to The Moscow News:
“His pledge included funds to build over 400 modern intercontinental ballistic missiles, 28 submarines, over 50 military surface vehicles, 600 modern warplanes, and anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems.”
“This is not a militarization of the Russian budget,” Putin said in an article titled: “Being strong is a guarantee of Russia’s national security,” published in the government’s official newspaper, Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “It’s obvious we cannot strengthen our international position, develop the economy and democratic institutions if we are not able to defend Russia.”
One would have to ask “Defend Russia from who?”
President Obama folded when confronted by Russia about the US missile defense shield in Europe. According to a 2009 CNN article, Poland and the Czech Republic were depending on the missile shield as protection against Russian aggression:
Poland and the Czech Republic had based much of their future security policy on getting the missile defenses from the United States. The countries share deep concerns of a future military threat from the east — namely, Russia — and may now look for other defense assurances from their NATO allies.
With Putin fully in-charge again, you can expect anti-West rhetoric to increase. Heck, even Russia’s “Pravda” news website is getting in on the action. Check out these screenshots of Pravda.ru from yesterday. Here is what Russian readers saw (translated):
A nice up-beat news spread about Putin’s election bid. Now, what did the English version of the Webpage look like?
Let’s see, we have:
- Exposed:The handbook of American State Terrorism
- North Korea Throws dust in the USA’s Eyes
- Iranian Mosquitoes to bite US Navy Hard
- Putin and the Tall Wall Against Western Mischief
- Russia Confirms Foreign Invasion of Syria
- Latin America prepared for US Financial Burst
A slight difference in article selections.
Well, looks like the Cold War and anti-West sentiment may heat up again, especially with Putin at the helm.