Kremlin strategy does not change
On the last day of 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree approving an updated national security strategy of the Russian Federation. This document is Russia’s main plan and the program of the country’s foreign and domestic policy as Moscow is crazed up solely on own security, the search for external and internal enemies, and ways to neutralize them, as well as for the survival recipes in a "besieged fortress" mode.
So, what is the plan Putin and his entourage have prepared for Russia and the rest of the world in 2016? Since the Strategy is the basis for the formation and implementation of state policy on national security, it makes sense to look at the goals of the Russian government in this field.
Let's start with the fact that in the "Russia in the modern world" chapter, the authors of the strategy noted that "there is now a firm foundation for the further expansion of economic, political, military and spiritual potential of the Russian Federation, strengthening its role in the emerging polycentric world." Moscow has, indeed, laid the foundation over the past two years, although it has negative implications. The Kremlin has completely lost over the said period both its reputation and a real resource base within its borders and abroad. Incitement to War in Ukraine and Syria can only be a stable foundation for a one-way road for Putin.
It gets even more interesting. The same chapter says: "Russia has demonstrated its ability to ensure the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the state, protection of the rights of its compatriots abroad. Russia’s role in solving major international problems has grown..."
Interestingly, the reality and the declared goals differ greatly. Judge for yourself. Centrifugal tendencies are now prevailing in relation to the sovereignty of the Russian Federation. The Caucasus is restless again, and there is no money left to pay a "fee" to Kadyrov. As a result, a light ultimatum from Grozny results in Putin presenting to Chechnya a minor [for now] stake in Rosneft oil giant. Tatarstan President issues a stern statement on the attempts to embroil his Republic [which is part of the Russian Federation] with Turkey. Meanwhile, the Far East sees all the power amassing in the hands of the Chinese, who don’t lose a chance to push through various ultimatums to Moscow. Apparently, they are aware that they need to "make hay while the sun shines," as Putin does not seem to hold to his post much longer
As regards the protection of the Russians abroad, the refugees from Donbas – both the IDPs in Ukraine and those who had chosen to move to Russia, and then came back, could reasonably argue the “success” of such policy.
We are witnessing the ugliest “reincarnation” of the Soviet Union.
Another thing is Russia’s growing role in solving major international problems. It appears that in the early 90's, the American strategists, including Zbigniew Brzezinski, have made the main, and unforgivable, mistake – they left the Russians weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, counting that it would be impossible to reviving the Soviet Union in any shape. Big mistake. We are witnessing the ugliest possible reincarnation of the Soviet Union, and now it will take a lot of time and effort to tame today’s Russian political leadership. But unfortunately, there is no other way, however painful it may be. Therefore, despite apparent “softness,” neither the EU, nor the United States intends to lift sanctions against Putin and his comrades. Meanwhile, Putin’s policy takes the lives of the best Ukrainian citizens. This is also the fact Ukraine should keep in mind in its relations with the West. The important point is for Washington, London, Berlin and Brussels not to make the same mistake over again of leaving the nuclear weapons in Russia after the fall of the Putin regime. But that's a topic for another discussion.
The National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation has one more very important message: "the position of the West aimed at countering the integration processes and the creation of hotbeds of tension in the Eurasian region is having a negative impact on the implementation of Russia’s national interests. The support by the United States and the European Union of the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine has led to a deep split in Ukrainian society and the emergence of the armed conflict. Strengthening of the far-right nationalist ideology, purposeful formation of an image of Russia as an enemy for the Ukrainian population, a blatant bid for a forceful solution of internal conflicts, and deep social and economic crisis are turning Ukraine into a long-term hotbed of instability in Europe and directly at Russia's borders."
Merkel, Hollande and Obama who have been trying to avoid any confrontation [both military and political] with the Kremlin since 2013, are now put in the category of conspirers who incite "a fire in the heart of Eurasia."
This paragraph, in our opinion - the quintessence of all the national security strategy of the Russian Federation. First, it turns out, this is the West fueling hotbeds of conflict in the Eurasian region. Merkel, Hollande and Obama who have been trying to avoid any confrontation [both military and political] with the Kremlin since 2013, despite being the extremely convenient “opponents” to Moscow's foreign policy are now put in the category of conspirers who incite "a fire in the heart of Eurasia." Well, this is not surprising. Putin is much more afraid to name the real opponents in the international arena, like China, which has already had a taste of the delicious resources of Russia’s Far East.
Putin openly admitted that the second party to the Donbas conflict was the Russian army.
Secondly, the Kremlin believes that it is the fault of the U.S. and the EU that there has been a Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. It says that it was the integration into Europe that provoked the internal conflict. The question is, between whom exactly is this conflict. For some reason, the Russian strategy shamefully chooses not to answer. Who was the second party to the conflict, opposing the Ukrainian patriots? "The little green men" from the U.S. and the EU? Not even close. The Russian president openly admitted at his annual presser in December that the second party to the Donbas conflict was the Russian army, which had gone to war with Ukraine upon his order.
Putin's Plan for Ukraine is “a long-term hotbed of instability.”
And now to the most important point. The Russian national security strategy mentions Ukraine as a long-term hotbed of instability in Europe and at the borders of the Russian Federation. We should pay close attention to it. This is Putin's plan for Ukraine: “a long-term hotbed of instability.” That is, as long as Putin and his closest allies are in power, Russia will not cease attempts to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. This does not depend on sanctions, Minsk arrangements, oil prices or something else. For Putin and his regime, it is very important not to give Ukraine a chance to become a normal state. This is the idee fixe of the Kremlin, from which Moscow will not desist even at the cost of the internal disaster in Russia.
So the winning recipe for Ukraine is very simple - to do everything to bring closer the collapse of Putin's regime in a variety of areas, with the military area being only one of the many.
Perhaps, this is the most important thing to know about the new strategy of Russia’s national security.