Emboldened by perceptions of the West’s terminal decline, no one in this group loses much sleep over the prospect of open confrontation with America and Europe. In fact, the core members of this group would all be among the primary beneficiaries of a deeper schism.
Consider Putin’s war cabinet, which is where most decision-making takes place. It consists of Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Security Council; Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the FSB (the main successor agency to the KGB’s intelligence service); Sergei Naryshkin, the head of the Russian foreign intelligence service; and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Their average age is 68 and they have a lot in common. The collapse of the Soviet Union, which Putin described as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, was the defining episode of their adult lives. Four out of five come from the KGB, three of whom, including the president himself, come from the ranks of counterintelligence. It is these hardened men, not polished diplomats like Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who lead the country’s foreign policy.
In recent years, members of this group have become very vocal. Patrushev and Naryshkin frequently give long interviews articulating their views on global developments and Russia’s international role. According to them, the American-led order is in deep crisis due to the failure of Western democracy and the internal conflicts stimulated by the promotion of tolerance, multiculturalism and respect for the rights of minorities.
… I think the cabal sees itself as part of the millennial Christian tradition and that this war is for the soul of Russia.
We do not appreciate the power, importance and motivation that Russian Orthodox Christianity plays in all of this.
In 988 AD, Vladimir the Great, from whom Putin takes his name, mass baptized 1,000 Russians at the Nee-Proh River in what became the founding spiritual moment of Russian Orthodox Christianity as Russia became Christian and leads to a cultural narrative structure that Moscow is the third Rome and was a homeland for Christianity.
If Moscow is the third Rome, kyiv is the second Jerusalem.
Putin considers himself part of a long line of Christian defenders of the true faith.
An angry new white Christianity is breaking out here with intense violence, and misreading Putin’s engines means we won’t be able to stop it.
If Putin does this for God and the soul of Mother Russia, the deaths are proof of faith, not failure!
We keep telling ourselves that Putin made a mistake, but I see a leader who intimidated his army. conflict which he intends to settle with terrifying violence.
I believe that Putin only sees Russia gaining power from a world order in turmoil where he becomes the Lord of Chaos.
The next stop will be Bosnia/Herzegovina…
As the world watches Ukraine, the possibility of disintegration looms in Bosnia
…and I believe he intends to sow conflict between Iran and Israel by giving Iran nuclear technology.
in 2016 Putin started building a Doomsday bunker.
In 2017 he saw Dr Strangelove for the first time with director Oliver Stone.
Last year he completed his Doomsday Bunker.
I’m afraid Putin wants to use an event of extreme violence to terrify NATO and freeze it. I think this event will either be a Nuke battlefield, a chemical weapons attack, or a bioweapon.
After this event he will make Ukraine accept anything and I think he intends to isolate Russia from the West via cultural and economic sanctions while he wreaks havoc on the world as a major destabilizer.
I think Putin sees himself as a champion of the true Christian faith and the Lord of Chaos. Russia wins when the world order collapses.
The real economic pain of the sanctions against Russia has yet to hit us, but they are coming.
The price of petrol at $5 a liter and bread at $10 will cause enormous damage here in New Zealand, imagine what the impact will be on the rest of the world?
The last time wheat prices were this high, they caused a destabilization of bread prices across the Middle East that sparked the spring uprising. Indeed, the collectivization of Ukraine’s wheat crops in the early 1930s had a ripple effect on the economic downturn that led to World War II.
Putin is ready to endure tremendous economic hardship right now to ultimately derail the global economy by the end of the year.
Fear the masochist who can fall into sadism.
How does Xi respond?
John Key’s “All our cows in a Beijing pen” strategy, which he advocated during his decade in office, has backfired dramatically on New Zealand as geopolitical tensions rise.
All this money that we have sunk into intensive irrigation so that the parched plains can produce grass for intensive dairy farming has led us into an economic relationship which is very bad for us…
New Zealand’s trade relationship with China is worth $19bn and experts say it leaves the country ‘significantly exposed’
- New Zealand’s dairy exports to China are worth more than $5 billion a year
- Farmers say the country is a ‘major player’ and losing this business would have a ‘massive impact’ on their lives
- Experts say New Zealand is ‘significantly exposed’ to China over trade and aware of any retaliation
…put aside the climate crisis that causes the gases this intensification is causing, put aside the water it steals and pollutes, put all that aside – we have an intense economic relationship with an authoritarian regime that treats the human rights as if they were optional and which supports Russia’s terrible policy of war in Ukraine.
The farmers shouted that Jacinda was a socialist, since Xi pays his bills and supports his farms so much, who is the real Red under the bed here?
As China puts 5 billion dollars in the pockets of dairy farmers every year, I think it is important that we ask ourselves “who is your father”?
This economic friction will only intensify. Putin has turned the global rules-based system upside down and this war in Ukraine with all its ramifications is barely calculated, but China and Russia are tied in this conflict as the nascent first kick of a new power bloc against the West.
This puts us squarely on the chopping block for geopolitical retaliation in the months and years to come as this new world order recedes and China encroaches deeper into the Pacific.
Add the economic stress of China’s zero tolerance approach to Covid which continues to crush supply chains and we have a perfect gravity of economic stress and geopolitical interests combining to create a double whammy at the New Zealand economy.
That’s why it’s so serious…
China to sign first Pacific security deal that will give it warships on Australia’s doorstep
China and the Solomon Islands are set to sign a security deal that will see Chinese warships based in the Pacific and change the balance of power in the Australian region.
The deal will give China the power to use its military to protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects in the Solomon Islands and give Beijing a base for its navy less than 2,000 kilometers off the Australian coast.
The base would be the first time Australia has had a strategic adversary within striking distance of its coastline since World War II.
“China may, according to its own needs and with the consent of the Solomon Islands, conduct vessel visits, conduct logistics resupply and stopover and transition in the Solomon Islands,” the draft framework agreement reads.
… it is our economic overlord directly encroaching on our Pacific neighborhood with military expansion and a surreptitious “security” deal that protects Chinese interests in the Solomon Islands.
Recent unrest there has seen Chinese businesses torched by locals who resent Chinese migration and political influence. By supporting the government with “security” offers and a military base to protect those interests, China enters our sphere of influence by insidious means disguised as security.
It’s a bold expansion to announce at a time of geopolitical instability aimed at testing American resolve.
this move by China is a dangerous escalation and shows very clearly why it is a national security concern for New Zealand to decouple its economy from China as soon as possible.
It’s an authoritarian, mass surveillance state that commits genocide and organ harvesting for god’s sake I don’t care how much fuckin’ butter and lumber they buy we want to be very freelancers here.
Likewise, we don’t want to be the stooge of the US military-industrial complex either!
We must chart an independent foreign affairs perspective that is not beholden to Beijing NOR to Washington!
The war is coming.
“And I heard, as it were, the sound of thunder
One of the four beasts saying,
‘Come and see.’ and I saw, and here is a brown bear”