Hello, dear readers and readers of the Military Review!
For more than eight years I have been an active reader of this resource. Recent events in the Republic of Belarus, beloved by many Russians, prompted me to finally register on this site to present my vision of the situation.
Why do I expect that someone will be interested in my point of view? On this information resource, I have read many articles by specialists in various fields - both technical and humanitarian. What has always hurt my eyes? The fact that very few of my colleagues, lawyers, participate in the general discussion.
This is my first article. I ask in advance to forgive me in case of excessive dryness of the presentation. This is a professional trait. And frankly speaking, there are enough emotions now.
I also ask you to take into account that everything I set out below is solely my personal opinion. I do not pretend to be objective, I do not present the general point of view of the people of my profession. We are all different, we all look at the same events through the prism of our personal experience, education and our immediate environment. I'm just trying not to be biased.
I think one should start from the beginning - from the collapse of the Great (with a capital letter) power and its split into smaller parts.
From my point of view, this was inevitable. And to blame the party elite of the time of Mikhail Gorbachev for what happened is to be very cunning. Undoubtedly, the contribution of the top to the collapse of the USSR was the most significant, but the processes that received their logical conclusion under them, were started, in my opinion, back in 1965 during the economic reform. Moreover, its success, or, conversely, failure, does not matter: the decisive thing was the obvious change in the course of the huge state machine towards the decentralization of power. This is fatal for any non-democratic regimes. The only difference is that under a monarchy, the monarch himself and his family can remain after the regime change as honorary figures who are not endowed with real power, but are unique symbols, as happened, for example, in Great Britain. Other undemocratic regimes do not have this privilege. In our case, Mikhail Sergeevich only continued to follow the course already outlined before him, not trying to correct the current situation and not even trying to find the reasons for its occurrence. Recklessly and prematurely starting his perestroika, he let the huge country into a steep dive, just like in the TV show "Pun". Than accelerated the process for a couple of decades.
What have we got?
Confusion, devastation, an avalanche of everything that people lacked under the USSR, and at the same time a leader who was unable to somehow influence what was happening in the country. One gets the feeling that the first "zombies" in the modern sense of the word were Mr. Yeltsin and his entourage. They did not have the slightest idea of how the market economy works, naively believing that you just need to let everything go by itself, without providing any support to the domestic economy, leaving everything on the population. Privatizing state property with the right approach is a good idea. If it is carried out in stages, with a division by sectors of the economy, in a country already integrated into the market, when potential investors (both within the country and abroad) and persons who have received their "ticket" know their real value. Then the company will be in good hands. The buyer has the necessary amount (and a lot), which means he has earned, which means he knows how to run a business, and an ordinary person will not be offended, since he received decent compensation. But we threw everything out in one fell swoop. As a result, all those who are more cunning got it, having bought everything at face value.
Our respected neighbors, looking at all this from the outside, made a wise decision not to do the same. In addition, we assumed the entire external debt of the USSR (which was partly true given that we did not want to share nuclear weapons: carrot and stick), and they did not have an urgent economic need to jump headlong into the maelstrom.
This was followed by a series of economic shocks, one stronger than the other, political failures, when we showed ourselves as helpless as possible in foreign policy. Our neighbors, naturally, watched all this. They had, of course, their own problems, but there was no such scope as ours.
It was here that the first event took place that broke the perception of Russia as a "big brother" by the inhabitants of the fraternal republics. More precisely, not a single event, but a whole series of shocks and failures of our foreign and domestic policy acted as a trigger. Big Brother is not that big and strong. Big brother himself cannot cope with his problems, he is worse than the younger ones. By the way, I think it was in the 90s that the opinion about the union republics feeding Russia living at their expense took root among the people: they saw with their own eyes how Russia copes on its own. And this is with the support of American advisers! Of course, we were still loved, but ... what was happening in our country could not remain without a trace. It couldn’t, it’s the prestige and perception of the country as a whole. The United States can have at least a quadrillion debts, as long as they live well, as long as the Americans consume more than half of the benefits of our planet, while they push their position in the UN and other international organizations, they will believe in them, they will be equal and, most importantly, in them. will be invested. And even a super threat in the person of Russia, China or Zimbabwe is not needed.
And we had neither the means, nor the desire, nor the opportunity to somehow influence the opinion of our neighbors - everyone was busy trying not to destroy the Russian Federation. Doubtful attempts, perhaps, it would be better if they did not try at all, the crisis of power would not be so strong, but what is done is done. The main thing, since I am considering our relations with neighbors, is that we did not influence their public opinion. On the other hand, Western media influenced, which really liked to ridicule yesterday's "evil empire", since we have given plenty of reasons. Influenced not even purposefully, I doubt that someone took us seriously at that time, to carry out the ideological indoctrination of the population. Played the information hunger of former residents of the USSR: people wanted to know more about the West, read it news, see the world like the West. It was romantic then.
After the change of leadership (the only thing that can be said for sure thanks to Boris Nikolayevich) and the coming to power of a new leader at that time, the situation in the country began to stabilize.
Those who associate this exclusively with high oil prices will be strongly wrong. The fight against organized crime has begun for once. The state remembered its most ancient instrument - the army. There was an active process of lawmaking and, most importantly, the "polishing" of laws, some of which, although adopted already in the 90s, had no connection with reality at all. Mechanisms for IMPLEMENTATION of laws and other norms began to appear.
But the neighbors looked at all these processes only through the prism of oil prices. The standard of living in Russia began to grow at a fairly rapid pace. The economy, after the systemic shock of the 90s, when the factories were run by people far from production processes, began to recover. Again, in the case of the economy, objective processes are to blame: the factories were either closed, or the people who skillfully privatized them learned how to do business by trial and error, at least to stay afloat. By that moment we had broken through the bottom several times, the next one turned out to be strong, so we swam up.
People looked already through the prism of the 90s: Russia has a sea of resources, only due to the sale of everything and came out. No, no, no and no again! Without significant changes in other areas of the economy, changes in public life and in the internal policy of the authorities, we would have come to the conclusion that the oil workers would live well, and the rest of the population would die of hunger or revolt.
What happened next?
In 2008, the beloved Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev became president. With a great desire for reform. Especially the thirst for reforms is incomprehensible against the background of the growing, albeit slowly, living standards, real wages and everything else.
I will not go into details, I will only say that not very successful reforms were superimposed on the world economic crisis, and our state again began to "slip" in place.
Meanwhile, Ukraine and the Republic of Belarus, which were indifferent to Russia from the point of view of the spread of their ideological influence (especially against the background of the complete absence of a clear ideology as such in the Russian Federation itself), continued their "free floating". Each in its own way: in Ukraine, an internal conflict was growing due to different historical roots of its western and eastern parts, the Republic of Belarus showed exemplary economic resilience, retaining all the best of the "Russian world" while minimizing negative aspects. Yes, all this happened against the background of significant economic preferences from the Russian Federation, but this was taken for granted. We are relatives, this is normal among relatives. Nobody perceived it as something special, like when parents are already adults, independent children slip a few bills.
Vladimir Vladimirovich returned to his post again at not the most favorable time. The economy has not yet fully recovered from the crisis, plus the population was angry with its predecessor. I had to do something. And it was decided to follow the path of least resistance - to "cut" discounts to neighbors. You and I, too, decently got it on our pocket. And under Dmitry Medvedev, our relations with our neighbors have already suffered on a similar occasion.
Bottom line: neighboring republics, themselves experiencing a bad time, took it as a betrayal. After all, it is already hard for them, but here we, knowing about it, make it so that it becomes even worse for them. And all the same, that the Russians themselves are not sweet: they want loyal friends on the side, but in times of need they begin to reckon with them, who gives whom to whom.
This was the second serious blow. Again, it's a matter of psychology. From a legal point of view, we were in our own right. From a kinship point of view, this "tore the mold."
We see what the economic shocks and the internal conflict have led to Ukraine. Everyone can draw a conclusion on their own. I do not want to describe this topic a lot in this article. If readers welcome me warmly, I will write a separate article on this matter.
It is important that a similar situation is now emerging in the Republic of Belarus. With one caveat, which in this case decides a lot: in the Republic of Belarus there is no anti-Russian-minded and at the same time influential stratum of the population in Belarus. "Old Man" pleased in this regard - he paid attention to the mood of the people.
What to do with this porridge, which we need to disentangle, and do we need it at all?
In my opinion, it is necessary. Required. Even if in the short term this may lead to a deterioration in the views of Russia on the part of the international community. We are now for everyone - a colossus on feet of clay, an inflated balloon. You need to show your strength, and the more often the better.
From this point of view, the operation in Syria is an ideal example. Yes, our planes were shot down. Yes, the dead. And I sincerely feel sorry for those who died in a foreign land. But we showed that we can do something again. The whole world sees that the US does not run the risk of going into open confrontation with us. That Turkey is also not burning with desire. That Israel is trying with all its might to simultaneously act in its own interests and at the same time not give us a pretext for aggression, it is not for nothing that they are extremely active in communicating with us. As well as the United States and Turkey. The crisis of unity in the EU is also connected with this: people begin to doubt one of the components of the power of the United States, hence the split between pro-American forces and the emergence of independent ones. The granite of faith in the ability of the United States to impose its will has cracked. And the United States is not in a position to put everything on the line and start a war: the Americans are softened, they want cola, chips and peace. They do not want wars. The same Tomahawk strikes on Syria did not cause a wave of delight among ordinary Americans. So the US authorities are trying to solve everything with sanctions.
Only by showing strength can we return the "Russian world". This does not mean fighting with someone, shooting at someone. It means making decisions that are unpopular in the world. Unpopular in the USA.
What should I do?
In my opinion, this is what. First, one should intervene in what is happening in the Republic of Belarus. Yes, to introduce riot police and our other law enforcement officers. Yes, under the guise of exercises to bring up troops to the western border of the republic.
But! The fundamental is such a "but". On pain of all possible punishments, the riot police should be prohibited from touching the protesters. Cocktail throwers only. People have excellent physical fitness, they will catch up.
In addition, the intensity of passions has subsided there. The protesters are behaving peacefully. Together with the guys, take psychologists with you, who will explain in an accessible way what they came for. To help. How peacekeepers help. That is, to guarantee compliance with the law by both parties. Show that Big Brother is here, next to him, that he has woken up and will not allow chaos to begin like that of another neighbor. This is precisely work with the population and for the population. This alone will first undermine trust in us (when we enter), and then, when people figure out what's what, on the contrary, will raise it to the level of the early 90s. It is important for them to know that they have an ally. It is important for them that we are this ally. The West is ready to offer its help. We are silent, I hope, just for now.
Bottom line: with active interaction with the protesters, it will be easy to find a pro-Russian leader among them, followed by people. And the rest will follow. Because WE came to support them, because he is one of THEM, and because WE support one of THEM. This leader will be backed by our authority, which still has a lot of weight in Belarus, and at the same time he will not be a puppet sent from the Kremlin.
And then let them decide for themselves which way to go further, but the idea of the Union State will be received much more warmly. In any case, the politician who has risen on the pro-Russian wave will not dare to turn to the west, given the circumstances under which he came to power.
It is more difficult with Ukraine.
We have already shown ourselves to be weak. We have regained Crimea. And ... blown away! We are not sure of ourselves. We do not know what to do with the DPR and LPR. And people believed in us, people came out to protect not only themselves, but also our world. And we don't let them drown, but we don't help them normally either. How we scoff.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, these republics can no longer be left independent. Only include in its composition with all the consequences. Otherwise, our weakness will definitely not be forgotten. As many in the former Yugoslavia have not forgotten. And as a result, we can get two more disloyal neighbors.
As for Ukraine's opinion on this matter, let's be frank: they won't treat us worse. And when we take two more territorial units from the "strongest army in Europe", it will add at least respect to us. We will take it, not win it back, because they will not come to war. Nobody wants to be beat. And the majority there (except for those in power), I am sure, want this nightmare with the ATO to end. At least somehow. Not because they are loyal to us. Just tired. And for the devastation in the army in 2014, such a surrender of positions cannot be written off - people have been arming for six years.
As for the restoration of relations with Ukraine, we will return only later, in fifty years, when passions will subside, if they themselves will not return by that time to our sphere of influence. We also fought a lot with Germany. And now the Germans are treated as normal.
Again, the above is my personal opinion and is not a call to action. And it is not an attempt to convince the reader. I strongly oppose violence as such, when it is not justified. It's just that politics is such a thing in which people, their lives are another resource, as well as the trust of the population. And from this no one has ever been able to move away. And I'm talking about political processes here.
I will be happy to read constructive criticism, I repeat, I do not consider my opinion to be the only correct one. If I don’t like it, I will not impose.
Thank you all for your attention!