26 February 2022 ~ 4 Comentarios

Vladimir Putin’s War

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

 It was the early days of the year 2000. The first major American official who spoke with Vladimir Putin was Madeleine Albright. Mrs. Albright, born in Prague, was then Secretary of State in the second term of the Clinton administration. She recorded her impression of the person who had replaced Boris Yeltsin at the helm in Russia: “He is small and pale, and he is so cold and emotionless, that he could be a reptile”.

She hit the mark with that comment. But she said more, “Putin is ashamed of what happened to his country and is determined to restore its greatness.” She hit the mark again. That’s what just happened to Ukraine. Without having done anything to deserve it, Ukrainians are paying the price for the restoration of Russian greatness. The article by the former Secretary of State was published in the NYT under the title “Putin makes a historic mistake.”

It is ridiculous, for example, to say, as Putin has said, that Ukraine is a Russian invention. Any high school graduate knows that it is the other way around – the idea of ​​​​imperial Russia arose from Kievan Rus between the 9th and the 13th century. Just as it is foolish to accuse the current rulers of Ukraine of being “Nazis.” If anyone remembers Adolf Hitler, it is Mr. Vladimir Putin, who has no other argument to claim the Donbass than the one used by the Nazis to claim the Czech Sudetes – they were full of Germans. Franz Kafka, for example, lived in Prague, but spoke and wrote in German, although he had the elegance of dying in 1924 at the age of 40, before the Hitlerian whirlwind devastated Europe and, with it, the Jews, who had done so much good to the Old Continent from a technical, scientific, artistic and financial point of view.

The two eastern regions of Ukraine (Donetsk and Lugansk) were populated – I was going to write “plagued” – by ethnic Russians who communicate in Russian. Since Russian and Ukrainian have a common origin and share the same alphabet, some people think that it is the same language, but it is not true. According to many philologists, Ukrainian language is closer to Polish or Czech than to Russian. In addition, ensuring that Donetsk and Lugansk separate from Ukraine is an unspeakable forgetfulness of the values ​​of the republic, safeguarded by the Minsk Agreements, signed in 2014 and 2015 in the capital of Belarus, the same government that today betrays them.

What is Russia seeking by crushing its neighbor Ukraine with its overwhelming military power? If Putin thinks that by reestablishing the ‘zones of influence’ Russia will be more protected against a nuclear rocket, he has failed to find out (as a CNN analyst said) the current correlation of forces. The fate of Moscow or Saint Petersburg, and of any densely populated Russian city, lies in an unknown silo in Nebraska or Montana and in a GPS with the encrypted address of the site to which it will take its nuclear warhead, fifty times more destructive than the bomb that reduced Hiroshima to ashes in 1945.

Influence is measured nowadays by the quality and price of the objects around us, and none of them are Russian. Indeed, Russia has a third world economy. It has the approximate size of the Italian economy, but with 2.45 times more inhabitants. It is a single producer and exporter of energy, like Saudi Arabia, but without the investment expertise of Arab businesspeople. When gas and oil run out or are replaced by other technology (German scientists are experimenting with neutrinos), Russia – Vladimir Nabokov said in another context – “was a dream I had,” as the filmmaker Jiménez-Leal frequently quotes.

The sanctions will have a devastating effect on Russia’s third world economy. Depriving it of its sources of financing or the markets that buy Russian gas or oil will have a decisive impact in the medium or long term. Especially if an alternative for the supply of gas and oil is achieved and a real agreement is established between the US, the European Union, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Canada and Australia. This agreement, in turn, must impose very serious sanctions against those who violate the agreement.

Are we close to World War III, as happened in 1962 during the “Missile Crisis”? No, but the reasons for preventing it are the same: Russia would be thoroughly destroyed. It is true that the United States would also be knocked down, but wars are fought to win them, not to lose them or to be half demolished. In the US, where everything is calculated, it is assumed that cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants would be destroyed. Of course, there is an increased risk that a definitive conflict occurs by chance and not by the intention of the involved parties. In the 1960s and 1970s there were at least two occasions when nuclear escalation was very possible. In both cases we were saved by the good sense of a Soviet intermediate-rank operator, who listened to his intuition and did not follow “the rules of engagement.” There is no guarantee that this will happen in the future.

4 Responses to “Vladimir Putin’s War”

  1. Efraín Montero 27 February 2022 at 1:51 pm Permalink

    En “La guerra de Putin” don Carlos Alberto retrata la insania del peligroso momento que vivimos, al que llegamos, también, debido a la antipatía supersticiosa de políticos progresistas al petróleo y gas como fuentes de energía. El partido demócrata de EE UU, en eco con los socialistas y Verdes europeos, empujan a Occidente a utilizar “energía renovable”. Ecologistas y políticos, tanto de EE UU como UE, intentan un cambio rápido y forzado que, además, conlleva costosísimos sistemas de almacenamiento.

    Las políticas de subsidios a las energías renovables en Europa han logrado el objetivo por el cual la energía nuclear y de carbón no sea económicamente competitiva en Alemania, obligando a plantas nucleares y de carbón a dejar de operar. Resultado: las renovables no proporcionan energía confiable las 24 horas 365 días del año, Alemania se ve obligada a importar de Rusia el 40% de sus necesidades energéticas.

    El presidente Biden se la ha pasado desarmando energéticamente los Estados Unidos como los socialistas y Verdes en Europa. Biden suspendió los contratos de extracción en el Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre del Ártico de Alaska, y eliminó el oleoducto Keystone XL. Resultado: EE UU importa diariamente 600.000 barriles de petróleo de Rusia.

    Mientras tanto en el Kremlin Vladimir Putin continuaba in crescento en su obsesión ucraniana, la que, es importante señalar, es compartida por numerosos rusos. En algún momento Putin calculó las posibles consecuencias de su nueva invasión a Ucrania, concluyó que, tanto los europeos como los EE UU, protestarían por un tiempo, para luego regresar a la danza de antes: importación de energía desde Rusia. Total, eso fue lo que antes ocurrió.

    Por si no está claro, el petróleo financia los misiles que golpean Ucrania. En el caso de Estados Unidos y con el barril de crudo a 100 dólares, son 60.000.000 de dólares diarios, o 21.900.000.000 al año que se envían a Rusia

    • Jose A Nunez 2 March 2022 at 7:36 pm Permalink

      ?Que tiene que ver la energia renovable con la guerra que creo Putin? Me parece que su opinion es mas que nada una critica al presidente Biden y a los paises que quieren liberarse del petroleo extranjero. Tambien pienso que es necesaria la independencia del petroleo para que los paises que no tienen puedan progresar.
      Putin fue a la guerra para asegurarse mas en el poder pero le esta saliendo el tiro por la culata. El no se siente seguro de poder mantener el poder y queria mostrarle a los que quieren su posicion que el es mas fuerte Creo que ese error gigantesco le va a costar la vida a Putin. Desgraciadamente miles de jovenes ucranianos y rusos tambien van a pagar por la ambicion de un hombre formado por la KGB y frio como reptil.

  2. Efraín Montero 3 March 2022 at 2:45 pm Permalink

    Don José. No sé ni creo poder psicoanalizar a Putin o a cualquiera.

    A Putin lo juzgo por sus acciones únicamente. Desde 2008 Putin ha acumulado territorio con poco riesgo y a bajo costo. Sometió Georgia, se apoderó de Crimea, continuó impertérrito en el Medio Oriente, y cortó el sureste de Ucrania. Por qué lo hizo es, para mí, menos importante de cómo lo hizo o de que recursos se valió para hacerlo. La respuesta es que Putin se aventuró porque (1) le costaba poco económicamente, (2) su ejército es costeado con la energía que vende a Europa. Y desde que Biden llegó a la Casa Blanca por Estados Unidos también. Con el barril de crudo a 100 dólares, son 60.000.000 de dólares diarios, o 21.900.000.000 al año que Estados Unidos le envían a la Federación de Rusia.

    Alemania anunció que cambiará de política de importar de Rusia por una de prospección petrolera dentro de sus fronteras, además de un aumento significativo en el presupuesto de defensa. Mientras en Estados Unidos, que al llegar a la Casa Blanca Biden no importaba crudo, debido a políticas progresistas de odio al petróleo, prefieren importar de Rusia que extraer del territorio de Estados Unidos.

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