As prime minister for the past four years, Vladimir Putin never really went away. But his looming reincarnation as the all-powerful, executive president of Russia – the country’s “paramount leader” in Chinese parlance – poses a stark challenge for which the US, Britain and other beleaguered western powers seem ill-prepared. As president, potentially until 2024, Putin has one overriding objective: the creation of a third, post-tsarist, post-Soviet Russian empire.
Elements of Putin’s strategy to make Russia great again are slowly coming into focus. Much of the plan is defined by Russia’s opposition to the US, the traditional foe. …
On his eastern flank, meanwhile, Putin is busy reviving the idea of a remodelled union embracing the former Soviet republics of central Asia,…
Putin’s third empire project also includes, crucially, a tightening of Moscow’s politicised grip on Europe‘s strategic energy supplies.
So now we have the return of the Russian empire. A new cold war is starting with China. A covert war between Iran and the west is full steam ahead. Syria is plunging into a civil war that could potentially drag in Israel. Israel’s neighbors are primed and ready for war. There is a global financial crisis that threaten to bring down a large part of the world. And finally the US has pretty much started to go into decline.
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