It's cut and dried
According to a BBC report this morning Russia is trying to maintain its ‘sphere of influence’ hence Putin’s aggressive looking military build-up on the Ukrainian border. It seems Putin is unhappy about the loss of Soviet territory and fancies getting a bit back. There’s nothing new there then. But perhaps he feels he’s being unfairly treated. He’ll be aware of such things as this: “According to David Vine, professor of political anthropology at the American University in Washington, DC, the US had around 750 bases in at least 80 countries as of July 2021.”
(Infographic: US military presence around the world | Infographic News | Al Jazeera) That was in answer to the question how many military bases does the U.S. have around the world? Ask ‘How many bases does Russia have around the world?’ and Wikipedia comes up with this: “The majority of Russia's military bases and facilities are located in former Soviet republics; which in Russian political parlance is termed the " near abroad". Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many of the early-warning radar stations ended up in former Soviet republics. As of 2020, only the radar in Belarus is still rented by Russia . In 2003, Kommersant newspaper published a map of the Russian military presence abroad . In 2018, it was reported that Russia operates at least 21 significant military facilities overseas.” ( List of Russian military bases abroad - Wikipedia)
This comparison rather sheds a different light on Putin’s paranoia. I’m not saying he’s justified in ramping up forces on the Russian/Ukrainian border, but when one considers, for example a century and more of American military adventures in Latin America one should not feel too much sympathy for the West’s mocked-up outrage either. Not least since Joe Biden seems determined to give the U.S. military a bigger budget than even the Pentagon asked for. There’s too much posturing on both sides, but the only thing we need to remember is that Joe Biden is a Good Man and Vlad the Impaler Putin is a Very Bad Man, well, according to the BBC anyway.
Leave a Reply.