BY ADEYEMI OSHUNRINADE
July 28, 2014
The annexation of Crimea generated critics globally and marked a renewed anti Putin’ meddling in the affairs of Ukraine and other former Soviet Republics, now aligned with the West. After the loss of Crimea, the United States realized Eastern Ukraine is at the brink of doing the same and warned Putin to desist from supporting the opposition’s quest for separation.
Emergence of pro-Russian opposition with the goal to establish closer ties with Russia and Putin’ desire to support opposition’ demand, is an issue of concern for the Obama administration. Some in Congress worry and see the crisis as the beginning of another Cold War between both nations. Despite cries for Putin to back down by withdrawing its support for the Ukrainian opposition, the Russian leader remains unmoved and determined to press on with his support, even after the downing of MH-17 believed to be the result of opposition’ fire upon a passenger flight.
The United States and its European partners are unsure of how to deal with Putin, while the conflict continues to escalate. The Obama administration is calling for renewed sanctions on Russia, while its European partners want to find other ways to deal with the Russian leader, since most EU nations have closer economic relations with Russia and are concerned about the effects such sanctions may have on their economies. Amid the disagreement, President Obama is facing criticism for not taking what many called a “decisive action,” on his dealing with Putin, but why is Putin angry? What drives him nuts and why is it difficult to deal with the Russian leader?
The breaking of the Soviet Union in 1991 was a turning point for Putin. The Russian leader saw the former republics once symbol of the Soviet Union as a Super Power, break away and crumble due to pressure from the United States and its Western partners. He believes the demise of the Soviet Union was a Conspiracy between the U.S. and Europe to diminish Russia’ role in the region and create a bigger Europe closer to the West in its position.
A former KGB born during the Soviet Era and raised as a communist, Putin is insecure about Russia’s diminished role in the world. After the invasion of Georgia, which led to Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia as an independent state, there was fear Russia might invade Ukraine so, the Europeans with the United States, promised Ukraine a partnership, a move that angered Russia. He saw creation of the European Union and its expansion as a threat and confirmation of global conspiracy to isolate Russia, making it insignificant in the region.
The Soviet Union falls, Europe and the U.S. became triumphant then, emerges the EU as a powerful structure in the region, a transformation, which makes Putin unhappy. He could not understand why Europe and the U.S. would seek the break of the Soviet Union but support the creation and expansion of the EU. Then, came the expansion of NATO to the East of Europe, another move by the West and the United States that angered Putin and made him determined to respond accordingly. When asked about U.S. plan to build a missile defense shield in the East, Putin said:
“We shall provide an adequate and well-measured response to NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, and we shall take note of [the West] setting up a global missile defense architecture and building up its arsenals of precision-guided weapons.”
“No matter what our Western counterparts tell us, we can see what’s going on. As it stands, NATO is blatantly building up its forces in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea areas. Its operational and combat training activities are gaining in scale.”
Putin wants any controversial issues in Russia and the Eastern bloc, resolved through diplomatic means only, without the U.S. and the West meddling in their internal affairs. He was troubled by the support of the U.S. and Europe for the anti-Putin protest that took place in Russia after his reelection and was deeply disturbed when then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, criticized his clamp down on protests and said that “Russians deserve better.”
On global issues, the Russian leader believes the U.S. plays double standard and only wants to protect its interests without consideration for the interests of others. He is not happy about the way Gaddafi got killed though, he signed to the no fly zone pact that led to Gaddafi’s demise. He wanted Gaddafi captured and tried, so, he blames the West for misusing the mandate that authorized NATO’s action in Libya.
As a result of U.S. response to anti-Putin protests in Moscow after his reelection and the handling of the Arab uprising in Libya, Putin is determined to protect Assad and prevent the overthrow of the Assad regime. He detests U.S. attempts to control affairs in the region and sees a U.S. that wants to keep Israel as a power in the Middle East at the expense of its Arab neighbors. He is unhappy about the West’ handling of the Palestinian issue and as a result, supports Iran and Syria to set up opposition to Western hegemony in the region.
These are the root causes and reason Putin has become a hard nut to crack. Putin wants recognition for Russia as a power in Europe and does not want to lose Russia’ sovereignty by forming alliance with other nations. He sees the expansion of NATO and Europe as a threat to Russia’s interests in the region. Putin wants a respected Russia as a player in global affairs but would not submit to Western hegemony and quest for dominance.
Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ available at http://www.amazon.com/author/adeyemioshunrinade. Follow on Twitter @san0670.
Categories: Current Affair, Foreign Affairs
The World has since been divided along interest based lines.Russia may be overtly seen as one major anti west power but other nations like Israel,North Korea..Iran even Saudi Arabia are covertly doing worst. The theatrics going on in Iraq…Between Israel and the Palestians and of course Syria and Afghanistan will tell you the dangers of our time. Nigeria has been torn by terrorist cells because of the same inherent human selfishness and lure to dominate. So it goes on and on. Terrorist cells are daily springing up. The latest is ISIS. causing deaths and deaths in Iraq and Syria.Innocent souls are pawns in this power play of dominance and relevance
Thanks Peter, do second your thoughts human selfishness and urge for power are the root causes of the current global conflicts…Russia may be anti West dominance but in doing so, Putin’ goal is to protect Russia’s interest and maintain it as a respected power in the region because at the end of the day, every nation wants to remain at the top.