Russia and its neigbours


Russia is using proxies very cleverly to achieve its aims and maintain deniability – congratulations FSB. This doesn’t make it any more legal or acceptable, but it’s a lot harder for the international community to do anything about it. Putin knows that the USA, Europe and, as a consequence, NATO are not going to war over Ukraine, so he pushes his pawns any way he sees fit in his neighbourhood. All we are ready to do is slap some severe sanctions on Russia: block a few more officials and oligarchs  – really scary stuff. However, economy is his greatest concern and he is scaring his own people – at least those who have something to lose – who are moving assets out of the country, fast. Let’s hope that this will give him pause – although it’s unlikely to, as he seems determined to prove what a macho he is. Reminds me of Saddam and the invasion of Kuwait and Gualtieri and the invasion of the Falklands: dictators need wars and crises to justify their existence, but sometimes they manage to shoot their own foot, too.