PART-4/5 : The end of USSR and emergence of Russian Federation
What is wrong with Russia?
What, exactly, is wrong with Russia? Why is it still so aggressive nearly 30 years after the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev launched the process of “normalizing” Russia and its relations with the world? Why, despite two decades of optimistic predictions that it was on the path to becoming, or was on the verge of becoming, or had already become a “normal” country, had it never become one?
Germany, another country that used to invade other countries but now focuses on making quality automobiles and protecting the health of the euro? At least part of the trouble is that Russians have never been able to agree on what “normal” means. “An uncontrollable situation, in which there are no clearly defined spheres of authority, has come about in the country.” “Under these conditions, normal life is impossible.
” Modern Russia, in which the word “normal” appears most in the phrase “normal authoritarianism,” political systems that runs from democratic, to “competitive authoritarian,” to “normal authoritarian,” and, finally, to totalitarian”.
Even Yeltsin, the first president of a newly democratic Russia, often behaved autocratically — for example, in sending army tanks to shell the Russian parliament building during the constitutional crisis of 1993 and by unilaterally appointing a successor, Putin, to run the country when Yeltsin left office on New Year’s Eve in 1999.
When it comes to the Putin era, it fixates on the lingering specter of Stalinism, pointing to various recent opinion polls in which a substantial proportion of Russians expressed a desire for “a leader like Stalin” to run their country. Russian presidential elections became less free and fair. There is no question that Russia has not become what most people hoped it would in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union. The tremendous support among Russians for Putin’s decision to invade and then annex Crimea confirmed that many still pine for an empire. When Putin wants to appeal to Russian patriotism, he invokes Stalin’s triumph in World War II rather than the achievements of the less tyrannical leaders who followed Stalin. while others support Putin because they believe he is similar to Stalin. Russian future does not look good. But if there’s any lesson to be learned from Russian history, it’s that things can change very quickly. A balding, exiled bookworm named Lenin can return to Russia and in a few months seize control of the state, then in a few years reconstruct the fallen Russian empire under a new name. And a balding, long-winded general secretary named Gorbachev can quickly dismantle that empire all over again.
Russian officials indicate that Russia may be asserting its dominance abroad, especially in the former Soviet area. President Putin’s May 10, 2006, State of the Federation address indicates that the Russian leadership intends to refashion the state as a capable counterweight to the United States, not only economically, but demographically and militarily as well. He also emphasized the need for drastic improvements in all aspects of Russia’s military, from manpower to better ballistic missile defense, as protection against those that would undermine Russia’s sovereignty.
In a not-so-veiled reference to U.S. foreign policy, he stated, “Comrade wolf knows whom to eat-he eats and does not listen to anyone.” The goal of United Russia and its president is to make Russia once again an autonomous international player by returning to the values that made it strong in the past.
If United Russia is successful, the U.S. and other Western powers must engage Russia on an entirely new level: as a competitor, not as a junior partner. Russian officials indicate that Russia is trying to assert its dominance abroad, especially in the former Soviet area. They Recognize that Russia is an autonomous actor no longer willing to play second fiddle to the United States. It is seeking to limit U.S. presence and influence in the areas in which it has the ability to project military and political power. These areas include Central Asia, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.
“The fundamental values of democracy are ingrained in the citizens of the U.S.A., England, France. Wake them up in the middle of the night-they’ll start telling you about human rights and so forth.” These values should take on greater meaning in the daily lives of Russians, and Russians should develop their ability both to act according to these values in their interactions with one another and to triumph over opponents by means of an ideological offensive.
“It is necessary to strive for a free and fair society. Without freedom there can be no justice. Justice demands freedom for all people.”
There were two great achievements of the Soviet Union. The first was its powerful ideological message, which spread worldwide and included an understanding of freedom and justice. Soviet power-ideological, military, and even moral- was hugely influential on a global scale. It was even popular among Western intellectuals and contributed to the liberation of colonies. It played a major role in world history, and that is something that Russians should remember. The other astonishing achievement of the Soviet Union was industrialization. Russians today are profiting from this inheritance, which includes railroads, pipelines, factories, and nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union had its negative side as well. Its repressive, closed Soviet society, “in which results are evaluated by party-dogma rather than pragmatism, produced an ineffective elite…. Society was not only unjust, it also wasn’t free. It did not address the question of material needs” and “obviously fell behind the new quality of life of the Western countries in satisfying the demands of the people.”
The Soviet Union’s downfall was inevitable. “The Russian people themselves chose this fate-they rejected the socialist model” as inconsistent with their search for freedom and justice. However, the USSR tried to reform, to embrace the democratic values embodied in the Soviet constitution. The constitution of the USSR and its language about democracy made “the Soviet Union, unconditionally, the greatest modernization project. It already carried with it the seeds of democracy.”
The collapse was the result of the Soviet people’s finally holding their country accountable for its promises of democracy, and “the loss of territory, the loss of population, the loss of a huge part of our economy” was the price that Russia paid. After the downfall, because of disillusionment with the Soviet government, there was widespread belief that “government is evil…and having reduced it to nothing, everything would turn out fine. Of course, this vacuum of power was filled, and it was exactly these ambitious and self-serving commercial leaders who placed themselves in the myriad opportunities for power…. Entire ministries, regions, parties found themselves under the control of independent financial groups, moreover under direct and literal control.
” Democracy in the oligarchic period of the 1990s was not rule by many, nor was it rule by a substantial number. “You could count these people on your fingers…. As a result, all the foundations of democracy were distorted.… If that was a democracy, then what democracy is.”
In 2008 when Vladimir Putin selected Dmitry Medvedev as his replacement as president , presidential elections became decreasingly open, decreasingly competitive and increasingly meaningless. In 2008 Russia has become a normal police state. Once again Putin and Medvedev announced in September 2011 that one of them will be the candidate for president and other would become prime minister. Freedom of speech during this period took on its own special meaning. “Leading television networks became weapons in the hands of famous oligarchic groups” who used them to gain access to and divide among themselves even more government assets.
” Russia “was on the verge of losing its sovereignty. The fundamental threats to Russian sovereignty are , corruption , international terrorism, military conflict, lack of economic competitiveness, and “soft” takeovers by “orange technologies. Although military conflicts are not a current threat, but anything can happen, and the army, navy, and nuclear weapons are the “foundations of Russia’s national sovereignty.” Other problems include enormous government expenditures, budgetary problems, and lack of development.
There are problems with Russia’s business elite: namely, that many Russian businessmen take their families and assets offshore. Mentally he does not live here, in Russia, and such people will not help Russia, and they will also not take care of Russia.” Russia’s future relies on transformation of the Russian business elite into a national bourgeoisie. ” Education is “the creation of a nation, the organization of life and the culture of the nation.” but the decline in the education is too much in Russia………………… to be continued……..