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Friendless Russia

putin032709.jpgPaul Goble points to an interesting comment by Vladimir Nadein points out in today’s Yezhednevny zhurnal.

“Even Hitler,” even when it was obvious that he was losing the war “retained allies up to the end of 1944. But Putin, after ten years of uninterrupted rule doesn’t have any.”

Instead of following “the first rule of ancient diplomacy: assemble around oneself more friends and thus destroy more quickly the coalition of enemies, Putin has pursued a policy that has offended and driven away Russia’s neighbors and not gained Russia many of the advantages it might have gotten had it not followed Putin’s lead.

And as a result, with the possible exception of China, Belarus and Kazakhstan, about whose attitudes toward Russia there are still “some doubts,” “all other countries bordering us are clearly not disposed in our favor,” something that Nadein insists did not have to happen and that could be reversed with different policies.

“To deny this would be stupid,”the longtime journalist argues, and consequently, Putin and thosearound him have tried to suggest that this is the way things “ought tobe” – “a kind of diplomatic variant of the Stalinist maxim according towhich the class struggle sharpens as the country advances towardsocialism.”

But however that may be, “a diplomacy which leavesone’s country in such isolation deserves the very lowest grade.” Andnowhere is this situation worse than with regard to Ukraine, a countryin whose presidential elections Putin openly interfered and whosehistory he and those around him were openly, unnecessarily, andcounterproductively offensive.