March 29, 2014

Gloom Over Russia

The Independent Analytical Center for Geopolitical Studies “Borysfen Intel” affords ground to the analysts generation for expressing their point of view regarding the political, economic, security, information situation in Ukraine and in the world in general, according to their personal geopolitical studies and analyses.


Note that an authors’ point of view
can disagree with the editor’s one

Shvets Valeriy Tymofiyovych

Born in 1949, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Professor, Honor worker of education of Ukraine.

Awarded with Petro Mohyla's commemorative sign.

Graduated from Balta's high school number 2 in 1966, from the Department of Physics of I. Mechnikov ONU in 1971, from the graduate school at the Department of Theoretical Physics in 1976 and from doctorate at the Institute of Physics of condensed systems of the NAS of Ukraine in 1992.

Direction of scientific activity- physics of metals, plasma, semiconductors. Author of 5 monographs, 7 textbooks, about 200 scientific publications.

Currently is Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics at Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies.

In the mid 1990s of the last century led Odessa cell of Narodnyi Rukh (People's movement), published the newspaper “Rukh”.


There are states, the core of which is a simple and universal idea. The form of this idea can be changed, but the core — can't. Once this idea is destroyed — and the reason for the existence of the state is lost. There are few such states in the world, but Russia belongs exactly to such states.

The state in most nations of the world exists for the people. In Russia, people, regardless of nationality, have always existed for the state. In most states are guaranteed freedoms and prosperity for their citizens. Russia has always existed sacrificing freedoms of its citizens and their well-being.

How did the five hundred year old Russian history begin? With a simple idea: “Moscow is the third Rome.” Why Rome? Because Rome was the largest and most powerful empire of the ancient world. What did Moscow want? To become a similar empire of modern period. And over time, it has got much closer to this goal. According to Professor V. Klyuchevsky, since 1462 Moscovia had been expanding its territory by an average of 130 square kilometers a day for 400 years and indeed it became the largest empire of the world by the area. And not just by the area.

The theory of "Moscow is the Third Rome"
The theory of "Moscow is the Third Rome"

In more recent times there appeared a need to supplement the original idea. This supplement was to specify the direction of expansion and to prepare the ground for it. Pan-Slavism became this supplement. To become the banner of all Slavic peoples, and sooner or later, to draw them into its empire. This idea was the cover of the powerful Russian expansion in the Balkans and the invasion of Poland. Despite the fact that modern genetic studies have not found any specific genetic traits of Slavism in different peoples, this idea had worked to a certain extent. Among Bulgarians, Serbs, Czechs up to now is strong the pro-Russian sentiment. Russia is the protector of Orthodoxy worldwide. This idea had already been defining another vector of expansion. Besides the Orthodox peoples, speaking non-Slavic languages, the empire could include the strategic center of the Earth’s civilization — Tsargorod aka Constantinople, aka Istanbul.

It was for the sake of implementation of this idea that Russia entered in the catastrophic for it First World War. Not least Khadjibey — modern Odessa — developed as the most convenient springboard for the Russian Empire's leap into this strategic point on the globe. “Russia is our strategic ally, and Muslims have to be shot”- as used to say Professor from Belgrade University, whom I met at an international scientific conference. It was the time of the Balkan crisis and by Muslims was meant residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By one sentence he outlined two global ideas discussed above. I did not argue, but merely asked: How do Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina differ from Orthodoxes from Serbia, and what do you know about Russia?

If so expresses himself a Serb-professor, what should one expect from ordinary Serbs, not burdened with education?

But the First World War ended for Russia in a catastrophic, at first glance, revolution. The Russian Empire could have been once and forever consigned to the rubbish bin of history and to ensure for all peoples of Europe, Russians included, the right to a normal life. But in the West, after the burial of the two Central European empires, there were powerful forces that revived one of them, the utterly ruined empire — the Russian one. It was revived at the cost of freedom of two long-suffering peoples: Ukrainian and Belarusian ones. All other nations of Central and Eastern Europe received the right to have their states.

New times required new ideological form, but retaining the same essence. The World Revolution, World Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, of course, with its center in Moscow. Such was the ideological banner of the modern Russian Empire. This idea made ​​it possible to attach to the empire any country of the world, regardless of faith, ethnicity and geographic location. Everywhere one could find the marginal layer of the population and, using the slogan of protection of its rights, to establish control over the state.

Poster “Red Moscow is the heart of the proletarian world revolution”. Unknown artist, 1921
Poster “Red Moscow is the heart of the proletarian world revolution”. Unknown artist, 1921

Has Russia fundamentally changed in our time, if we compare it with the past? Does it have now a leading idea? It does have this modern idea: it is new chronology. Circulation of books with its ​​outlining has already reached a million copies. The peak of this book boom was observed in the last decade. That's enough for every Russian citizen belonging to the reader's segment of the population, to have it in his book collection, at least one of these books. If to focus dozens of volumes of this series in one sentence, it would be as follows: “We did once own the world”. Virtually all of these books are published in an expensive design, designed for wealthy people, and therefore — influential ones. What conclusion do these books make one draw? -“We need to get back what we already owned”.

The symbol of the Soviet era, in my opinion, is a statue of Lenin, always pointing his hand off into the distance. Hundreds of thousands of monuments to the leader of the world proletariat, scattered throughout the modern Russian empire, had to convince ordinary people that the great guide and his heirs know exactly in which direction to lead the peoples of the empire. Despite the fact that the words “I don't care about Russia (word-for word translation from Russian is “I spit on Russia”) — I am a Bolshevik” belong to Lenin, Russians in the vast expanses of the CIS countries are sensitive to the demolition of these monuments. They forgive Lenin that he did not care about the Russian people, but how in Soviet times had widened the boundaries of the modern Russian empire! Russia took under its control not only the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, which had never been part of the classical Russian Empire. Under its influence managed to be a huge amount of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. And with the help of powerful communist parties financed by Moscow, it was possible to effectively blackmail most of Western European governments.

But, here we are, in 1991, another Russian empire burst like a soap bubble. It would seem that Russians finally got a chance to build a normal by international standards, wealthy and democratic state. But no — Russians again took up what they and only they can do, and have been doing for the last five hundred years — they started to build another empire.

Do the modern Russian emperors need some radically new ways to restore the empire? I think not. “To keep the state in a constant state of war, to harden the soldiers, and the whole nation should be kept in readiness to march off at the first order”. This is Peter I's testament to his descendants. Does Russia act after 1991 Russia differently? No, it does not... Chechnya, the Trans-Dniester Republic, Abkhazia, Ossetia, and now Ukraine.

Did Russia have peaceful life in recent decades? Probably not. But there is one more important reason for the constant military conflicts provoked by Russia. A normal state thanks to long-term peace gets stronger and thrives. Russia's state apparatus in peacetime rusts and crumbles. Russia, as it is, has to lead endless wars, because otherwise it will become something else, perhaps an ordinary, normal, like the majority, country. In fact, a long war is always advantageous for the bureaucratic apparatus of the Russian state, because it strengthens its power and improves its well-being by reducing freedoms and well-being of ordinary citizens. During big wars ordinary people work hard, silently and almost for free. Intimidating ordinary Russians with a military threat, those in power in Russia have the ability to immensely increase the military budget. The military part of the budget of the country — is one piece that is easiest to plunder, because due to the opacity of the costs it is used most ineffectively.

Military budget of Russian Federation (billion rubles)
Military budget of Russian Federation (billion rubles)

What is the current Russian military budget? As always, about everything concerning Russia, it is difficult to obtain accurate data. But the lower limit for its military budget can be considered 71 billion U.S. dollars. The Armed Forces — one million soldiers. However, in the Russian press you can see the amount of 91 billion dollars. In per capita terms, it is at least 5,000 US dollars.

I noticed that military spending of Russia first grew up in times exactly in the same year, when Putin, after having served two terms as President, was appointed Prime Minister. Obviously, at the appointment to this position he got exactly such an advice from the military-industrial complex. This provided him with the necessary support in his subsequent return to the post of President of Russia.

This year Russia will show the highest rates of increase in military spending among the major powers - 13%
This year Russia will show the highest rates of increase in military spending among the major powers - 13%

By military spending Russia ranks third in the world. First is the United States of America, second, by a wide margin, is China. Russia is very close to China. With ten times smaller population, Russia retains almost parity in military spending with the country which has the largest population in the world — China. Despite the fact that gross domestic product (GDP) in Russia is five times less than the Chinese GDP. Military spending of the United States, Western Europe and the world at large in 2013, compared with 2012, decreased significantly. But that of China and Russia — increased markedly. While China's GDP also increases, which allows without great losses to finance the civil sector of its economy, in Russia GDP almost does not increase, and as half of it (50 %) is financed from the sale of oil and gas, with a significant fall in prices for these energy carriers it can also fall catastrophically.

Illustrative is the military budget of Russia for 2014. For direct military articles is planned a fantastic for Russia amount — 106 billion US dollars. It should be remembered that the hidden articles of the Russian state budget for the first time make up as much as 25%. They also directed primarily to the military needs. The current Russian military budget is a wartime budget. It is impossible to keep it at such a level for a long time. The goal, for the sake of which it is undertaken, should be somewhere near in time. To understand this goal, it is enough to see what other country is increasing its military budget at the same pace? In the absence of growth of the GDP, Russia can finance its military expenditures only through other budget items. According to the plan of 2014, by 13% is reduced spending on education, by 8.6% — on health care, by 23.7% — on the housing sector and so on.

Among the hidden articles of the budget for the first time is the article related to the spending on housing. In my opinion, this means that housing in 2014 will be refocused on the military construction.

Conclusion: Russia is preparing for a major war, and this war will be very soon.

I think this war for Russia is inevitable, and it will pay for the imperial delusions of Russians for centuries. Important task for Ukraine is not fall under the wheel of this war. This means we need to keep away from Russia as far as possible.

What is the state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine? Ukraine’s military budget in 2013 was shameful for the state — 1.8 billion U.S. dollars, i.e. 40-45 times lower than in Russia, and is the poorest military budget in Europe. The strength of our Armed Forces is 200,000 soldiers, i.e. only five times less than in Russia. Consequently, funding a soldier in Ukraine is about ten times smaller than in Russia. This means that our defenders are fed with something and dressed in something, and are shown Soviet-era weapons from afar — and that is all.

State of the Ukrainian army is considered deplorable; in the inventory is defence equipment of Soviet era. But after the fall of the USSR, Ukraine was the third largest nuclear power in the world
State of the Ukrainian army is considered deplorable; in the inventory is defence equipment of Soviet era. But after the fall of the USSR, Ukraine was the third largest nuclear power in the world

The colonial administration, who led Ukraine in previous years, did not even try to do otherwise. The collapse of the Armed Forces was one of its tasks, and it coped with the task successfully. Small neutral Switzerland, which has never been attacked by anybody, and whose Army performs representative functions rather than serves some strategic goal, spends on its Armed Forces three times more. That is, since 1917, we have not learned anything.

The current Russian aggression against Ukraine has simultaneously shed light on this vulnerable section of the Ukrainian state body, and on our national mentality. Now the situation with the Armed Forces of Ukraine requires urgent and radical intervention. Cosmetic means are useless here. I remember the words of one of my party fellows, who during the presidential election, won eventually by Yanukovych, betrayed the cause of the party and went to his camp, “Yanukovych is an absolute evil. For more Ukrainians to see the light, it is necessary for these Ukrainians to see the evil in full force”. I think they did see this evil in full force. Over the four years of presidential rule in the state, Yanukovych had amassed 12 billion US dollars, which sum nearly doubles the military budget of Ukraine for the same years. This is approximately 2,500 US dollars, stolen from every Ukrainian — from babies to centenarians. This is the fall of morality; this is paralysis of normal relations between people in the society.

So is Russia rich enough to afford unprecedented military spending, and in the supposedly peaceful time? I trust little data from the Internet, in particular, those relating to Russia. So here are examples from a scientific journal “Herald of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine” of 2005. Life expectancy for Russian men was 58 years then. It is at the level of an average African country and the worst record in Europe (in Western Europe this index is by 20 years higher). By the way, in Ukraine it was low — 62. Life expectancy for men — is an integral index, best of all indicating the quality of life in a given country.

Now here are some data from the excellent article by O. Volovich “Agony of the Empire”, published March 6 in the newspaper “The Black Sea news”. Russia is in second place in Europe for the number of abortions. In Russia there are over 9 million unemployed, which fact in relation to the total number of working-age population allows it to take, far ahead of other European countries, the first place. In Russia there are more than 4 million homeless, and it is in absolute and relative terms again gives it the first place, and not only among European countries. In Russia, there are more than two million uneducated children of school age, which again takes it by this index to the first place in Europe. In Russia, most people die from poisoning by substandard alcohol. In Russia, there is the world's largest number of people, in relative terms, suffering from tuberculosis, AIDS, alcoholism and drug addiction, one of the first places — due to the number of criminal homicides and the like. Russia is a country with unprecedentedly large number of unresolved social and national problems. To distract attention of Russians from these problems and in order not to allocate budget funds on solving them, Putin also needs a small, but not too small, military victory. The mentioned above non-exhaustive list of Russia's “achievements” suggests that it is a marginal country in the Eurasian space, which it so actively is trying to develop.

According to the American think tank Stratfor the situation in Russia now reminiscent of the beginning of XX century
According to the American think tank Stratfor the situation in Russia now reminiscent of the beginning of XX century. Factors that led to the revolution of 1905 exist in modern Russia: the rise of nationalism, the economic downturn, demographic changes, according to Stratfor’s estimates

But despite all this, the means of the current President of Russia are estimated by different online publications at 40 billion US dollars that in per capita terms for the country is fully comparable with the riches of Yanukovych. But many Russians are already tired of Putin. His popularity in recent years is falling rapidly, while the need for a dictator with the approach of an impending global military confrontation — is increasing. How to raise the authority of the leader? This requires a small victorious war. The experience with Georgia showed that, despite some international (and what, exactly?) losses, it works well. Anyway, the next object can only be Ukraine.

While Yanukovych with his colonial administration had been permanently destroying Ukraine spiritually and physically, there was no hurry. But Yanukovych could not stand forever. By his flight to Russia, he allegedly asked the Kremlin to bring Russian troops into Ukraine and to restore Constitutional order in it. All legitimacy of the ex-president was the fact that only through Moscow's support he was put at head of the Ukrainian executive power. I think that in Russia his life is in the greatest danger, as the desire to take possession of his colossal fortune may provoke any action against him, because moral rules do not work there.

A small, but not too small, victorious war is needed by Russia for a dress rehearsal of a major war. It was so before the beginning of the last Russian-German war. The general test of readiness of the Red Army was provoked by Russia, Finnish War. Half a million lives of Soviet citizens (compared to fifty thousand lives of Finnish patriots) the Russian empire paid for this “rehearsal” but the experience gained allowed it to get better prepared for the great war.

Military-administrative division of the Russian Federation
Military-administrative division of the Russian Federation

Western and Southern Military Districts of the Russian Federation, covering the entire European part of Russia, on the eve of the occupation of the Crimea were put on an alert. The so-called large-scale military maneuvers began, but in reality began unprecedented for the entire period after the Second World War extension of military units to their original positions for the offensive. This pattern was observed in the Soviet Union only once — before the Russian-German war. Then the Germans simply did not wait for the end of maneuvers and struck first.

But something not only in the Crimea, but in the whole Ukraine went wrong. Something in the world went wrong for the modern Russian Empire. Russian troops, having occupied their original positions around the perimeter of the borders of Ukraine, so far stopped there. They probably hoped for a more favorable atmosphere for them in Ukraine. Attempts to destabilize the situation in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, using smuggled from the territory of the Russian Federation members of the Russian special forces and criminal elements, did not have the desired effect. All these regions have been swept with demonstrations, showing not so much their support for the local population, as feebleness of the central government during a difficult transition period in these regions. In the Crimea could not immediately be shed the blood of the “innocent” and thereby caused the herd unity of the Russian people under the slogan “ours are being beaten”. Self-possession of the stationed in the Crimea Ukrainian military deserves great respect. But any self-possession has reasonable limits. It cannot turn into a demonstration of weakness. Russians do not forgive anyone weakness. In Russia itself have begun antiwar protests. The whole world as one has supported Ukraine.

What's next? Let's remember Yanukovych. Three previous Ukrainian presidents advised him to stop and fulfill the requirements of the Ukrainians. Then this was supposedly possible. But Yanukovych in response only grinned wryly. He could not stop and had to pass his way to the end. Can Putin do a U-turn now? I think not. He, too, will pass his way to the end. To retreat is worse than not to start. To retreat is to show weakness, which, as it has been mentioned above, the Russians do not forgive anyone, and especially — their emperors. They would sooner forgive a mistake, if the error does not show weakness. So, Putin will continue aggression against Ukraine, but more gently than he had been planning.

A referendum, of course, in such circumstances is impossible. It can only be falsified. After half an hour after it's finished, it will be announced, from the Russian point of view, the correct results. Then Russia will rely not only on the “legitimacy” of the Crimean government, elected in a captured by Russian special forces building of the Verkhovna Rada of the Crimea. Was there a vote in there at all? Just onto the stairs of the building after some time a certain person came out and announced that from now on he is all the fullness of the Crimean government. Russia will rely on the “legitimate” results of the referendum. Ukrainian authorities need to resume control over all Ukrainian military objects in the Crimea and at an attempt of strangers to penetrate these objects; it should act according to the requirements of military regulations.

According to Putin’s former adviser Andrey Illarionov, Putin's goal is not only Crimea, but all Ukraine
According to Putin’s former adviser Andrey Illarionov, Putin's goal is not only Crimea, but all Ukraine

We should understand that Putin's goal is not the Crimea but the whole of Ukraine. The next step after the “referendum” in the Crimea will attempt to disrupt the presidential elections in Ukraine. Putin does not need a legitimate power in our country. He already has a “President” of Ukraine somewhere in the secret closet. From time to time he would jump out of it and crow a written for him speech. The presidential elections can only be disrupted through further destabilization of Ukraine, or at least in some of its areas, without which elections cannot be considered legitimate.

Control of information space in Ukraine by the Ukrainian state is the key to successful implementation of all governmental and national projects. Pen and word in the current extraordinary situation, mean not less than an automatic gun, and perhaps even more. The fastest possible pace of integration into all European civil, economic and military structures gives us a chance to survive.

It seems to me that the wound up in Moscow clockwork is already running. We must be ready for a total aggression against our country if not today, then in a day, a week, a month. Everyone and each day we have, we must use for the most effective preparation to repel an aggressor. All bodies of state power should work in emergency mode. Everything should be done with the utmost speed: staff reshuffles, preparation and deployment of mobilization, necessary movement of material resources, preparing to introduce, in case of aggression, state of emergency in the country, mobilization of material and financial resources of the country, the move to austerity.

I think Russia has always needed Ukraine's land, but without Ukrainians. Holodomor (Famine-Genocide) of 1932-1933, and not only it, testifies to it. But today they urgently temporarily need Ukrainians too. For the upcoming military conflict, to which Russia is getting prepared, not only weapons (the amount of which in Russia every year increases fantastically) are needed, but a lot of cannon fodder. Ukrainians are good cannon fodder. Accounting for only 25 % of the population of the Soviet Union, Ukrainian soldiers during the Afghan war made 33 %. They fought well, and Russia does not pity them. If we lose Ukraine now, we will soon lose it again and finally, as together with Russians we will turn into a pile of stone, waste and human ashes. To thank our enemies for all our grievances — is to survive, and to survive — is to win. Victory is possible, but let's think and work on this together.

Ukraine's future is Europe. But we should remember the words of our great leader Stepan Bandera, “Both liberation and defence independence of Ukraine must basically rely on its own Ukrainian forces, on its own struggle and constant readiness to defend itself”. These words were an epigraph to the newspaper “Rukh: which I published in the mid-nineties in Odessa region. They should be the motto for any political program relating to the future of Ukraine. Gloom over Ukraine has at last dispelled. 3636.html

”Black Sea news “, № 020 (21491), of 13.03.2014 3636.html