by R.Lesnoix for The Saker blog
Over the last few weeks, a curious change has taken place in both mainstream media and among alternative news and opinion sites. Earlier on, the focus has been on actions of the west and the US in particular, with the mainstream media mostly extolling its virtues and the alternative media usually decrying them. Now the focus seems to be on Russia, and especially on what Russia does not do; not thwarting Israeli attacks in Syria, not responding adequately to the FUKUS cruise missile attack of last April, not delivering the S-300 to Syria, etc. Both sides regularly point to her as being ‘weak‘ in some way or other for not acting, or more precisely, for not reacting to certain events. So why does Russia do what it does? And why does she sometimes refrain from acting? The answer is, off course, that she acts in the interests of Russia. One can debate whether or not a specific action, or its absence, benefits her. That debate can be very enlightening and may help to understand the considerations made in Moscow. It gives us some insight into the weight attributed to different pros and cons affecting the deliberations. But we should not lose out of sight that we need to consider her actions and passivity in light of her interests. Before you can answer the why, you have to ask, and answer, what Russia’s interests are?
Now take a step back. Zoom out to the really big picture. Don’t get caught up in the minutiae of current events. Get back to the fundamentals. Once you do this you’ll realize that there is one priority for Russia which trumps all other considerations: survival. That is a fairly abstract concept though, survival of Russia. What does that mean in practical terms? What is this Russia that wants to survive? It is tempting to go into a comprehensive description of its people, culture, geography, sovereignty, etc. to come to an exact definition. The answer is deceptively straightforward and does not require lengthy analysis and deliberation. The Russia that wants to survive is whatever its rulers of the moment decide it is. They set the boundaries of what is and isn’t included.