The Russian President, Vladimir Putin in a programme gave a statement which made him the most trending element on the social networks. He said ” The borders of Russia end nowhere” in response to an answer given to him by a student that it ends at the Bering Strait(disputed) near the U.S.
Now, to understand it completely, we need to go in the past.
History till Putin:
- 1945: The end of the World War 2.
- Now, the world was a “bipolar world” , U.S and USSR being the two poles or power centers.
- They represented different ideologies : Capitalism and Communism respectively.
- Further, the formation of alliances like NATO and then, Warsaw pact, divided the world into First world and Second World nations.
- First World: U.S led alliance and Second World: USSR led alliance.
- The Cold War era continued till 1991 when the Soviet Union was disintegrated.
- Here starts the era of the Unipolar world, the United States being the only center of power.
- The U.S.S.R was disintegrated into many countries with Russia being the largest (others now are a part of Central Asia and Europe).
- The United States’ dominance over Russia continued freely till 1999.
- In 1999, Vladimir Putin became the President of Russia.
- His Premiership brought the reminiscence of the old days of Cold War.
- This is because he challenged the United States for most of its policies.
Putin’s challenge to the West:
- Aspires to restore Russia’s global power and influence.
- Wants to bring the now-independent states of Central Asia and Europe which were earlier the part of U.S.S.R in Russia’s ambit.
- In 2008, invaded Georgia as the West remained a silent spectator.Even now Russian troops have the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
- Ukranian President, Viktor Yanukovych under his pressure broke off the agreement from the European Union(E.U), as a result of which the former had to flee Ukraine. Currently, Crimea, which was a part of Ukraine(gifted to it by U.S.S.R) is under the Russian occupation. Putin has a daring intent of restoring Moscow-led government in Crimea
- It was this aggressive act towards Crimea that it was suspended from G-8.
- Challenges the presence of NATO(North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) near the Russian border.
- Forced Armenia to break its relation with the European Union.
- Supports Bashar Al-Assad(President of Syria) who has an extremely ante relation with the West.
- Supports N.Korea due to ideological similarity(Communism).
- He is also alleged of disrespecting international laws, not following diplomacy and due process of law ,disrespecting human rights among other such things.
What can be conceived from the statement?:
The history and policies of Putin clearly depict his aggressive stance w.r.t restoring the pride of Russia which would ,in turn ,require challenging the West. When he says that “Russian border never ends” he might be asserting his dream and vision to restore Russia as a global power “again”.