Translated by Alice Decker
To former President Barack Obama, Russia was the second greatest threat in the world after the Ebola virus. Obama returned to the tough foreign policy directed against Russia during the Cold War, the policy that resulted in the dissolution of the USSR and the transformation of most of the socialist States into members of NATO and the European Union. Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election of 2016 was based on the slogan “Make America Great Again!” It remains to be seen whether Trump will fulfill this promise; what we do know is that Vladimir Putin was the president who “made Russia great again.” Below I attempt to explain how the socialist system was largely eliminated worldwide and what made possible Russia’s miraculous comeback as a member of the global elite.
The Action Plan for Destroying Socialism Around the World
In a relatively short time, socialism had managed to take over as the economic and political system for 26% of the globe. Socialist states produced 40% of world industrial output. Immediately after the US was defeated in the Vietnam War, there was the crisis of the 70s. The crisis was generated by rising oil prices that frightened the US administration and the developed capitalist countries.
Western economists could find no viable long-term solution to the crisis. Under Gerald Ford’s administration, they began to look for ways to shift the problem outside the US and the developed capitalist countries, onto the economies outside their borders. The American establishment realized that the only way to save capitalism from its greatest crisis was to destroy socialism around the world.
The Action Plan established four goals for the secret war against the socialist economic system.
- To win back the third world and restore capitalist neo-colonial domination.
- To reconfigure the marketplace by expelling socialist states.
- To transform the former socialist states into mere markets for the industrial products of the developed capitalist countries.
- To seize control of the principal sources of energy — the oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy — of socialist states.
Enter Vladimir Putin
The antidote came from none other than Russia in the person of the “Siloviki.” The Siloviki are a group of highly skilled and patriotic leaders from the power structures of the former Soviet Union (the military services, the military-industrial complex). They began to play a role in 1999 with the appointment of Vladimir Putin as prime minister and then president of Russia. The aim of the Siloviki was to bring back to Russia the mineral resources that the Yeltsin government had given to foreigners. The Siloviki banded together in 1989 as a working group to evaluate the role and place of Russia in relation to the international situation as far as it could be foreseen for the next three decades; that is, the imminent dismembering of the USSR and the integration of former Soviet satellites into EU and NATO. Based on their assessments, the Siloviki established a list of priorities for Russia’s survival.
The first priority had to do with maintaining and improving the strategic nuclear arsenal as a deterrent against the United States, especially in the design and construction of space vehicles. The military-industrial complex was entrusted with responsibility for achieving this goal. Russia has managed to maintain a nuclear arsenal, with strategic parity with the United States. Russia has 367 ground-based ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles), armed with 1,248multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV). The missiles are kept in silos or on mobile platforms on truck chassis and trains. Add to this the 13 Russian strategic submarines, armed with nuclear missiles that have 591 MIRVs. The Russians have 76 strategic bombers armed with cruise missiles (with a range of 5,500 km), armed with 884 nuclear warheads.
The new types of Russian ICBMs neutralize all components of the ABM shield (Anti Ballistic Missile). Third-generation anti-ABM shield systems are launched in-flight. They produce false targets (the Terek system) in the IR (Infrared) spectrum, in the form of plasma, which reproduces the thermal “footprint” of MIRVs re-entering the atmosphere. Terek is programmed to operate when the ballistic missiles get within range of a ballistic battery. The American ABM missiles automatically follow these false targets, called thermal traps. Russian ballistic missiles also have high power microwave transmitters (Atropus equipment). This “blinds” the infrared and radar detection and tracking systems of the SM-3 Block IB interceptors that are already in space. #
Germany, the drive belt to Putin’s Russia
The Silovikis considered making good use of the network of gas pipelines to be the second priority. Any attempt to replace or compete with the pipeline that had supplied Europe in the Soviet era had to be blocked.
The third priority was related to the second, and it required choosing a partner state, one that was highly developed in economic terms, in the immediate vicinity of Russia. This partnership has allowed Russia to modernize its economy, especially those sectors that were not competitive. In exchange, the Siloviki decided to support that country in becoming the locomotive of Europe, opening up to it Russia’s entire market. The state that the Siloviki chose in 1989 was Germany, which became Russia’s partner. Germany was the only country brought in to invest in Russia’s gas transport and supply pipelines in Europe. The Siloviki put pressure on England and France to get them to accept the reunification of the two Germanys, and the Siloviki offered a decisive role in this strategic game to Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Putin, former head of the KGB intelligence agency in East Germany.
Instead of imports, Russia preferred to encourage the Russian state firms to form “joint ventures” with foreign companies in order to convince them to relocate production facilities to Russian territory. Over 6,000 German companies are operating in Russia, providing at least 300,000 jobs to their subcontractors in Germany. Germany has been investing an average of € 20 billion per year in Russia since 1992. And the three packages of economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU do not affect the Western companies that make products in Russia for Russians.
The German concern Siemens entered the Russian market by building plants for the liquefaction and re-gasifying of natural gas for the benefit of the Russian companies Gazprom and Transneft. Joe Kaiser, CEO of Siemens, has shared a long friendship with the former Social Democrat premier Gerhard Schroeder, who serves on the board of Gazprom. Siemens, with its pumping equipment, is one of the most important links for the transport and export of Russian liquefied gas (LNG). The gas is extracted in the Arctic and transported to ports, where it is loaded onto LNG tanker vessels to the beneficiaries. Siemens manufactures Permasyn silent electric motors and AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) generators cells in Russia. Both are used in Russia’s modern attack submarines, as well as the latest versions of German submarines produced by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Siemens has over 10,000 employees in its factories in the Ural Mountains of Russia, and it also provides railroad cars. Last year, sales reached € 5 billion.
In Russia, 2.78 million cars are sold annually, about the same as in Germany (which is considered the strongest market in Europe). After a sizeable number of shares in Renault-Nissan were purchased by RT-Auto (a division of the state corporation Rostec), the Russians made substantial investments in Daimler via the company OAO KamAZ. One reason is Daimler’s truck division, the world’s largest. From 2011 to today, Russia’s Kamaz trucks have won all three places on the podium in the Paris–Dakar rally, thanks to the same innovations made by the Mercedes-Benz specialists at Daimler.
Another result of collaborating with Daimler is the creation of the subsidiary Mercedes Benz–Rus ZAO, which has been producing and assembling Mercedes-Benz limousines and Sprinter vans (27% of Daimler’s sales in this class) for 10 years in Russia. But the Russian vehicles use the engine design, plant equipment and production solutions of German engineers from Daimler.
This gave rise to new military vehicles: the GAZ-2975 Tigr, the VPK-3927 Volk (similar to the US HMMWV) and the URAL-63099 MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected). The French group Thales (formerly Thomson CSF) specializing in opto-electronics works for Gazprom, providing security surveillance of all oil fields and production sites in Russia, using the most advanced technology. Thales provides the same for Lukoil’s giant installations worldwide.
BRICS replaces the former COMECON (“Council for Mutual Economic Assistance”)
Putin was aware that the Americans’ technological advantage over the rest of the world had increased exponentially due to the dismembering of the USSR, the collapse of the Communist bloc in Europe and the economic downturn that followed from 1989 to 2004. At the same time, India and China were advancing, such that they were becoming a new center of the world, threatening to supplant America.
In 2006, Putin launched a common market for emerging countries called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). Like the former “Council for Mutual Economic Assistance” of the Eastern Bloc, BRICS is outside the US sphere of dominance and those who support it. This market comprises 50% of the world’s natural resources and population. BRICS has enabled Russia to handle the economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union.