For decades, the West has pioneered “stabilocracy” in the Balkans, a pernicious brand of diplomacy that prefers agreement to reform. That diplomacy was exported to their relations with Kremlin — with the extreme, bloody conclusion being the war in Ukraine.
Militant far-right social media channels have peddled what they call Slavic unity, pushing memes of three ancient Slavic “Bogatyr” warriors of the steppe depicted as beefy bikers on steroids. Another — arguably more aesthetic — meme appears on “trad” blogs, representing the “triune people” with nymph-like “Slavic sisters.”
The Russians are racing against a clock that will run out when they can no longer supply their forces or mobilize fighting formations, or when the domestic population or security apparatus is no longer willing to support the human and material costs of continuing the war.
A weekly review of news, essays, podcast and more from New Lines. The week of Monday Mar. 5 - Friday Mar. 11, 2022.
It seems as if Patrushev had “a conversion moment” and began seeing himself as another Andropov, the kind of person who would bring state security personnel into the Kremlin, the pinnacle of Russia’s power, just as Andropov had done.
By now everyone is surely an expert on the mud-freeze theory of warfare or whether bombs-away begins halfway through the bobsleigh or snowboarding competition in Beijing.
The 2018 attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal represented a grievous assault on Britain’s sovereignty, but if you were to look at the position of Putin’s cronies in Britain today, you might think the Skripal incident had never occurred. Russia’s influence complicates Britain’s preparation of sanctions over Putin’s threatened invasion of Ukraine.