“Russia is presented in the West as a kind of dictatorship or tyranny country with just one guy running every show, which is total nonsense. First of all, it’s technically impossible, and if you take real dictatorships they are not organized this way.
It’s very much a kind of Hollywood or rather… it’s not even Hollywood, it’s a Disney kind of presentation.” -Boris Kagarlitsky, October 1, 2015. (See video below)
Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of the Soviet Union, Russia has had to contend with a steady encroachment by an emboldened U.S. and its NATO allies.
In the July/August 2014 edition of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Lukin, Vice President of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, writes of the West’s broken promise not to expand NATO Eastward. Over the course of the last two decades under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, NATO added 12 new members proximate to Russia and established new bases on its frontier. 
Lukin contends that the Eastward push by NATO is “tearing apart the countries on Russia’s borders” including Muldova, Georgia and now Ukraine. When the threat of NATO forces appearing in Crimea appeared on the horizon, a certain line was crossed, leading to Russia’s quick moves to annex the strategic territory. 
In recent weeks, we have seen Russia unexpectedly align itself with the Syrian government and coordinate an effective bombing campaign against not only the Islamic State, but all the terrorist rebels challenging the territorial integrity of Assad’s Syria. 
When one reflects on Vladmir Putin’s effectiveness in preventing the U.S. from commencing a ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Syria along the lines of its previous ‘errand of mercy’ in Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya in 2011, one can appreciate the Russian President’s genius in frustrating the designs of Western imperialists like Zbigniew Brzezinski.  
Despite Russia’s relative military weakness compared to Obama’s America, Putin’s nation has so far avoided containment, survived sanctions, and not gotten embroiled in a quagmire. 
This week’s Global Research News Hour focuses on the challenges facing Russia from the West and how it is prevailing over efforts to exclude the one time superpower from the geo-strategically significant terrain of the Middle East and Central Asia.
The first interview is with Boris Kagarlitsky, Director of the Moscow-based Institute for Globalization and Social Movements, a leading leftist think tank. Kagarlitsky discusses the unique characteristics of Russian political power structures, the class dynamics in the current upheaval in Ukraine, and how Canada should position itself to mitigate the violence and bloodshed unfolding in Ukraine.
Boris Kagarlitsky, from a recent talk in Toronto
In the second interview, we speak with Andrew Korybko, a Moscow-based political commentator. He has written a four part series about the ‘New Middle East’ unfolding in the wake of Russia’s moves against US/NATO’s proxies in Syria. He explains the dynamics of this new transformation, the fate of US proxies Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the re-emergence of Iraq, Syria and Iran, and the geo-strategic significance of the massive refugee flows.
Links to Andrew Korybko’s “New Middle East” series:
Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border. It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.