Russia, Ukraine, Syria and the Grand Chessboard
By Michael Welch and Andrew Korybko
Global Research, November 03, 2015

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“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)



Length (59:12)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format) 

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. [1]

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. [2]

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. [3]

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. [4] [5]

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. [6]

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:

“The New Middle East”: Russian Style

“The New Middle East”: Russian Style. The Resistance Arc is Reborn

“The New Middle East”: Russian Style. The Saudis are Running Scared

“The New Middle East”: Russian Style. Analysis of Geopolitical Scenarios



Length (59:12)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format) 

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  1. Alexander Lukin (June 16, 2014), Foreign Affairs, July/August 2014 Issue, “What the Kremlin Is Thinking: Putin’s Vision for Eurasia”;
  2. ibid


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