Why Putin Must Act – The Siloviki

There is so much evil going on in the United States right now, that it seems somehow irresponsible to keep turning our attention to Ukraine. Seriously, my blood boils at the children ripped from the arms of parents by an evil government. And, I rage at the police that are abusing the average citizen in every town and city across the country.

So, with all the evil going on, why keep pointing at Ukraine?

Well, it might surprise you to hear me say this, but I’m not completely sure why Ukraine is so important. Yes, I know that Ukraine sits at a strategically important location, but there’s something else going on. The United States and Europe have been goading the Russians, and I am beginning to wonder what the Russians will do to get them to stop.

There’s an evil smell coming from the activities of the US and the EU. They are clearly up to no good, but we’ll set that aside for the moment.

Let’s talk about Putin.

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Why Putin Must Act

When Putin came to power, he set up two centers of influence within the Russian government – the siloviki and the civiliki. The siloviki were the politicians and bureaucrats with strong military or intelligence backgrounds. The civiliki were the economists, sociologists and career bureaucrats without KGB links – but with connections to Putin going back to his days in St. Petersburg in the ’90s. These two groups were to compete with each other for the betterment of Russia and Putin. But, that didn’t work out quite as well as planned, because the civiliki ‘dropped the ball’ and made a mess of things.

With the decline of the dovish side (civiliki) of The Kremlin, the hawks (siloviki) rose to prominence. Not a good thing.

Do separate searches for “siloviki” and “civiliki”. You’ll find that the civiliki articles are older and far less numerous than the siloviki articles. And, the civiliki don’t even have a Wikipedia page. I know that this is hardly a scientific analysis, but it should tell you something about Russia’s direction – and Putin’s options.

With the siloviki looking over Putin’s shoulder, a softly-softly approach isn’t going to go over well. If Putin appears to sit this fight out, the Russian generals are going to get restive and whisper about ‘Vladimir’s lack of resolve’. Putin cannot allow that, if he wants to stay in power. That’s why he needs to produce results, quickly.

Of course, we’re assuming that Putin isn’t one of the siloviki himself. Remember that he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the KGB until he chose to retire and enter politics in 1991. No one reaches that rank in the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (KGB) without being very politically aggressive. And, let’s not forget the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol.

Crimea

Sevastopol is the home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Losing that base will make Russian naval operations in the Mediterranean far more difficult at a time when Russian interests in the Mediterranean are under threat. This is NOT a good time for that. But, this base is located in a place called Crimea.

Crimea is very pro-Russia and very independent-minded. In fact, Crimea’s official designation is the ‘Autonomous Republic of Crimea’, and it’s the ONLY ‘autonomous republic’ in Ukraine. So, what do you think is going to happen when the US and the EU try to drag Ukraine away from Russia’s influence?

Russia will tighten her grip and pull from the OTHER direction. And, Russia’s grip will be wrapped around the very strategic Crimea.

Unfortunately, it will tear Ukraine in two.

Take a look at this linguistic map of Ukraine:

Percent of Native Russian Speakers - 2001Percent of Native Russian-speakers – 2001 (Wikipedia)

See that part that is 77% native Russian-speaking?

That’s Crimea.

Now take a look at the political map:

2012 Elections - deposed president in blue2012 Elections – party of deposed president in blue (Wikipedia)

Do you see where Ukraine will split in two?

Do we know where this will end?

Do we even know why the US and the EU are provoking a conflict with Russia, right now?

Are you ready for this?
(Seriously, think about clicking that link.)

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If you find a flaw in my reasoning, have a question, or wish to add your own viewpoint, leave a comment. Your input is truly welcome.

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