When an American friend noted that the rot of the Russian Army exposed in Ukraine would mean that Russia would not become a conventionel threat for twenty years, I replied:

The Russian potential is enormous. My Baltic friends have experience with that enormous power and have already been told once since 1991 by arrogant Westerners such as Americans, Brits and Germans to ignore it.

My experience with Russian officers is that they are well trained and their General Staff officer corps is very good and focused.

However, right now they are led by a corrupt, self-serving mediocrat. But I know as historian what they could do when their leader was that extremely brutal hater of inefficiency and corruption, Josif Stalin.

If such a person replaced Putin tomorrow, the Russian nation would hail him.

Hundred years ago Trotsky had taken a broken army to victory in 1 1/2 years by using zarist officers. Only the Poles were just able to beat it because of jealousy between Soviet commanders.

So if nothing happens to counter corruption and kleptocratic behaviour, you are right. And if Russia finally goes West, we shall all be right.

But if a hater of Putin’s thieving regime that is still an ardent nationalist takes over, it will take a very short time to rebuild the army using the Chinese axis to the maximum. Navalny could be that person.

This my Balts, the Poles, the Finns and the Ukrainians know. They are not like Westerners without history to inform them.


  1. Navalny? I do know he is a nationalist but is he also an imperialist? I think he would be a great Russian leader. I think him some one like de Gaulle. A nationalist you could do business with.

  2. Hvis en politiker i Rusland ønsker magten kan han ikke andet end støtte vælgernes ønske om at fremme Ruslands storhed. Derigennem bliver vedkommende et problem for omverdenen. Den har behov for russiske politikere der tager et direkte opgør med landets imperiefortid.

  3. Der findes ingen russisk nationalisme, der ikke er fuldt og helt forankret i det for russerne naturlige krav om imperiets fortsættelse og rolle. Det er ikke bekvemt at erkende det nu, men det er indtil videre en forudsætning for at søge og få magten i Rusland. Vi kan håbe på en ændring i fremtiden bundet til et generationsskifte med internationalisering. Navalnys sag er et angreb på kleptokrati og korruption, noget man kan kalde Stalin med et menneskelig ansigt.

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