Russia Rising: Moscow's Quiet Resurgence

By Palmer, Alex | Harvard International Review, Fall 2011 | Go to article overview

Russia Rising: Moscow's Quiet Resurgence


Palmer, Alex, Harvard International Review


When a calamitous earthquake and tsunami struck the east coast of Japan in March 2011, few could have guessed just how far the aftershock would reach. Japan, one of the world's largest economies and a powerhouse in East Asia, was left utterly devastated and economically crippled, with entire regions flooded and thousands dead or missing. The disaster also set off a chain of events that would eventually lead to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, under pressure from a mobilized German public and a growing green movement, to announce that Germany would close all its nuclear power plants by 2022.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Just a few weeks later, Poland signed an agreement with Germany and France to create a joint military force. This came two months after Poland committed itself to the formation and leadership of a battle group with Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

Then, in early July, Russia stepped up its efforts to act as a mediator in the Libyan conflict, welcoming the Secretary-General of NATO and the President of South Africa, who has offered to help negotiate with Colonel Qaddafi. The president of the World Chess Federation, a former president of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia named Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, traveled to Tripoli for a second time to discuss the possibility of a negotiated end to the conflict with Qaddafi.

Taken together, these seemingly disparate developments point to an important trend that has been overlooked in a year filled with revolutions, natural disasters, and fiscal crises: the slow but steady resurgence of Russia. With the United States tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan and focusing its attention on the Arab Spring and debates on domestic spending, and Europe lurching from one debt crisis to the next, Russia is taking advantage of opportunities to reassert itself throughout Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, Compared with the roar of headlines pronouncing default and impending deadlines, however, Russia's slow rise has gone largely unnoticed.

More Than a Man

There is a popular theory, both in Russia and around the world, that any signs of a resurgent Russia are thanks to the strong and charismatic leadership of former president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Putin, a former KGB agent with an eccentric personality and a flair for dramatically machismo tasks like fishing shirtless and practicing judo, has nurtured a cult of personality since first becoming president in December 1999. Though Dmitry Medvedev formally took over as President in 2 008, it is widely acknowledged he remains one of, if not the key power player, in the Kremlin. Indeed, deputy administration chief Vladislav Surkov, a Kremlin power broker and aide to President Medvedev, went so far as to tell Chechen television that Putin was sent to the Kremlin by God to help address its troubles in the post-Soviet period. According to an article by Alexei Nikolsky of the AFP news agency, Putin has been made the hero of pop songs and brands of vodka, and a small female sect even believes him to be the reincarnation of Paul the Apostle.

According to George Friedman, founder of STRAT-FOR global intelligence, a resurgent Russia is due less to Putin's skilled leadership than to the geopolitical forces that were certain to restore Russia to a position of global prominence after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. "Had Putin been hit by a car in 2000," Friedman says, "another Putin would have emerged. The direction in which Putin took Russia, rebuilding the security apparatus to control the state, rebuilding the state to control Russia, rebuilding Russia to dominate the former Soviet Union--this was a natural course for any Russian president to follow." Putin may be a dominant, beloved figure, Friedman says, but Russia is simply too large--politically, economically, and geographically--to be entirely at the whim of one man.

But Putin was not hit by a car, and his influence on the development of Russia since 2000 has been profound. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Russia Rising: Moscow's Quiet Resurgence
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.