Two things are very constant throughout Russian history:
-When Russia feels threatened, she becomes blatantly aggressive
-Russia absolutely cannot lie without looking like a fool
America is very good at being both “passive aggressive” as well as being able to lie. Russia is a master of bluffing, but not at lying, and her ham-handed approach to conflicts, while it can be effective in certain ways, also is known to hurt her long-term because she makes enemies with her neighbors who do not easily forgive her.
It is to Russia’s credit that she has been able to hold herself together for a long time in spite of the US prodding her internationally. However, it appears that the recent COVID-19 economic crisis is pushing Russia over her edge to start doing her traditional behaviors. Two examples recently illustrate this.
The first example is when Russia attempted to intercept a US Naval Aircraft flying over the Mediterranean Sea, coming withing 25 feet of the aircraft, something which is (in itself) an extremely dangerous and irresponsible act no matter who does it. Russia has responded by saying that it was ‘safe’ and defended her actions as US News reports.
RUSSIA ON MONDAY defended its intercept of an American spy plane over the Mediterranean near Syria that the Navy described as “unsafe” and “unprofessional.”
The Navy’s 6th Fleet, which oversees operations in the region, released video on Sunday of a Russian air force SU-35 Flanker coming dangerously close to a Navy P-8A surveillance aircraft, the second of two intercepts during the encounter.
“The first intercept was deemed safe and professional. The second intercept was determined to be unsafe and unprofessional due to the SU-35 conducting high-speed, high-powered maneuver that decreased aircraft separation to within 25 feet, directly in front of the P-8A, exposing the U.S. aircraft to wake turbulence and jet exhaust,” according to a Navy statement.
Both countries say the incident took place in international airspace.
The Russian Defense Ministry on Monday said the encounter was “in strict accordance with the international rules for the use of airspace over international waters.”
Russian forces operating in Syria identified the Navy flight and claimed it was on a course toward Russian bases there. (source)
The second act is something that is being less reported on in American media, which is that Russia appears to be encouraging in state media the idea that Finland committed ‘genocide’ against Russians, and is saying that there ‘is no time limit/statute of limitations’ and seems to be wanting some form of ‘justice’ now, decades later, from the small northern European nation.
“All this is nothing more than a manifestation of deliberate genocide against the civilian population. Moreover, it was a question of the implementation by the Finnish command of a racial policy aimed at destroying precisely the Russians.” The non-national ”population in droves, sent entire families, including young children, to labor camps, which for many turned out to be death camps. This is eloquently confirmed by personal data contained in archival documents, “the Dean of the Faculty of Archival History and Archival Studies explains to RIA Novosti. Institute of Russian State Humanitarian University , Candidate of Historical Sciences, expert of the project “Without a Statute of Limitations” Elena Malysheva. (source)
I’m not going to say that crimes did not happen. They clearly did, as it was the case throughout Europe. There is no nation that did not have some crime arise in her during the Second World War, which truly was a tragedy for all.
However, there is a great irony in this coming from Russia, a nation who has never apologized for:
-Attempts at ethnically cleansing Caucasus mountain peoples (Chechens, Dagestanis, Ingushetians) during the Stalin era
-Collectivizing agriculture and the mass-execution of Ukrainian farmers which lead to the Holodomor in which ten million Ukrainian people died of starvation
-Creating the GULAG system in which fourteen million people were exiled and at least 1.7 million were worked or tortured to death in camps throughout Siberia
-The destruction of the Catholic Church and the forcible persecution of her presence and people throughout Russia that continues even unto today
-The massive environmental damage wreaked all throughout the USSR and her terrotiries (including but not limited to the Kyshtym Incident of 1958 leading the the pollution of Lake Karachay, the poisoning of the water supplies at Norilsk that continues to this day, the destruction of the Aral Sea in one of the worst ecological disasters in history, the gas explosion in Turkmenistan that created a burning pit of fire that has been continually in flames at Darvaza since 1971, the mass pollution of East Germany, and the infamous nuclear explosion at Chernobyl in 1986).
-Centuries of invading and carving up Poland and Ukraine with Germany, without their consent, in the name of nationalism before invading and destroying their peoples
The irony level of Russia behaving in this way would be for the US to accuse Mexico of “encroaching on her sovereign territory” based on her possession of the state of Texas in the 1840s (when it was a historical fact that Texas then legitimately belonged to the Spanish Crown), and to use the Alamo massacre as a pretext to invade Mexico today.
The US has told a lot of lies and there is still much information that is hidden, but the US has also been much more open about her history for the good and bad. Russia it is not so, and not only do almost all files at the Lubyanka (the KGB) remain closed for public viewing (unlike the CIA archives, which allows some research), but Russia has a history of attempting to destroy or hide her past to cover up her crimes.
What Russia is doing right now, with flying planes so close to US aircraft in the Mediterranean (which is not even near Russia, proportionately speaking) and making what appears to be threats against Finland is sabre-rattling because she feels threatened and is trying to “show off” because as I have said before, the truth is the Russia is extremely weak and teetering on the edge of collapse.
Russia is attempting to be a global player, but this is mostly a LARP. Her nation is large but her population is sick and dying, and she has no economy- she does not even fall on the top ten largest economies. Brazil is by both population and economy a much stronger nation than Russia is. Russia may want to engage in militarism, and she is trying to, but it will be very difficult for her to do this and be able to maintain her country.
The COVID-19 induced economic crisis is showing the weakness of the world’s economies. The US may be weak, but Russia is even weaker, and is already falling apart. With gas dropping in price and nobody to sell it to, Russia is practically about to fall apart completely.
Where will this saga go? One can only guess. But the US would likely not have a problem at all if Russia did something that could be used to justify a conflict, for Russia is so weak that while she would fight hard, any excuse to further her already deleterious conditions towards a collapse would be welcomed by military experts so to break her up and likely, all in time, to exploit her resources in Siberia, as that is where most of Russia’s power comes out of.