We’re hearing a lot about Russia’s nuclear weapons lately – from both President Vladimir Putin and other parts of his government.
Putin wants Russia to be respected by the rest of the world. At times, he seems to want love – for Russia to lead a like-minded, “conservative” group of countries or people, which seems to mean those preferring authoritarian governments, like the rightwing parties of Europe. Or in his desire to collect countries of the former Soviet Union into a Eurasian Union.
But, as Machiavelli said, if you can’t be loved, being feared is not bad. So […]
In 1994, the former Soviet Union was beginning to open up to scientists from the rest of the world. The new countries where Soviet nuclear weapons had been stationed – Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine – were beginning to ship those weapons back to Russia, which had inherited the Soviet nuclear weapons spot in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, had declared Kazakhstan a nuclear-weapon-free state. Semipalatinsk, one of the two Soviet nuclear testing grounds, was located in the northeastern part of the country. The space launch site at Baikonur, in central Kazakhstan, still hosts space […]
Before he left the G20 meeting early “to get some sleep,” Vladimir Putin said
Today the situation (on Ukraine) in my view has good chances for resolution, no matter how strange it may sound, but certain structures had been established on both sides that could handle the tasks they are facing better.
Putin has been alternating roles as warmonger and peacemaker, so this could just be one more personality switch, but there are a few other indications that he may want to turn away from war in Ukraine.
Let’s look at the recent Russian military buildup […]
I’ve heard that question from several people. The Rosetta FAQ page doesn’t address it directly, so here are a little research and a little speculation. An RTG is a radioisotope thermoelectric generator.
The Philae lander, powered by a battery and solar cells and now on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, bounced on first landing in a sunny spot and is now in the shadow of a cliff. The mission controllers have maneuvered it into a slightly more favorable position, but it may be getting only one-quarter of the sunlight planned. Its […]
The European Leadership Network has released a report on recent militarily provocative Russian actions toward NATO members, as well as Sweden and Finland. The authors, Thomas Frear, Łukasz Kulesa, and Ian Kearns, describe 40 incidents from the past eight months (interactive map), of which they describe three as “high risk” and eleven more as “serious, with escalation risk.”
The three high risk incidents are a near-collision of a Russian reconaissance aircraft with an SAS passenger plane near Malmo, Sweden; the kidnaping of an Estonian security service officer from Estonian soil; and the probable submarine in […]
Vladimir Putin gave a speech to the Valdai Discussion Club in October. In other speeches over the past year, Putin has covered a great deal of ground, some of it apparently designed to distract. A few themes emerge. Russia is surrounded by a warlike NATO. The fall of the Soviet Union was one of history’s greatest tragedies. Russian people must be protected wherever they are.
Commentary on the Valdai speech is all over the map: it’s a wakeup call to the West to end its meddling; it’s equivalent to Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech; it’s a […]