Russia and ex-Soviet Union (English)

Konstantin Kisin emigrated to Britain in 1993 at age 11, to join the flood of Russian emigres, high and low, looking for a new life. Kisin is the usual: loves the West, hates the Soviet Union, hates Putin. Ironically, the best writing in this billet doux is Kisin's depiction of the Soviet Union as genuinely socialist - health care, free education, economic equality. His paean to the freedom and dignity that many in the West take for granted, as reviewed by Peter Boghossian, is self parody. Kisin is also a stand-up comic, a would-be enfant terrible, so he's comfortable with over-the-top. We learn from the book blurb that 'he experienced both untold wealth and grinding poverty.' Not. 

There are two full-blown wars going on now. Both started much earlier but both broke out into hot wars recently. The Russia-Ukraine war in 2022, the Palestine-Israel war in 2023. The first, as a result of US-EU provocations in Ukraine, intent on pushing Russia to defend Russian Ukrainians in eastern Ukraine, who had suffered 8 years of bombing of civilians, as a result of which millions of Ukrainians fled to Russia as refugees, and 14,000 civilians were killed by Ukraine, funded and trained by US-EU.

The second broke out as a result of US-Israel's Abraham Accords,

Eric Walberg with Ezra Ozturk giving a Turkish view.

2022 is like 1917 

The plan behind WWI: The war was to put an end to Germany's desire to be an empire. The world had been divided by Britain, France, Belgium, Holland and Portugal.  Germany arrived late and had only a few African colonies. Japan had taken Korea in 1905, defeating Russia in the far east. Though nominally allies with Russia, Britain as the head imperialist would be able to put a teetering Russia in its place. The fantasy was along the lines of Karl Kautsky’s theory of “ultra-imperialism,” where the big powers would divide the world and settle the matter between themselves without friction or conflict.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here