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Geopolítica e Política

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Geopolítica e Política

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Dmitry Orlov comments on Putin’s speech

21.02.23 | Álvaro Aragão Athayde

Comments on the speech / Putin to Russia’s enemies/ Incoming! - Fig 1

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly


Putin to Russia’s enemies: Incoming!

Dmitry Orlov
C l u b O r l o v | ideas to blow your mind
February 21, 2023 at 15:20 | Has readers’ comments | For subscribers only | Here

A good way to determine whether you are still alive is by asking whether you can still feel wonder and amazement at watching the changes sweeping the world. Most such changes are gradual and hard to detect as part of your day-to-day experience, and so it is useful when someone important stands in front of you for an hour, as Putin did today before Russia’s Federal Assembly, and explains exactly what has happened and exactly what is gong to happen. It is also quite entertaining: Putin is someone who is naturally irrepressible and refuses to hold back. His Russian also has a tremendous dynamic range: one moment he sounds like a streetwise kid from the tough streets of Leningrad, and another moment he sounds like a lawyer and a consummate technocrat, literary scholar or even a theology student. Well, he is all of these things. Like him or hate him (few people manage to feel neutral about him) but he is difficult to ignore. Especially since, as is usual, his annual address to the Federal Assembly was not lacking in what linguists call performantives — statements that do not express opinion or impart information but actually transform reality in specific ways. And these it is important to know about, especially if you reside in one of the countries whose leaders have (very stupidly) decided to be Russia’s enemies, since, ultimately, it is your ass that’s on the line. You may stand in awe of the awesome leader whose name is Vladimir Putin (there is nothing to stop you) but, more to the point, I feel it is my humanitarian duty to warn you what’s likely to happen before someone shouts “Incoming!” That way, you might formulate a better plan than just covering yourself with a white sheet and slowly crawling toward the cemetery (so as to not cause a stampede in which someone might get trampled). And so…

…let’s start from the most momentous: Putin announced that Russia is suspending its participation in the START-3 treaty. That’s “Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, No. 3.” This treaty dates back to the Soviet era, but on February 3, 2021 the US and Russia agreed to extend it until February 5, 2026. Putin stipulated the terms under which Russia would consider returning to the treaty: it must take into account strategic offensive capabilities of all of NATO countries, not just the US. Britain and France also have nuclear weapons, although none of them are too fresh, and Washington has a tendency to send its nukes to any place it likes, including other NATO countries, such as Germany and Turkey, and this is a problem. Putin ridiculed NATO’s calls for Russia to allow its experts to inspect Russian military sites; after recent drone aircraft carried out a strike on Russian airports that host its strategic aviation, damaging a few planes (using the Ukrainians as mindless proxies) such a request is beyond ridiculous. Perhaps Russia should be allowed, as a courtesy, to blow up a bunch of US strategic bombers, just to even the score before commencing negotiations? No? Oh, well… Putin also pointed out that US strategic weapons are well beyond their sell-by date (he was a bit more polite and circumspect, but that was the gist, and those who are in the know also know that he wa being factual). Figuratively speaking, when it comes to nukes, Washington’s armory is in sad shape; the cans are bulging and the ones that have burst smell really bad and are leaking vile substances.

More specifically, there are some technical details that can be grasped without having to become a nuclear weapons nerd. The US has zero (that's right, zero!) factories that can build nuclear weapons. There is some artisanal activity… (continuation here)