Fiasco: Reflections on Middle-Eastern Policy of Russia

How Russian leaders could appear among those who are cursed by wide Arabian masses for their support to "the bloody butcher"?
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The modern Middle East, and, first of all, its heart - the Arab world, endures the fatal period of its history. Tormently, in struggle, the new shape of this region which became the cradle of three religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which was throughout many millennia one of the centers of world history and policy, is born. "The Arabian spring" leads to the large-scale transformation of all Arabian Orient on the basis of restoration of its civilization identity, comprehension of its place in world civilization process.

In the center of the present stage of "the Arabian spring" is Syria, its hardworking, courageous and distressful people which rose against tyranny, named "Asad's regime", not allowing the Syrians to straighten shoulders, to breathe freely and to live according to the laws of the Creator. The regime desperately resists, uses the powerful tool of oppression. Blood of many thousand Syrians was already shed.

Actually, nowadays the regime of B.Asad is in full isolation. In the region it is supported only by its principal — Iran, which transformed the present Syria into the obedient tool of its policy of expansion. On the international scene the regime, perhaps, has just one ally — Russia. The very Russia which in due time declared that it is the successor of the ex-Soviet Union and even kept from its times its hymn and the program "Time". But after all, the Soviet Union always tried to appear in the image of the Arabs' loyal friend protecting them from "intrigues of the American imperialism and world Zionism". How the leaders of the present Russia who loudly declared that liquidation of the Soviet Union is "one of the greatest geopolitical accidents", appear among those who are cursed by wide Arabian masses for their support to "the bloody butcher", B.Asad?

The present position of Russia in the Syrian question is far not casual. It is natural and caused. Let us remember, under what circumstances the "crowned" ascended to Russian throne. It was in 1999, under the roar of cannonade and bombing attacks on the distressful Chechen earth when in order to win the Kremlin B.Yeltsin's successor launched the second Chechen war. On purpose to bring down heat of the anti-Russian moods among the international public, especially in the countries of the Islamic world which launched wide international campaign in support of the Chechen people, the newly elected president of the Russian Federation, V.Putin, proclaimed that Russia is the strategic ally of the Islamic world and even its part, and started to advance the idea of introduction of the country into the Organization "Islamic Conference". In 2003 Russia even managed to achieve there the position of observer. Then were widely advertised visits of V.Putin to the countries of the Middle-Eastern region, friendship with HAMAS.

The maneuver was somehow successful — the Islamic world has considerably grown cold to the Chechen Republic that allowed the Russian power to "pacify" it. At the same time, already then in the Arabian public opinion these efforts of Moscow were perceived as insincere, false. Obvious discrepancy between official speeches of the Russian leaders and the present state of affairs, first of all - concerning Russian Muslims — their spiritual life, became isolated in strictly regulated frameworks imposed from above; in the country was actually established the special status of the Russian Orthodox Church. However, the Chechen Republic could not be pacified up to the end. Moreover, all Caucasus flared. Discrepancy between, say, invitation to Moscow of HAMAS leaders and proceeding listing of "Muslim Brotherhood" as a terrorist organization was obvious, too.

The Arabs started to understand all more clearly that they are just a change in geopolitical games for the Kremlin, means of pressure on the USA, the NATO and the European Union. The whole Arab world was shocked by cruel murder in far Qatar of the spiritual leader of the Chechen people, the ex-president of Ichkerian Republic, Z.Yandarbiev which was committed by Russian special agents. And after that Russia still dreamed that Qatar supported its far-reaching plans of full monopolization of all world gas market!

As bolt from the blue for the Kremlin rulers became the historic and epoch-making event - "the Arabian Spring".

Just recall what nonsense was born by the President of Russia, D.Medvedev and the Prime Minister of Russia — V.Putin! That "the events in the Middle East are directed at split of Russia", and so forth.

Obedient to the Kremlin state men of official Russian Arabic studies and lovers to talk with an intelligent view of everything that moves in unison howled ominously about "the insidious machinations of the U.S. imperialism," "the hand of CIA" on the "controlled chaos", started by masons and the like. Not so long ago the known Syrian legal expert and publicist living in Russia, O.Shaar, wrote a brilliant article under the well-aimed heading — "Fiasco of Russian political Arabic studies" in which he in details explained the reasons of such position of modern Russian political Arabic studies.

In Moscow the true essence of "the Arabian spring"was not understood, its civilization component. In the expert Russian environment the leadership was taken by explicit Islamophobes like E.Satanovsky and A.Ignatenko, who spoke about horrible "Islamic threat", comparing Muslims with "killers". "Pernicious" Qatar suffered from them most. This small state in the Arabian (Persian) gulf not only shows surprising rates of development, standard of living, innovative approach to many issues of internal and foreign policy, but also, according to well-aimed expression of the Ukrainian president of V.Yanukovych, became "the catalyst of progressive ideas and reforms in the Arab world". Qatar renders huge support to many Arabs stirred to action with tyranny and injustice, even such dictators, as M.Qaddafi and B.Asad (which remains only support of the Russian policy in the region).

And here, under the decree from above, mister V.Lvov on the web-site of the Russian Institute of the Middle East which president is the mentioned E.Satanovsky, places the whole series of articles, having for an object to "expose" the authorities of Qatar which, you see, dared to defend honor, dignity and freedom of the Arab world. And here a new "lion" of Russian Arabic studies set off to the winds. So much he told about Qatar and the ruling dynasty of this Arabian monarchy. This "soap opera" has visually shown all wretchedness, moral degradation of the so-called "analysts" serving the Kremlin. And they, of course, copy their owners — those who now reign Russia and defines its policy in the Middle-Eastern region.

The present governors of the Russian Federation who entrenched in the Kremlin, firmly grasped the bloody regime of B.Asad promptly going to the bottom, having beheld in it a unique stronghold of the former and current influence of Russia in the region, except for, perhaps, Iranian regime. It is amazing, as dictators are drawn to dictators as if there works some kind of "dictatorial international".

Why the present Russian management with such a maniacal persistence clings to B.Asad? There are some important military-political moments. Syria is connected with Russia by multi-billion contracts on delivery of arms. Only during the last days Russia concluded the bargain with the present Syrian regime on 550 million dollars. Under this agreement it should deliver 130 warplanes. In the Syrian port Tartus there is the only naval base of Russia on the Mediterranean Sea which allows serving military Russian ships and is an original symbol of presence of the Russian Federation on the Middle East. Russia considers falling of B.Asad's regime as a personal accident, as display of crash of its presence at the region and as an evident indicator of qualitative change of balance of powers in the Middle East which is a disadvantage. From here stems absolutely irrational, mad position of Moscow — in every way to keep in power B.Аsad, at least at the expense of victims and blood of Syrian people.

A well-known Arabian publicist H.Al Madzhid with bitter sarcasm wrote that the actions of the leaders of Russia concerning Syria force to think that they "drink vodka while taking their political decisions".

From here stems shameful game of the Russian diplomacy in the United Nations when under any, even the most ridiculous pretexts, the Russian representative blocks acceptance of saving resolution for the Syrian people, capable to stop bloodshed and to open the way to political exit from deadlock of the Syrian tragedy. World powers as it was declared by the US representative to the United Nations, S. Rice, "with disgust" apprehended the last veto of Russia and China; the representative of Germany named the veto "a double shame". The Syrian national board which names itself the national government of Syria, directly accused Russia and China in "encouragement of murders and genocide", having specified "irresponsibility of rendering to the Syrian regime of license for the unpunished murders". The management of Jordanian "Muslim brotherhood" called for boycott in the whole Arab world of Russian goods, in front of embassies of Russia in different countries protest meetings passed.

Apparently, the position of Russia won't change till March, 4th — the day of presidential elections, after all, to the main applicant for the position of President of the Russian Federation, V.Putin, it is still important to support the image of a "cool guy" who wins all external and internal enemies of Russia up to the end.

Unfortunately, apparently, Syrian people should incur many victims. But they will surely win. And former influence of Russia in the region disgracefully disappears, bursts and dissolves. Perhaps, once historians will also remember about such influence and about vain attempts of Russia to play the main role in the Middle East, beginning from Peter I and up to now.

Good bye, amen!

Vyacheslav SHVED,

The leading research assistant of the department of Asia and Africa of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the NAS of Ukraine, the vice-president of the all-Ukraine Social Organization "Ukrainian Center of Islamic Studies".

Related Links:

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