The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewPaul Craig Roberts Archive
Is Russia Doomed?
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Something Here
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Winston Churchill said that Russia was “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Having read two contrasting news reports of attitudes in Russia, I understand what Churchill meant.

General Valery Gerasimov, chairman of the Russian General Staff, has concluded from Washington’s many NATO intensified drills on Russia’s border that Washington and its NATO puppet states are preparing for a major conflict. In a briefing to foreign military attaches in Moscow, Gerasimov said that the increased number and scale of military exercises conducted by NATO members indicates that the alliance “is purposefully training its troops to be engaged in a major military conflict.”

The Kremlim’s spokesperson said that the Russian government trusts the opinion of General Gerasimov.

To be clear, based on analyzed evidence the Russian military sees Washington and its vassals preparing for war with Russia. The Russian government states that it trusts the opinion of the Russian military leadership.

Yet, a contemporaneous poll published by the Levada Center, an independent Russian pollster, reports that 80% of Russians see Washington and its NATO vassals as “friends.”

“Only 3% of Russian respondents said they see the West as Russia’s enemy, Levada said. Another 16% said they view the West as a rival.

“Two-thirds of Levada’s respondents (67%) said Russia should treat the West as a “partner,” while 11% said Russia should treat the West as a “friend,” according to the Kommersant business daily’s breakdown of the data.”

The extraordinary difference between the view of the Russian general staff and ordinary Russians is hard to explain. Who is communicating with the Russian people? Their leaders? Or the Western funded NGOs and media that feed Western propaganda to the Russian people? Are the Russian people still listening to the Voice of America?

If these contrasting news reports are correct, then Russia is faced with the fact that the awareness of the government that Washington and its European vassals are an enemy intent on war is not shared by the Russian population. This implies a total failure of communication between the Russian government committed to Russian national sovereignty and the Russian people who apparently see no risk of being colonized by their friends in the West.

How can the Russian people, humiliated by American sanctions and endless denunciations of their elected president, who led them out of American captivity, and threatened by Washington’s nuclear missiles on their border, possiblly believe in friendship and partnership with Washington?

If the polls are correct, and the Russian people do not understand Washington’s hegemonic impulse, Russian sovereignty is not a sure thing.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Russia 
Hide 33 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. anastasia says:

    It may be that they have the same media we do, i.e. one that lies about what Americans think

    Russia has a deep state too. Putin is between a pro-western oligarchy, and a hard right military, and Putin juggles for both of them.

    • Replies: @Richard B
  2. Anonymous[251] • Disclaimer says:

    That poll result is certainly surprising. It’s difficult to believe they’d be that friendly when the other side can’t stop escalating with hostile words and deeds.

    Maybe someone who lives there can explain. Deceptive poll questions, perhaps?

    • Agree: Orville H. Larson
  3. american and nato conventional military forces are simply apart or together inadequate to defeat russia.

    in nuclear terms we all die or enough of us to render the united states extinct as a viable nation.

    both american and nato military are profoundly risk averse of taking casualties and a conventional war with russia will in the first 72 hours punish the western military with a catastrophic losses in men and materiel to the point their will be demands of using tactical or other nuclear weapons.

    the pentagon surely must know a single nuke fired into any part of russia will witness a return volley in kind into the continental united states. europe will be rubble quickly even in conventional war.

    if sovereignty is a worry its ours as well for whats left of our nation if anyone is dumb enough to start a war with russia.

    the media is no where near as powerful or persuasive as they once were except in their own minds and most all polls are to be deeply suspect as our 2016 election proved.

    i think paul ought to worry more about the sad future of the usa than about a resurgent russia which is in an alliance in all but name with china, the worlds manufacturerer

    • Agree: Alfa158
    • Replies: @Talha
  4. Tom Gregg says:

    In a conventional war at or close to Russia the Yanks will get clobbered. But, after getting punched out the Yanks just might be silly enough to go nuclear. So, if Russia is doomed then everyone is.

  5. Anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s all about money ultimately, Russians still see the US and Western Europe as the lands of wealth and prosperity, despite all the pro-Putin rhetoric of a rising Russia and how the future is Eurasianism and looking East.

    In my opinion a country can only be considered first world and prosperous when the majority of its people have no interest in permanently emigrating somewhere else, Russia is no where near that point yet, it seems that the majority of Russians would leave if they were in the position to.

    • Replies: @paraglider
  6. Svevlad says:

    Polls in east euro countries are notoriously bad. The “independent” ones are all turbofag NGO sector sludge.

  7. Trusting the West is always fatal.
    Look to God only and be thankful.

    To live know your friends from enemies.
    Prosper in His grace eternally.

  8. Talha says:

    Basically, if you want a extinction event for the European race, you probably can’t do better than what you described.


  9. Dr.PCR,
    Just wanted to give a warm,heartfelt attaboy.
    Please continue with all that you do…
    I’m qqqqquite sure you are very much appreciated.

  10. BuelahMan says:

    Its the same Chabad jews running both scams (America and Russia).

    The leaders of these groups are in Israel.

    Unless the jews in Israel want war, there will be none.

    • Replies: @teotoon
  11. Renoman says:

    As long as Russia has all those Nukes she is safe. Even America would not be stupid enough to attack Russia.

  12. Just looked on the Levada Centre English language website and in January 2020 46% have a negative opinion of the USA and 42% a positive opinion.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  13. @Renoman

    “Even America would not be stupid enough to attack Russia.” That’s what most people would think … I hope you are right.

  14. Yes Russia is doomed. Amy Klobuchar will have Putin for breakfast.
    Go Amy Go!

  15. Russia is no more doomed than the US: The difference is only that DC is behind the machinations of ultimate fate of both countries.

  16. Delta G says:

    Too much gloom and doom PCR… Same shit different day. 1 Day some US gubber will start WW III. Hopefully not soon. Best reason to get rid of Nucs. But the impotent US cannot do that.

  17. Realist says:

    How can the Russian people, humiliated by American sanctions and endless denunciations of their elected president, who led them out of American captivity, and threatened by Washington’s nuclear missiles on their border, possiblly believe in friendship and partnership with Washington?

    They appear to be as gullible as Americans.

  18. Realist says:

    As long as Russia has all those Nukes she is safe. Even America would not be stupid enough to attack Russia.

    Russia figured that out about 10 minutes after it found out the US was developing nuclear weapons…around 1944.

  19. Beckow says:

    It helps to listen to what countries actually say. Not because it is necessarily true, but the official positions reflect what the motivations and thinking are.

    NATO says that they are on Russia’s border to prevent ‘future aggression‘. We know from history that sometimes weird thing happen with regard to ‘aggression‘. Who can forget the infamous sneaky Polish attack on the German radio station in Gliwice the night before WWII started. Hitler had to respond. Or the assorted Tonkin and Iraq tubes from Niger aggressions. Gerasimov knows that aggression is a fluid concept, so he prepares. Most Russians probably don’t think about it that much.

    Kremlin still refers to the West officially as ‘our partners’, so again, the people simply adopt the terminology. It is easier that way, plus the West still has an incredible allure of riches and fun travel.

    West probably has an opportunistic goal to grab Kaliningrad, maybe Crimea, Karelia and a few other places. They would really like Siberia too. They won’t attack, that would be suicide, but if Russia goes through internal chaos ala 90’s, this time Nato would be able to move faster. Or they can unleash Polish and Latvian janissaries and see what happens. Their lives are cheap.

    Russia probably has a directive that if Nato crosses its borders anywhere they will nuke them and also the countries they come from. Will it actually happen? If it does, we won’t be around to analyse it.

  20. Yes it’s doomed and will face USSR fate by further dissolving into the nations it enslaved in the past centuries..

  21. Levtraro says:
    @Christopher Porritt

    It looks to me like the news PCR read ( giving this apparently good views of Russian regarding the West was misleading.

    The quoted a link to as their source (in Russian). I read the document and could not find the result that 80% of Russians see the US and NATO countries as “friends”. Also Levada’s website in English does not show any such number, or I could not find it. Perhaps the 80% comes from 67% responding that Russia should treat western countries as “partners” + 11% responding that it should treat them as “friends”. So in fact it is only 11% that use the term “friends” while 67% use the term “partners” which just is the diplomatic term used by Putin and Lavrov.

    The document says that a majority of Russians (61%) opined that the West should have nothing to fear from Russia, which is something quite different, while 52% opined that Russia should remain vigilant about NATO countries.

    Also note that Levada’s poll is very poor in terms of statistical power. It interviewed on average only 12 or so persons from each of 167 Russian towns. That is a very, very small sample.

    In addition, in Levada’s About Us page they write: “Senior staff have been trained in the USA and Western Europe.”

    So I suggest PCR should not worry too much about Russians losing their grasp on reality.

  22. @Anonymous

    put some more garbage into your deloreans nuclear reactor and head ….back to the past…. because you’re in the wrong world if you think your analysis qualifies you to go …..back to the future.

  23. Franz says:

    If the polls are correct, and the Russian people do not understand Washington’s hegemonic impulse, Russian sovereignty is not a sure thing.

    I catch a touch of sarcasm, or maybe it’s my apophenia acting up?

    “If the polls are correct…” Right. I’ve asked fellows at the VA who were 90 if anyone ever “polled” them and the answer was always NO. Usually they thought it was a joke. “I worked for a living, why would they ask me?”

    Same as Russia. The pollsters find a warren of liberal arts grads living on Soros grants just like here in the USA and get the answers they want. They don’t work for a living.

  24. @Renoman

    A very dangerous assumption.

    ‘Murka is designing a new generation of low yield nukes, believing that nuclear war can be contained and Russian escalation forestalled. It has just launched its first submarine to carry them.

    After WWII, I believe, ‘Murka considered a plan under which losses to a Russian retaliatory strike might be acceptable. Believe they said “only” about 20 million or so. Now of course, losses would be much higher. But first strike technology has also advanced, which is much appreciated by ‘Murkan neocons. In five to ten years Russia will be surrounded by American hypersonic missiles with just minutes reaction time. To a sufficiently idiotic mind (on which Washington has a near monopoly), surprise attack might appear feasible.

    The bloodthirsty psychopaths in DC have no regard for human life, save their own. In their globalist nightmare there are no rules and no limits. Cave bellator!

    • Replies: @Orville H. Larson
  25. vot tak says:

    “poll published by the Levada Center, an independent Russian pollster”

    “Independent”, Roberts says, but independent of what?

    Russian Justice Ministry source explains recognizing Levada-Center NGO a “foreign agent”

    “The Russian Justice Ministry has explained why it has included the autonomous non-profit organization “The Analytical Center of Yuri Levada” in its list of non-commercial organizations, which perform the functions of foreign agents.

    “The inspection revealed that the Analytical Center of Yuri Levada …had received a large part of its funds from the United States, including a grant from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, which is curated by the U.S. Department of Defense,” the source said.

    The Russian Justice Ministry clarified that the center’s foreign finance sources included Ipsos Mori UK Ltd (Britain); the Moscow subsidiary of the “Jones Day Limited Partnership (USA); Fafo Ais As (Norway); Fernland Holdings Ltd (Switzerland); Deutsche Gesellschaft Fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit GNBH (Germany), Gallup Inc. (USA); Viesoji Istaiga (Lithuania); University of Wisconsin Madison (USA); Regents of University of Colorado (USA): Columbia University (USA) and The George Washington University (USA).

    According to the Russian Justice Ministry, a non-commercial organization, which performs the functions of a foreign agent, is a Russian non-profit organization which receives funds and other property from foreign countries and their state bodies; as well as from international and foreign organizations; foreign citizens and persons without citizenship; it also takes part, including in the interests of foreign sources, in political activities in the territory of Russia.”

    The main thrust of this article is based upon a skewed poll from a foreign agent which is hostile to Russia and which is also part of a hostile psywar campaign to cause civil disruption and division inside Russia.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  26. Anonymous[421] • Disclaimer says:
    @vot tak

    Thanks. No wonder the poll results didn’t make sense.

  27. bj0311 says:

    I go to Russia every year with my beautiful and feminine Russian wife who also knows how to dress–unlike the majority of American women. (I had to put that in first.) It seems to me to be the same everywhere I travel–people like Americans as individuals. In Russia, I have spoken with people who are high in the security service and with those of more modest means. A regional head of state security I spoke with was aware and concerned with the actions of the American government, but he had no problem with me as an American citizen. We spoke at length about the criminality of the American government, but he was also open about the shortcomings of the Russian government. Just two people having a conversation.

    It seems to me that it is in America where we are teaching people to hate other people as individuals because of where they come from, while the rest of the world still understands that individuals are not their governments. The ordinary Russian citizen does not live the luxurious life of the average American citizen–they are more concerned with living a fiscally responsible life. They have their own frustrations with getting their own government to help locally–the perception in the provinces is that all the money goes to Moscow.

    Russia does not have a conflict-oriented economy nor do the people have that mentality. Russia is still like pre-Clinton America which is why the elites in America want you to hate Russia.

    • Replies: @Buck Ransom
  28. Republic says:

    Sorry to see that PCR’s new article does not allow any comments,his last three ones were open for any comments. Hope that he allows comments in his future articles!

  29. @bj0311

    I go to Russia every year with my beautiful and feminine Russian wife who also knows how to dress–unlike the majority of American women.

    Say what? You don’t fancy emancipated and empowered 350-pounders attired in “Juicy” black Spandex stretch pants and “Nasty Woman” T-shirts — with blue hair, tattoos and pussyhats?

  30. teotoon says:

    Well, maybe there should be a mutual agreement between the US and Russia that if either one of them is attacked by the other, Israhell will be mutually nuked.

  31. @SeekerofthePresence

    ” . . . To a sufficiently idiotic mind (on which Washington has a near monopoly), surprise attack might appear feasible.”

    I agree that the idiocy in Washington–neocon, or otherwise–is vast. Still, Russia has land-based and seaborne ICBMs that they could toss at us. One can only pray that, somehow, it will never come to that. . . .

    • Agree: SeekerofthePresence
  32. I like PCR, but he has a tendency to excessive drama. I don’t think that these poll results represent the kind of psychological surrender that he discerns.

    There is no question that Russians are somewhat vulnerable to Western psywar given their identification with Europe and the West and their desire, on some level, to “belong” to them. But of course, there is the countervailing sentiments of Russian patriotism and resentment at the consistent anti-Russian policy pushed by the US despite the savior role that some thought Trump would assume.

    Russians, on a psychological level, don’t want to cut themselves off from the larger Western culture, and the poll results reflect that. But remember that Russians have consistently given Putin high approval ratings in polling as well. There is some nuance here that needs to be appreciated.

    According to poll analysis, “Two-thirds of Levada’s respondents (67%) said Russia should treat the West as a “partner,” while 11% said Russia should treat the West as a “friend,” according to the Kommersant business daily’s breakdown of the data.”

    Only one in 10 said that Russia should treat the West as a “friend.” There is a businesslike attitude in this, and treating the West as a partner–Putin’s word of choice–can in part be seen to come under the heading of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.

    Russia certainly has plenty of challenges ahead not least how Putin can be replaced. But I don’t think these poll results suggest any impending doom for Russia.

  33. Richard B says:

    I recall hearing Putin say words to the effect that, when it comes to any outside aggression, there will be no world without Russia.

    In other words, for anyone interested in removing Russia from the scene, they should know that Russia will have enough to time to remove them from the scene. They’ll have enough time to retaliate.

    And that’ll be that.

    I can’t recall the particular video title, or even the youtube channel. But it was in 2018 when they were showing their latest nuclear weapon capabilities.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Paul Craig Roberts Comments via RSS