USSR

Post-Soviet underworld rushes to Europe

By Ian Begg

Has anyone counted how many criminals in Europe received immunity just because they share the values ​​of democracy? But it is time to compile such a list. It will be fun and will get a high ranking in the media. Lucky crooks, murderers, thievish officials - who just is not in this ranking. And they will combine two key factors: the first - millions of dollars in assets, and the second - a fanatical devotion to the cause of democracy.

The Way Forward: Sixty years from the accession of Greece and Turkey to NATO

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By Marina Skordeli

The 60th anniversary of the accession of Greece and Turkey to NATO comes at a critical juncture that once again underscores their strategic importance for the Alliance. At the peak of the Cold War, both countries’ geographical position at the underbelly of the Soviet Union rendered them an indispensable part of NATO’s strategic planning, a fact that had dictated their accession in the first place. Together they operated as a natural embankment against any possible Soviet advancement towards the Eastern Mediterranean and the oil rich Middle East, safeguarding at the same time unhindered maritime communication lines. NATO Headquarters and allied installations located there, in close proximity to the USSR, enhanced the reliability of the Alliance’s response to a possible Soviet threat.

Countries of Central Asia deserve reparations from Russia and international community for damage to water resources during the Soviet times, U.S. scholar says

As a legal heir to the former Soviet Union, Russia should feel responsible for the serious damage to the water resources in Central Asia inflicted by huge irrigation projects during the Soviet era, according to a renowned U.S. expert on the region, reported Silk Road Newsline.

The State of the World: A Framework

By George Friedman

The evolution of geopolitics is cyclical. Powers rise, fall and shift. Changes occur in every generation in an unending ballet. However, the period between 1989 and 1991 was unique in that a long cycle of human history spanning hundreds of years ended, and with it a shorter cycle also came to a close. The world is still reverberating from the events of that period.

The Cold War Is Really Over Now

As Russia begins to spend $650 billion to modernize their armed forces (by the end of the decade), the prime minister also ordered a dramatic step to permanently cut the Russian military loose from their Cold War past. This requires scrapping over 10 million tons of obsolete weapons (including over 20,000 tanks, over 100,000 other armored vehicles and artillery, hundreds of ships and thousands of aircraft). During the 1990s, this stuff was just left to rot in open fields, remote airbases and dingy corners of ports and naval bases. In the last decade, Russia has spent over half a billion dollars providing some security, and minimal upkeep for this stuff. For a long time, there was the hope that the abandoned weapons might be useful if there was another major war. But there's no one to operate the stuff, as the current Russian armed forces are a fifth the size of the Soviet Union military that used to own all these weapons. Moreover, more than half the equipment to be scrapped is considered obsolete (by Russian standards). Nearly all of it is considered obsolete by Western standards. The rest of the world has picked over this pile of Cold War surplus for the last two decades, and bought what they thought might be useful. That made hardly a dent in the pile of abandoned weapons and equipment.

Post-Soviet Integration - New Hopes

By Danyil Rozanov

The process of the Common Economic Space launch preparation goes on. This is a new integration mega-project within post-soviet area. On July 1st 2011 starts a new formation stage of the Common Economic Space of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Customs bodies finish the performance customs control over the goods within internal borders of the Customs Union states – the most important stage of the CES establishment. Its initiators underline success achieved within development of common internal market of the CU states undertime. The EU states spent 36 years on that; Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan with joint efforts managed to do that in a year. It is supposed that the CES starts operating on January 1st of 2012.

Will the new US-Russian arms treaty blunt the nuclear threat?

By David E Hoffman

On 15 January 1986, the Soviet Union's leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, introduced Kremlin plans to eliminate all of the superpower's nuclear weapons by the year 2000. The proposal was visionary, but also a bit of a propaganda ploy. One that immediately caught Ronald Reagan's attention. Later that day, when Secretary of State George Shultz went to the White House, Reagan asked him: "Why wait until the end of the century for a world without nuclear weapons?"