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Russia: Why Putin announces he will arm the enemies of the West

Russia: Why Putin announces he will arm the enemies of the West

Putin called a war with NATO absurd, but threatened to give the West’s enemies all the weapons that Kiev receives. The Houthis are showing how to hit the West without risking oneself.

Weapons from the West directly in the Russian heartland – that was a taboo for a long time. This was lifted a few days ago when President Biden authorized the use. The details are not known. Kiev will not have received a blank check from Washington. Deep strikes are still prohibited. It is assumed that the authorization only applies to the border region between Kharkiv and Belgorod.

Now weapons from the West are destroying, among other things, air defense systems on Russian soil. Russia has announced countermeasures in this case – but has left open what these might be.

Putin calls war with NATO absurd

Blustering Medvedev and propaganda broadcasts on Russian state TV outdid each other with threats. In verbal terms, Great Britain is devastated by nuclear weapons every month in this circle. So no one took the sayings seriously. Russia will not attack a NATO country or even start a nuclear war against the alliance because of a few strikes in the border area. Putin rejected these assumptions to foreign journalists on Wednesday at the annual International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. “You think Russia wanted to attack NATO. Have you gone completely mad? Who thought that up? That’s utter nonsense.”

The reaction Putin is hinting at is much more subtle and far more dangerous. He said: “What happens if someone thinks it is possible to deliver weapons to the war zone to hit our country, to cause us trouble? Why then should we not have the right to send our weapons of the same kind to the regions of the world where they can hit targets that are important to the countries that are doing the same for Russia?”

Putin has formulated the whole thing as an option and not as an announcement. In fact, this possibility has always been underestimated in the discussion in the West. It is suggested that Russia has only a few and unrealistic options to escalate the war further – namely with the use of tactical nuclear weapons or a direct conflict with NATO. The obvious idea of ​​supporting “enemies” of the West in the same way that the West does with Ukraine has been suppressed.

Russia not isolated

The war in Ukraine has long had international repercussions. The West has not succeeded in achieving its goal of isolating Russia internationally. The Global South in particular prefers to maintain relations with Moscow, remain neutral and profit from this war if possible. In fact, Russia has even been able to increase its influence.

In just a few years, the West’s position in northern Africa has been largely weakened, if not completely collapsed. The Wagner Group has played a major role in this. Russian influence is also growing in sub-Saharan Africa: fighters for the war in Ukraine are being recruited there on a large scale and with great promises. Videos are now circulating of Russian assault groups in which six out of 20 men come from sub-Saharan Africa. Female workers are also being recruited to assemble drones in the arms industry. Here, the Russians are offering a combination of working student work, work in the factory and training at the university.

West is vulnerable

The Houthis in Yemen are showing what effects even modest arms aid can have. The barefoot rebels receive drones and missiles from Iran. This has largely paralyzed the shipping route through the Red Sea, which is so important for the West. Russian and Chinese ships are not threatened by them. The West, on the other hand, must permanently send warships to prevent the situation from getting completely out of control. There is no way to defeat the Houthis as long as no invasion is planned. On top of that, the rebels are now able to shoot down American military drones.

What will happen if Putin strengthens the Houthi arsenal with effective anti-ship missiles that threaten warships and air defense missiles? Other “enemies” of the West could be armed in a similar way. This would not bode well for Western states. Russia is essentially a regional power and can only call itself a world power in terms of strategic nuclear weapons. The USA and the West in general have vital interests all over the world – but not the ability to enforce these interests by force. The West depends on the security of sea routes. The USA has gotten into the habit of using its drones for this purpose, even without regard to sovereign territory and international law. Putin can make trade routes and such military operations much more dangerous and costly with little effort, while at the same time increasing his own influence.

Source: Stern

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