May 12, 2008

Russia's Victory Day Parade back in Red Square

"This is the Soviet standard, ideology, philosophy and above all, Soviet aesthetics of fear..."




It seems Vladimir Putin has a longing for the past. The past President's old KGB Soviet mentality is returning to the fore of his public psyche and this may just explain his decision earlier this year, to display Russia’s heavy weapons in May for a Soviet-style Victory Day parade in Red Square.

Soviet parades of this type were an important feature of cold war mentality and once again in 2008 tanks and missiles will rolled out for the world to see. The authorities had promised to include the very latest weaponry including T-90 tanks and Topol-M long-range ballistic missiles.

Putin insisted that the parade was not meant as a saber rattling exercise:

"The outgoing Russian leader said that Friday's parade to mark the end of World War II would demonstrate Russia's growing defense capabilities. "We do not threaten anyone and do not intend to do so," he said. It's a demonstration of our growing capabilities in the defense sphere. We are capable of protecting our people, citizens, our state and our wealth."

Let’s keep it all in perspective however. In spite of Putin's Kremlin pouring $150 billion into its armed services, the Russian military remains burdened with old weaponry and facilities. As I have reported previously, Putin resumed long-range bomber patrols, boasted of developing a new strategic missile and threatened to deploy missiles closer to the heart of Europe. To date, only a handful of new jet fighters and a few dozen tanks have been added. Still, Russia's nuclear arsenal and associated delivery systems remain frighteningly powerful.

The prominent human rights activist Valeria Novodvorskaya, made a significant point here about the purpose of the parade.

"This is the Soviet standard, ideology, philosophy and above all, Soviet aesthetics of fear. What achievements can the semi-totalitarian Russian society show to the world? One cannot parade an oil pipeline. So instead this society shows off what it showed to the world throughout the Soviet era."

Perhaps Putin and new President Dmitry Medvedev see this as a way to shock and awe us … Yawn

If you wish to view some of the weaponry, check out this short clip (only 55 secs) here and finally you must, yes must! View this, The Simpsons - Soviet Union

Comments welcomed

12 comments:

MK said...

"We do not threaten anyone and do not intend to do so," YET.

I wouldn't trust them as far as i could throw that lot.

If nothing else, with commies, you better get very worried if they start threatening you because history shows, they're more than prepared to deal with you in very unpleasant ways if needed.

Lord Nazh said...

Russia is so scared of not being taken seriously that they will do anything. They are like the older sibling getting into trouble because the parents dote on the small one.

Since they became a 2-bit player on the world stage, they have set themselves up for a Putin to take over and with hearty 'fatherland' rhetoric, try to take them once again to superpower status.

Luckily, at the moment, all they can do (and will do) is rattle sabers and back various proxies. When/if they do get the ability to be a player again, it will be Cold War v2.0.

American Interests.blog said...

mk: "History shows", indeed it does...

lord nazh:
http://lordnazh.com/dailyramble/index.html
Russia seems to be experiencing a qausi inferiority complex which propels it to do anything to mask it...and when (and if) they're back, "it will be Cold War v2.0.".

Z said...

Odd, I glanced at the picture and, for a second, thought that line across the bottom was a foreboding looking fence..or wall of sharp metal objects keeping people out.......then I realized it's military hats.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

I've said it before and will say it again, "once KGB always KGB."

Putin's stripes have not changed. His reaching out to the west and especially the US when he first came into power was for political and economic expediency only.

To survive he had to have economic infusion from the west and above all the US.

Now that he has that he true Soviet ideals and beleifs can come out and his Comminist policy as well as Soviet expansionism can become policy and fulfillment!

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Images from that parade were certainly reminiscent of Soviet-era displays. I suppose old habits die hard.

I'm inclined to agree with those who think this sort of behavior comes form a (possibly desperate) desire to seem powerful and important.

I have wondered what potential threat Russian leaders see in Europe, that encourages plans for a missile system near Russia's western frontier.

From where I stand, the European leadership, and quite a few of the ethnic Europeans, have no greater desire than to be as peaceful as possible, and protest American efforts to protect them. (That's my jingoism for the month.)

The newly-arrived populations in Europe, many of them Muslim, may be another matter.

I am NOT saying that all Muslims are terrorists: but some do follow a more violent version of Islam ("London, Glasgow Timeline June 29 and 30, 2007" Another War-on-Terror Blog (July 8, 2007))

Perhaps Russia's leadership is preparing for a Jihad based in Europe. A generation or so from now, that isn't as unlikely as it may seem, given the relative birth rates.

Layla said...

Otto, Putin is still running that nation like the old Soviet Union. Reagan must be really grumbling from on high.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

OTOH, WWII time Russia bled more than anyone to grind the Axis to dust. They deserve to revel in that victory though it's more like a signal. And that's the rub. Ukrainia, Poland and Czechland all said "uh, No thanks!" to Russia's NATO alternate offer and buddied up with the west.

Russia flailed and failed horribly in Grozny the 1st time they went in. The mighty Red Army was quagmired in their own back yard. New T90's, Sukhoise and MiGs look sharp on parade - but the battlefield may be a diff deal.

Incognito said...

Have always believed we need to be wary of both Russia and China, and even more so now.

Democracy takes the power out of the elitist leaders.. and power is far too appealing.

American Interests.blog said...

z: Thanks for visiting...Hope you found the clip funny...

Ken Taylor: As you say and have said Ken, showing hsi true colors now that the need for aid has passed...

American Interests.blog said...

Brian: I don't think they're preparing for a Jihad based Europe even though the latter is a real possibility on current stats. I/d say it emantes form a dire need for power and respect. Seems rather superficial though....

Layla: Oh Reagan would have loved Putin...

GSGF: No, nothing wrong with celebrating the May Day victory, as you say, Russia paid a huge human price in WWII. Those weapons in battle? I think we know the answer..

American Interests.blog said...

Incog: I agree we need be wary, apeasement never works...