Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Zioconned US phased and adaptive [missile defense] system is directed against Russia....

Zioconned Russia's double speak does not fool anyone, it has joined with the Axis of Evil, MOSSAD-AMAN....CIA-DIA....

THE “Admiral Kuznetsov” class aircraft carrier is currently off the coast of Malta and heading for eastern Mediterranean from their base in the Barents Sea.....Informed sources; Russian navy and Israeli military will hold joint exercises close to Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.....


Russia is eying all that Oil and Gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, and couldn't care less about "politics" on the ground all around.....

Informed sources; Russian navy and Israeli military will hold joint exercises close to Cyprus-Lebanon Exclusive Economic Zone.....???

Zioconned US phased and adaptive [missile defense] system is directed against Russia....??? LOL

The launch of a new anti-missile radar station in the Russian Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad should be treated by the West as the “first signal” of Russia’s readiness to counter “threats” posed by NATO’s missile defense plans, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.

The radar, which is capable of monitoring missile launches from the North Atlantic, as well as the United States’ future European missile shield, was put into operation earlier during the day. A source in the Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that the radar will go on combat duty starting December 1.

Addressing the Russian Armed Forces commanders after the radar's inauguration ceremony, Medvedev said its launch was intended to demonstrate Russia’s “readiness for an adequate response to the threats posed by [NATO’s] European missile defense system to out strategic nuclear forces.”

“If our signal is not heard, as I said on November 23, we will continue deploying other defense means,” he said.

Medvedev said in his address to the nation on November 23 that he had ordered the launch of the radar as part of Russia’s reaction to the United States’ missile shield plans. Russia may also deploy Iskander tactical missiles in the Kaliningrad region in the near future, he said.

At the same time, the Kaliningrad radar, which is located at Russia’s western-most border, is “not directed against our Western partners” and “could be used for joint defense,” Medvedev said on Tuesday.

Russia is seeking written, legally binding guarantees that the missile shield will not be directed against it. However, Washington has refused to provide those guarantees to Moscow and said it will not alter its missile defense plans despite increasingly tough rhetoric from Moscow.

“We can no longer be satisfied with a common statement that the phased and adaptive [missile defense] system that is being created is not directed against Russia,” Medvedev said. “Those are empty words, which unfortunately do not guarantee the protection of our interests.”

He added, however, that “if other steps are made,” Moscow will “certainly” take them into consideration.

“But anyway, oral statements are not enough,” he said....

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the Russian government have taken the right steps to protect themselves and begin to neutralize the potential threat of the US European Missile Defence Shield.

The United States has refused to sign a legally binding international document stating that the US European Missile Defence Shield will not be pointed at and used against the Russian military.

Therefore the only conclusion that the Kremlin can draw from this is that in the future there is a potential for the US European Missile Defence Shield to be used against Russian military forces.

Under what circumstances would the United States / NATO / Europe use the US European Missile Defence Shield against Russia?

The only reason that I am aware of that United States / NATO / Europe would use the US European Missile Defence Shield against Russia would be to secure the energy resources of oil and natural gas around the Caspian Basin area.

The Caspian Sea / Caspian Basin area now have the largest remaining sources of light crude oil and natural gas on the planet.

I live in North America and for the past 6 years I have been following the news reports and documentaries on the concern of Peak Oil for North America.

Worldwide Peak Oil is the maximum amount of oil that can be extracted from all known oil reservoirs.

Worldwide Peak Oil was reached in June 2006.

The United States will have sufficient oil and natural gas reserves until the year 2020.

By the year 2020 many of the oil reserves it depends on will begin to run dry.

This is also true of Europe.

The Mexican oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico are now in catastrophic decline. They will be exhausted by 2020. The decline has been measured at 33% to 36% per year over the past few years. Mexico exports its oil to the United States where it is processed at the Texas oil refineries.

The North Sea oil reserves that supply oil to Great Britain and Europe are also now in catastrophic decline. They will be exhausted by 2020. The decline has been measured at 33% per year over the past few years.

Saudi Arabia in 2011 adjusted the oil available their oil reserves downward by 300 billion barrels.

Saudi Arabia has been experiencing an 8% decline in available oil flow for several years now. The oil industry in Saudi Arabia has been drilling new oil wells as quickly as possible to replace those that are running dry. Depletion of Saudi Arabian oil fields is expected between 2030 and 2040.

The Canadian Tar Sands are an additional source of oil to the United States. Reports from oil industry experts estimate that Canada can supply the United States with sufficient oil and natural gas energy until 2020. At this time the easy to mine tar sands near the surface will become exhausted.

The danger to the Canadian ecological system is that it completely destroys the land, poisons the the air and water. Cancer rates in Alberta Canada are very high. It takes a lot of energy to process the Canadian Tar Sands and this will become uneconomical after 2020. If it takes more energy to extract a barrel of oil then the process is no longer viable.

The United States has other sources of oil from Nigeria, Venezuela and now Libya.

The reason for the most recent Libyan crisis was for the United States, Canada and Europe to get full control of Libya's light crude oil reservoirs.

The Libyan government had threatened to sell their oil only to China and this was unacceptable.

With several of the United States, Canadian and European oil supplies in danger of running low in 2020 another source of easy affordable oil was required. Libya was the solution. Libyan oil fields are now firmly in control of the western oil companies.

Syria and Iran are now the next targets of acquisition for light crude oil reserves.

The last resource on the planet for light crude oil reserves / affordable oil reserves are the Caspian Basin area. There may also be other parts of Russian that have large supplies of oil and natural gas that I am not aware of.

It is my understanding based on past United States government actions that they will use their military to secure the energy resources of other countries not willing to share exclusively with the United States, Canada, NATO and Europe.

This was the case for the attack, invasion and occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and recently Libya.

This may be the future case for Syria and Iran.

The last energy target on the list is Russia and the Caspian Basin / Caspian Sea oil and natural gas reserves.

From past United States / Canada / NATO / Europe military actions the US European Missile Defence Shield is being put into place to disable military capability in Iran and Russia when the time is right.

The United States will not appear to start military actions, but it will retaliate if attacked.

Once the military targets have been eliminated then the oil and natural gas reservoirs can be secured for western and European consumption.

The years of 2020 to 2030 will be especially active militarily as the United States, Canada, NATO, Europe and China fight for control of the planets last remaining oil reservoirs.

The irony in all of this is that all known oil reserves will be sufficiently exhausted by 2030 as to disable our current modern oil based civilization.

Once the oil industry collapses this will lead to a collapse of the current world banking system, bankruptcies in many industries, mass unemployment, etc. The powers that be would like to keep the status quo for as long as possible. Human society is very resistant to change.

There are solutions to avoid a global meltdown between 2020 and 2030, but it will require a new way of thinking about how human civilizations can be run. My solution to avoid mass unemployment is the new financial concept of “Work Credits”. The concept of “Work Credits” allow countries to value their money supplies based on their country's most valuable natural resource, “their citizens” and their ability to do work that will benefit their community, city, state / province /republic, country.

Alternative energy solutions need to found and implemented instead of wasting valuable human lives, and resources fighting for what remaining oil reservoirs remain.

So it is in Russia's best interests to protect its fossil fuel energy reserves.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's plan to install radar missile sites to neutralize the US European Missile Defence Shield is both prudent and wise.

If the United States / Canada / NATO / Europe were not planning to use the US European Missile Defence Shield against Russian military targets then they would have signed an international agreement stating so.

This has not happened and so the Kremlin must assume that the US European Missile Defence Shield is a potential future threat to Russian military targets and it must neutralize that threat in defence of its country.

The United States would do no less if the threat was in North America....

Zioconned Russia's double speak does not fool anyone, it has joined with the Axis of Evil, MOSSAD-AMAN....CIA-DIA....

Informed sources; Russian navy and Israeli military will hold joint exercises close to Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.....

The exercises are slated to begin on the 28th November and last a week.....

Russian navy nears Cyprus, Lebanon drilling zones.....

THE “Admiral Kuznetsov” class aircraft carrier is currently off the coast of Malta and heading for eastern Mediterranean from their base in the Barents Sea.

Informed sources have said that the Russian navy and Israeli military will hold joint exercises next week close to Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.

The exercises are slated to begin on the 28th November and last a week.

Commentators say that Russia is determined to send the message that they have invested interests in the region and will secure them.

It is understood that the aircraft carrier is carrying 24-fixed wing planes and a number of helicopters. It has also been reported in the press that the Russian navy may request to use port facilities at Limassol.

The radio report also claimed that three Russian destroyers are currently anchored off the Syrian coast. Russia’s naval supply and maintenance site near Syria’s Mediterranean port of Tartus will be modernized to accommodate heavy warships after 2012, the Russian Navy chief said earlier this week.

“Tartus will be developed as a naval base. The first stage of development and modernization will be completed in 2012,” Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said, adding it could then serve as a base for guided-missile cruisers and even aircraft carriers.

The Soviet-era facility is operated under a 1971 agreement by Russian personnel.

Russian relations with Cyprus are at their best in many years. Last month, the Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Vyacheslav Shumskiy said that Moscow fully supports the sovereign right of Cyprus to exploit its natural resources.

“Our position is absolutely clear , and we were among the first countries to comment on that, and we totally support the sovereign right of the Cypriot people for exploitation of natural resources , this is totally in accordance with the international law and with the EU regulations, so there is no doubt about that”, he noted.

Invited to comment on Turkish threats against Cyprus, he said that Turkey’s position is not “very wise”......

THE “Admiral Kuznetsov” class aircraft carrier is currently off the coast of Malta and heading for eastern Mediterranean from their base in the Barents Sea.

Informed sources have said that the Russian navy and Israeli military will hold joint exercises next week close to Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.

The exercises are slated to begin on the 28th November and last a week.

Commentators say that Russia is determined to send the message that they have invested interests in the region and will secure them.

It is understood that the aircraft carrier is carrying 24-fixed wing planes and a number of helicopters. It has also been reported in the press that the Russian navy may request to use port facilities at Limassol....or HAIFA for that matter, home to the Russian-Israeli Global MAFIA.....

Now, with weak leadership in the United States, the bear has come out again to play.

But it still won't be so simple for the Russians to set up shop in Syria.
First, these days Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which would provide the ships for a Mediterranean squadron, is a pale shadow of what it was during the Cold War.

"We have almost no ships left in the Black Sea," commented Konstantin Makienko of Moscow's Center for Strategic and Technical Analysis. "All that Russia could maintain in Syria is a ship or two. That's only a symbolic presence."

Second, Moscow, even with the windfall of high oil prices in 2006-2008, has other military priorities in its much-reduced military budget, such as its nuclear deterrent, the revival of its missile forces and strategic aviation.

Third, while deploying a naval force in the eastern Mediterranean would provide some political leverage for President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, it would have little real military value.

The Russian flotilla would be heavily outgunned by U.S., NATO and Israeli forces and would be beyond the effective reach of Russian air cover, a suicidal proposition.
Yes, but they would maintain an effective air defense on Tartus and possibly Latakia giving the Syrians playing room they don't currently have. For example, to try to build another nuclear plant.
The Israeli media has speculated that a Russian presence in Syria would handcuff the Israeli militarily in any future conflict over the Golan Heights or Lebanon.

If the Russians do rebuild their base at Tartus, it would likely be protected by state-of-the-art S-300PMU-2 Favorit surface-to-air missile batteries manned by Russians.

These long-range systems, far superior to Syria's air-defense system, could provide cover for much of Syria and become a major obstacle for the Israeli air force.

The S-300s would certainly make recent Israeli air force operations, such as the provocative 2006 low-level buzzing of President Bashar Assad's palace in Latakia and the September 2007 airstrike on a nuclear facility near the Turkish border, far more risky.

According to various reports, Moscow has been selling Syria a wide range of weaponry, including highly effective SS-26 Iskander-E missiles and advanced anti-tank systems.

The Syrians, always hard up for cash, may well be prepared to provide Moscow with naval bases as partial payment for its arms purchases, past, present and future....
Russia is upgrading a naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea. The base is ostensibly to be used to support Russian naval anti-piracy operations off Somalia, but the real reason is apparently to re-assert itself in the Middle East. Israel is not thrilled.
The source said the base, established during the Cold War but little used since, would support Russia's anti-piracy operations off Somalia.

However, Moscow will be able to use it, and possibly a separate facility at Latakia, Syria's other main port, to reassert its influence in the Mediterranean and the Arab world.

Moscow has also been seeking to establish naval bases in Libya, at the western end of the Mediterranean, and in Yemen on the Red Sea.

This is causing some consternation in the region. Israel in particular is showing signs of alarm at the prospect of Russian military and intelligence support for Syria, possibly including the deployment of advanced air-defense systems around Tartus and Latakia on its doorstep.

If the Russians complete the upgrade of the Tartus facility, Russia's only foothold in the Mediterranean, it would mark the first military presence Moscow has established outside the borders of the former Soviet Union since it collapsed in 1991....


Putin's Russia has a rather cozy relationship with Israel. Neither side really loves the other, but they both need each other for many different reasons. Also, and that is curious, while anti-Jewish feelings are definitely present in Russia, anti-US feelings are MUCH stronger and widespread, and a lot of Russians view Israel as a sort of "cousin" since there are a lot of Russian Jews (and even non-Jewish Russians) in Israel.

As for the Kuznetsov, it is doing what the USN calls a "showing the flag" mission. This is not about threatening anybody (most definitely not NATO or Israel), but about showing capabilities and presence. If you look at the Russian naval doctrine, the Kuznetsov is a means to extend a Russian air defense zone, mostly to protect Russian nuclear submarines. Militarily speaking, the Kuznetsov has absolutely no business being in the Mediterranean. These trips are also good training trips for the Russian crews and they are feel-good trips for the Russian media, but these are not military deployments or a form of power projection.

For all of us the memories of the Cold War as still present, of course, but I will never cease to mantrically repeat this absolutely fundamental and crucial truth

Russian national security policies - a tentative list

Following Russian President Medvedev recent TV address to the Russian nation about the US anti-missile system deployment in Europe and Russia's response to it a lot of commentators have said that a "new Cold War" was possibly returning to the European continent. While not quite wrong, this characterization is dangerously misleading as it leads to associations with the old Soviet Union. That is a highly deceptive choice of words as it misses the single most important conceptual cornerstone of any sound analysis of Russian policies:

==>>Russia is not the Soviet Union<<==
(repeat three times)

This seemingly self-evident truism is still fundamentally missed in most analyses of Russian national security policies, and there are good reasons for that. After all, Putin was a KGB intelligence officer, Russia is, in many but not all aspects, a 'successor state' to the old Soviet Union, there still is a strong minority of Russians who are nostalgic for the good old days (?) of the Soviet Union and some Soviet era symbols are still seen everywhere in Russia (red stars, even statues of Lenin). But most importantly, the Western propaganda machine is constantly trumpeting that Russia is a "Soviet Union version 2", that a "resurgent Russia" means a new USSR, that under a thin veneer of change "the Russians are up to their old tricks", etc. That is, of course, utter nonsense. One need not to be a Putin-supporter to realize that Russia is a qualitatively different entity from the old Soviet Union. I won't even bother defending that self-evident fact here (if somebody doubts this, please stop reading now).

Saying that Russia is not the "Soviet Union v2" however, begs the question of what Russia really is. What are the Russians really up to? What are the actual national security policies which the "Putin-Medvedev-Putin again" regime has been pursuing since 2000 and is likely to purse on the foreseeable future. I will try to offer a summary of what I believe the national security priorities of Russia currently are in the following list.

Current Russia national security polices aims to:
  1. show an absolutely determined willingness to fight if Russian vital interests are threatened (08.08.08 war against Georgia)
  2. de-couple the EU from the US as much as possible by political and economic means (see the huge gas contracts through the north and south pipelines towards Western Europe)
  3. growl and bare fangs, but not quite bite, when confronted with US imperial hubris and threats (Russian response to NATO anti-missile system in Europe)
  4. at the UN, insist on a full compliance with international law and UNSC resolutions (that, in itself, is a major annoyance for the USA who would love to have a legal cloak for all its imperial wars)
  5. develop new international structures and relations (think SCO and CSTO here) to counterbalance US controlled structures
  6. strengthen bilateral cooperation with independent partners (China, India, Latin America)
  7. protect the Russian economy from the slow-motion but inexorable crash of the Western capitalist economies, mainly by reducing Russia's dependence on the West (Putin and Medvedev have done an excellent job in making the Russian economy strong while protecting it from the worst effects of the economic crisis in the West)
  8. dramatically increase the Russian influence over the Central Asian region and its energy-rich resources (not by sending soldiers, but by participating in the economic development of this region)
  9. weaken the influence of US-controlled Wahhabi thuggish and criminal insurgencies by supporting the traditional forms of Islam not only in the Caucasus region, but throughout Russia, including Moscow and other big cities and by developing Russian central and regional anti-terrorist capabilities.
  10. use Russian economic and cultural power to slowly improve relations with the population of countries like the Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, or Latvia whose governments have recently (or are still) run by anti-Russian governments, while reaching out to promising political figures (like Nino Burjanadze)
  11. avoid openly confronting or antagonizing the US Empire, in particular when the latter is engaged in self-defeating policies (war in Afghanistan)
  12. develop military forces capable of:
  • suppressing any insurgency inside Russia
  • dealing with one or two simultaneous regional crises on the Russian borders
  • project enough power to protect threatened regional allies (Tajikistan? Armenia?)
  • execute complex joint operations with key allies (Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and, in a second phase, possibly China)
  • maintain a strategic nuclear capability sufficient to deter the US from any ideas of an attack on Russia
I would submit that this (admittedly non-official) strategy is fundamentally sound. First, in contrast to old Soviet-era policies, this Russian strategy is both doable and sustainable. Second, it is legitimate, in the sense that it is fully compatible with international law and accepted norms of civilized behavior. Third, this strategy does not threaten the legitimate interests of any other country or region. Fourth, these polices enjoy a broad consensus inside the Russian public opinion. Fifth, these policies make Russia an attractive partner for many countries who seek to remain free from US imperial control.

However, there are also some apparent down sides to these policies. The first and most obvious one is that Russia will not get involved in a direct confrontation with the West to defend any third party, be it the Kosovo Serbs, the Iranians or the Syrians. If NATO pushes hard, Russia will back down, unless its direct and vital interests are threatened. The 'best' Russia can do for those countries who are threatened by the US empire is, according to point #4 above, is insist on a compliance with international law and UNSC resolutions. Sadly, on at least two recent occasions (Iran, Libya), Russia failed to even do that. My best guess is that in both situations the leaders in the Kremlin were hoping for some quid pro quo from the USA, though I am quite unable to identify anything that the betrayal by Russia of Iran and Libya at the UNSC would have achieved for Russia (any guesses here?).

This leaves a couple of what I think of "exotic things" to explain. What were Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers doing in Venezuela? Why is the Russian Navy conducting anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia? What is the Russian aircraft carrier doing in the Mediterranean off the coast of Syria right now?

The reality is that none of these deployments have a serious military component. These are what the US Navy calls "showing the flag" missions, a demonstration of capabilities to potential allies and adversaries, and a way to show the Russian people that their tax money allows their country to play in the "big leagues". At no time did any of these deployment represent even a marginal threat to the USA or NATO countries (a pair of Russian attack submarines would be a far greater threat to the US Navy than the current deployment of the Kuznetsov).

Bottom line: the Russian policies will be low-key, unspectacular, gradual, aimed at the long-term, focused but un-confrontational and primarily local and regional. Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia does not believe that it is in a global zero-sum game against the USA. The leaders in the Kremlin are under no illusion about the fact that the USA is attempting to establish a world-wide empire and that it's leaders hate Russia with a passion and that western policies always aim at the eventual dismemberment and demise of Russia; they just don't believe that the Soviet way to oppose the USA was the correct one.

If there is one thing which the Russian nation has learned from the Mongol invasions is that retreating can be an extremely powerful defensive tactic and the Russians have become masters at this very refined and sophisticated art. Though this has never been mentioned officially, there is a good deal of evidence that the Kremlin has decided that letting the USA over-extend itself in all sorts of military adventures is the best way to weaken and eventually bring down the US empire.

You could say that the Russians are playing chess, while the Americans are playing monopoly.

This is, of course, a delicate, if not dangerous, balancing act. One could reasonably argue that the initial appearance of US 'success' in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq resulted in the war in Georgia, or that the appearance of 'success' in Libya might now result in an attack on Syria. In fact, the one common feature of US and Israel strategic thinking is the systematic conflation of short term/tactical successes with long term/strategic gains. So when the US/Israeli Empire enjoys a short term/tactical victory, it tends to interpret that as a meaningful sign of power which results into a typical "who is next?" kind if mindset.

Russia therefore has to carefully balance letting the US/Israeli Empire over-extend itself against letting the resulting short term imperial hubris threaten important or even vital Russian national interests (see #3 above).

The key question is this: are Syria or Iran vital, or even important, to Russian national interests?

I would argue that no, at least not in actuality. Of the two, Iran has the greatest potential, of course, but neither of the two countries has so far concluded that the other is a vital partner. This might be changing though. I hear that there are discussions at the SCO to try to find a way to make Iran a full member. Iran, however, is very different from Syria.

Iran is, IMHO, the most democratic state in the region, with a government and regime which is viable and which most people in the country support (I know, the Western propaganda says otherwise, but I don't see any reason to trust it). Iran is also a well-integrated regional power. Compare that with Syria, whose government and regime seem to be in quasi total disarray and who lacks any kind of regional clout (Turkey is so much more powerful and credible than Syria!).

I believe that a "Syrian Mubarak" would not be desirable from the Russian point of view, but I don't believe that it would be a disaster. In fact, I don't even believe that from the Iranian point of view a collapse of the Assad regime would be a disaster either. A problem - yes, a concern - for sure, but would that such a collapse of the Syrian regime be a disaster for Iran, would it fundamentally alter Iran's strategic posture? I don't think so.

Now, an "Iranian Mubarak" would be very bad news for Russia, I agree. Not a strategic disaster, of course, but a major problem.

Basically, Syria is rather small, if strategically located. Iran is bigger than Syria by a full order of magnitude, and Russia is bigger than Iran by another full order of magnitude (again, by "bigger" I don't mean size, I mean "comprehensive power"). Neither Syria nor Iran are in the Russian "near abroad" and neither of them as had much influence on it (although a US controlled Iran might become a major threat in Central Asia and in the Caucasus). I basically do not see any domino effect of Syria->Iran->Russia happening here.

I believe that Iran can deal with a collapse of the Syrian regime, rather easily in fact. Even Hezbollah can overcome such a development. Now, I have always seen Syria as a most unreliable ally of Iran and Hezbollah. In fact, Assad was in many ways very similar to Mubarak. Do I need to remind you of the most cozy relationship the Assad regime had with the CIA and the most infamous White House Murder INC, in the Levant since January 24th 2002.....? Finally, should the Assad regime collapse, how big is the threat of a truly pro-US & pro-Israeli regime coming to power?

The "stress" to this US/NATO and Russia-relationship is the Russian Parliamentary and Presidential elections. With Putin and Medvedev facing a tough re-election campaign, I now expect them to play the NATO 'boogeyman" scenario more often in order to stir up their base who are not sympathetic to the West....

a) has the Russian Mafia ever needed to have Russian sovereignty over any country or territory to infiltrate, influence or even control it? Just look at the Russian Mafia in Latvia, Cyprus, Miami or even Switzerland and the answer is obvious.

b) what would Russia, as a nation, gain from re-incorporating the Ukraine under its sovereignty? The Ukraine is economically wrecked, politically in turmoil, devoid of natural resources, full of angry unemployed and under-employed people. Russia is booming economically. The only thing which Russia needs form the Ukraine is Crimea and that it already has for all practical purposes. Russia does not even need to Ukies for gaz transit :-)

Central Europeans in general, and Ukrainians in particular, have a strong tendency to believe that somehow they and their countries have some kind of magical attraction on Russians, like some mysterious gravitational pull. This is not so. Most Russians look down on central Europeans as voluntary vassals of NATO without much of their own pride. Furthermore, Russians remember the Ukrainian slogan that "тому бідні, що не вільні" ("we are poor because we are not free"). Now they smile and reply "now that our are вільні don't come crying to us, the evil Moskals, that you are also бідні".

Frankly, Russians even look at Belarus with a great degree of distrust. Yes, sure, the two nations are really one, but that is also the case with central and East Ukraine (only the Western Ukrainians, the "Западенцы" are really different from the Russians). This is hardly a reason to reunite. The key factors in such decisions are ECONOMIC and the Kremlin is already getting a lot of flack for his economic assistance of Lukashenko.

I basically agree with these sentiments. Let Europe rot in its own mediocrity. The future of Russia is in Central Asia and the Far East. Sure, Russia will sell petrochemicals to Europe and try to have good political and cultural relations, but nobody that I know of wants to "live under the same roof" again. But not a single Russian kopeck should ever be spent again or, even more so, not a single drop of Russian blood should ever be shed in assisting the "near abroad" again. They are abroad? Good. Let them stay there. And if they need something - let them pay for it.
Warfare has undergone a dramatic change. These are not the times of Napoleon or Hitler. Russia does not need the Ukraine or Eastern Europe as a 'buffer zone' or to gain 'strategic depth'. The fact is that Europe is largely irrelevant militarily and that the only two real opponents here (the USA and Russia) can destroy each-other and most of their armed forces throughout their strategic depth. Guderian, Rommel, Zhukov, Rokossovsky and the rest of them can turn over in their graves and shed rivers of tears over this, but if even the Cold War is long gone, so much more is WWII. If attacked from Western Europe, Russian submarines can strike at ever single target in Europe even from their piers in the far East. Besides, European ground forces are way too small to even consider invading Russia, even unopposed!.
Since there is exactly zero chance of a land invasion of Russia from Europe, and since US aircraft and missiles also can strike anywhere in Russia even from their bases in the US Midwest, the entire rationale for controlling Central Europe is gone once and for all.

I don't think anybody is going to miss it :-)