In this recent Daily Vertical commentary, RFE/RL’s Brian Whitmore reminds us of what it was like for Lithuanians under the Soviet Union – facts that explain why Lithuanians today are determined to never again exist under Russian domination.

 

 

A year has gone by – but nothing has changed. In his annual gab-a-thon presser Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spent several hours singing many of his most time-honored refrains, most having to do with what the Russian forces have big-footed in and broken – and now expect the West to pay for repairing the damage. 

 

“All bubbles burst with mind-numbing swiftness, so if you’re going to stick with your Bitcoin investment to ride along for any potential future gains, at the very least, make sure you have an exit strategy.” 

Photo: Russian ship Steregushchy, thought to be the type of vessel possibly underway to open a new naval base in Sudan on the Red Sea.

Authoritarian regimes “do not fall by themselves,” and they do not fall when they first face public opposition, the commentator says. Instead, they collapse as wave after wave of opposition appears and as their opponents become more radical in their criticisms and in their demands. That was true of the Russian Empire and of the Soviet Union, and it is very much true of Iran now, [Avraam] Shmulyevich says.

 

The US constitutional crisis, U.S. conflict with North Korea, continued Ukraine-Russia conflict and other geopolitical issues are expected to affect markets.

 

"Well, I think Russia’s moved from what you might call plausible deniability to implausible deniability."

-- H.R. McMaster, U.S. national security adviser

There is some hope that new activism among Russian young people and the efforts of Aleksey Navalny to point to corruption will combine with the American sanctions program to give Russia a new chance to escape from this third and generally unrecognized form of colonial dependence.

This will not lead to a good end for either Trump or Putin. And it also means that the immediate future at least becomes “unpredictable in principle” as the two try to cope with a situation neither wants to be in. Many international events won’t appear to be about this but will affect their relationship at least indirectly,” Pastukhov [pictured] says.

 

You may not agree with blogger David Archibald but he makes some interesting points

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