Russian President Vladimir Putin has given another of his…heavy-on-the-revisionist-history speeches. This time, he categorized the Great Northern War–the 18th century conflict that saw the Tsardom of Russia successfully challenge Sweden for Baltic superiority–as one where Russia “reclaimed” such territories as Estonia and Latvia. As with Moscow’s claims that places like Ukraine have always been a part of Russia, this is just simply not true.
But reality isn’t the point. Or rather, the Russian president is delivering a Russian “reality” to the bulk of the Russian people. This is primarily an insular conversation, where a strongman is trying to justify a war of expansion. But it also sends a warning to a Sweden and Finland that have already moved ahead to join NATO: we have beaten you in the past, we consider much of your neighborhood as properly our own, and don’t sleep too comfortably in your beds at night.
The latter might be a projection of Putin’s, or Russia’s, strategic anxieties but that doesn’t mean we should dismiss them out of hand. As seen in the graphic from my first book below, the Russia of today is not what we’d consider geographically secure. It is not an island power detached from mainland squabbles like Japan or the United Kingdom. Nor is it a mountain fortress like Iran. Russia is a vast territory–difficult and expensive to secure–and its more densely populated western core features multiple invasion routes for those who would be so inclined.
We will continue to post our analysis and updates on this and other topics related to the Ukraine War. This newsletter and its affiliated videologues are, and always will be, free. New subscribers can sign up here.
Finally, a reminder:
Russia’s strategic shift from thunder runs to a civilian obliteration has already forced ten million Ukrainians from their homes, with nearly four million now living in limbo in foreign lands. All proceeds from all formats of all of our previous books are being donated to the Afya Foundation, a charity which provides medical assistance to refugees from the Ukraine War.
The buttons below will direct you to our purchase pages where you can both find out a bit more about each book, as well as select purchase options ranging from e-services to your local bookstore.
Having difficulty keeping up with the chaotic and quickly-changing landscape of Russia sanctions and commodities markets or inflation?
We have been offering a series of in-depth presentations on various industries.
So far, we’ve tackled the challenges facing energy, agriculture, industrial materials and inflation. You can purchase access to the recordings of both of these webinars via the buttons below: