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Peter the Great on the Way!


RFS Pyotr Velikiy and his (my understanding is that Russians use the masculine in reference to naval vessels, but if anyone has clarification, please don’t hesitate) entourage set sail for Venezuela yesterday. Let’s hope he doesn’t break down along the way, as he did in exercises near Iceland, and in the exercises that resulted in the loss of Kursk. In other news, Russia is stepping up aid offers to Bolivia.

On this latter, am I wrong in thinking of this as a clumsy Russian effort to threaten the backyard of the United States, just as the United States can threaten the backyard of Russia? I have a longer post on this subject in the works, but I guess that I just don’t quite understand this effort; the United States can do things in the near abroad that actually threaten Russia (rebuilding the Georgian military, pressing for Georgian/Ukranian entry to NATO, building bigger and better missile shields, etc.) while Russia can do things in Latin America that mildly annoy the United States. While the Russians may expect these mild annoyances to deter the United States (Vladimir Irvingovitch Kristol whispering in Putin’s ear, perhaps?), I find it much more likely that the US will overreact and respond with more threatening behavior towards Russia, including those things that the Russians are trying to deter us from doing. Thoughts?

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