Today Russia is confronted by the West which is largely demoralized by its own blunders and no longer a source of moral supremacy and appeal for most people in the world. Sided with Moscow is the rising “non-West” that comprises the majority of countries and most dynamic economies.
What has been done since 2008 can probably be considered the most ambitious, consistent and effective military reform in Russia. The decisive turn from the traditional mobilizational army allowed Russia to create permanent and high readiness forces well adapted for operation in the post-Soviet region.
If the international community fails to establish acceptable and understandable rules of international behavior in the context of “revolutionary challenges,” the world may slip into a new round of global confrontation, which will be caused not by systemic contradictions but by vain disregard for real common threats.
The importance of the Northern Sea Route is not in trying to make it a new Suez Canal, but in giving a boost to the development of service industries (mainly high-tech industries) and adjacent regions, as well as in opening one more window of opportunity for Russia’s integration into the global world.
Although the bipolar Cold-War-style mentality is still quite widespread among the rulers of Russian society, it is not a fundamental feature of their global viewpoint. Rather, Russia’s sense of being insulted and disappointed after it failed to join the “premier league” is behind this mindset.
But sooner or later all crises come to an end, and life goes on. As such, the time is ripe to think of how Russia will build a relationship with the outside world “after Ukraine.”