MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin has signed a new military doctrine that describes NATO’s military buildup near the Russian borders as the top military threat amid Russia-West tensions over Ukraine.
The document released by the Kremlin maintains the provisions of the previous, 2010 edition of the military doctrine regarding the use of nuclear weapons. It says Russia could use nuclear weapons in retaliation to the use of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies, and also in case of aggression involving conventional weapons that “threatens the very existence” of the Russian state.
For the first time, the new doctrine says that Russia could use precision weapons “as part of strategic deterrent measures.” The document doesn’t spell out conditions for their use.
Russian President Vladimir Putin saved the country from falling apart, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said during the presentation of his new book ‘After the Kremlin.’ Gorbachev also commented on the situation in Ukraine and NATO expansion.
“I think all of us – Russian citizens – must remember that [Putin] saved Russia from the beginning of a collapse. A lot of the regions did not recognize our constitution. There were over a hundred local constitutional variations from that of the Russian constitution.” (RIA Novosti)
He added that saving Russia during that crucial period was a “historical deed.” Gorbachev remarked that he knew the Russian president before Putin took office, describing him as having good judgment and discipline.
Gorbachev: It’s up to Europe to prevent new Cold War between US and Russia
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The former Soviet leader recalled his meeting with US President George Bush Sr. in Malta on December 23, 1989. During the talks, which took place several weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the two leaders overcame their divisions and acknowledged the end of the Cold War.
The 83-year-old political veteran believes that it’s the White House which is to blame for the current tensions with the Kremlin. The Americans decided that they’ve won the Cold War and they are still intoxicated by this “triumph,” he said.
“I don’t want to praise the current Russian authorities too much. It also makes a lot of mistakes, but today the danger comes from the US stance,” Gorbachev said.
Russia went through extremely difficult times after the collapse of the USSR and the Americans took advantage of the situation, but now the situation has changed, Gorbachev said.
“It’s good that the president [Vladimir Putin] now cares about security, defense capability, development of new weapons and modernization of the military. We are now well armed. And if necessary we can strike back. But this isn’t the case right now. There are signs of a new Cold War and this process must be stopped.”
The right-leaning, conservative Heritage Foundation invited Peter Doran, director of research at former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Center for European Policy Analysis, and Ukrainian blogger Nikolay Vorobiov to join their Margaret Thatcher Fellow Luke Coffey to ask “what are the Obama administration, the European Union and NATO doing to support Ukraine’s national and territorial integrity?”
Duran started his statement by quoting from Henry Kissinger’s revealing interview in Der Spiegel, chiding the elder statesman for having suggested that Western powers did not understand Ukraine’s relationship with Russia when they decided to intervene.
Duran also disagrees with Kissinger’s remark that “nobody is willing to fight over eastern Ukraine,” declaring that in fact, “Russia can be stopped.” To achieve this goal, Duran suggests returning to a world order based on treaties rather than armies — apparently unaware of the military aggression behind America’s global interest. He advocates arming and training Ukrainian soldiers with “lethal military assistance,” the continuation of “crippling sanctions” to show Russia that there are costs when their actions impede on America’s interests in Eastern Europe, and the modernization of NATO to permanently occupy Eastern Europe.