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Viewpoint: The Current Russian Conundrum

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Viewpoint: The Current Russian Conundrum

Retrieved from http://www.newstatesman.com

Retrieved from http://www.newstatesman.com

Retrieved from http://www.newstatesman.com

Retrieved from http://www.newstatesman.com

Cal U'Ren, Sports Reporter

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Russia has long been considered a world superpower, fitting within the ranks as our own country on the global hierarchy. Our countries’ relationship with The Kremlin has regressed after a promising relationship was build throughout the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, and it should stay this way.

Russia has been at the forefront of our political news coverage in the past year largely due to the presidential election and their intervention with a cyber attack. After disregarding political views, viewing the purposeful attempt to sabotage a democratic institution’s process should be incredibly alarming to anyone. Many Americans have a visceral dislike for Russia already, due to our historical relations, but with actions like these how can they progress for the better? Not only is it a criminal offense on a massive scale but it shows that their government isn’t afraid to cross lines to achieve their goals, this alone is problematic.

Under Vladimir Putin, the rapacious policies and action towards an autocratic government have been unprecedented. Since his rise to power as President of the Russian Federation, Putin has consistently exhibited disdain for opposition, aggressive political tendencies, and distrust of the United States Government. The flaws within the Russian democracy are innumerable; with corruption plaguing the system it’s now imperative our country does not let the same occur. Letting another country directly undermine our own sovereignty without repercussions is something the current executive branch is willing to do, which is unacceptable.

President Donald Trump has sparked his own national outcry for obvious reasons, but his pandering to The Kremlin doesn’t seem to be a focal point among opposition to his administration. Not only is it unwarranted, but it also blatantly ignores the transgressions of their countries’ government against ours during the past decade. As a global power we will always be forced to work with countries that don’t directly align with our societal values or political interests, however, that doesn’t mean we should conform to the flaws in their system.

In recent years the world has watched as Russia annexed territory in Ukraine for strategic gain, breaking countless international laws. Their country also maintained a penchant for murdering journalists that speak out against Putin’s administration, most notably Anna Politkovskaya in 2006, and Boris Nemtsov in 2015. There are countless other instances that exemplify the abhorrent nature of their leadership, yet throughout all of this Russian support for Putin has hardly wavered. This is largely due to an impressive economic growth in their middle class and the reclamation of their dominant status in the world. Until their currency (the ruble) plummeted in 2014 it had largely been smooth sailing for Putin, allowing him to turn his political eye elsewhere in the world. A natural target was the U.S. of course, and once again Putin appears to have gotten his wish granted.

A cohesive relationship with another powerful country could bring a multitude of benefits, but it’s clear from Russia’s actions that their own desired objectives will always be paramount. The ploys to work with the Trump administration have faltered recently, but the intentions behind their actions remain nonetheless. Now, more than ever, is not the time to bow to Russia.

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