Russian leaders see the protests in Ukraine as part of a Western plot. For them, color revolutions are not manifestations of popular will but a new form of warfare invented by Western governments seeking to remove independently minded national governments. They have argued that this is part of a global strategy to force foreign values on a range of nations around the world that refuse to accept U.S. hegemony, and that Russia was a particular target of this strategy.
The first Cold War was the result of the total opposition of two systems. This likely second Cold War, meanwhile, is simply the result of conflicting U.S. and Russian interests. It is a conflict that has spiraled out of control due to serious political mistakes, arrogance and lack of foresight on both sides. How long will this second Cold War last, and how will it end? There is a widespread belief among Chinese experts that the Ukrainian crisis has given China a 10-year "strategic break" in its clash with the U.S. This view is likely close to the truth.
General Valery Gerasimov writes about how "a perfectly thriving state can, in a matter of months and even days, be transformed into an arena of fierce armed conflict, become a victim of foreign intervention, and sink into a web of chaos, humanitarian catastrophe, and civil war." This is achieved, Gerasimov writes, by "the broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other non-military measures applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population." The goal is "to create a permanently operating front through the entire territory of the enemy state."
"It has been an invasion that is already well in place. It is detrimental to managing the situation to play along with the transparent falsehood that the Russians are putting out that they have not invaded Ukraine. Putin is not only looking to the past instead of the future. Worse, he is looking to the past as a model for the future."
Russia has produced innumerable chess grandmasters, and its president for life, Vladimir Putin, is no exception. Picture him brooding silently over the geopolitical chessboard as he planned his latest move -- the weekend's swift, stunning, and unprovoked invasion of Crimea. His boldness took America and Europe by surprise and gave Putin a decided advantage at the match's start.