Feature

A new and dangerous kind of superpower

The week's news at a glance.

Russia

Petruska Sustrova
Lidove Noviny (Czech Republic)

Russia is once again a serious threat to the West, said Petruska Sustrova in Prague’s Lidove Noviny. Most Western Europeans naïvely assumed that when the Soviet Union fell apart, Russians would behave like Eastern Europeans, eagerly embracing the democratic freedoms long denied them. And that was true—at first, under Boris Yeltsin. But since Vladimir Putin took power, in 2000, Russia has returned to its old, aggressive ways. Putin “is leading Russia toward a new greatness.” Only this time, it won’t be “the greatness of a mastodon that can impress Europe only by the striking force of its armies,” as in the 19th century. And it won’t be the greatness of an empire with obedient satellites across the world, as in the Communist era. Instead, Putin is building an economic behemoth out of Russia’s oil and gas reserves. Last winter, when he cut gas supplies to Ukraine, the move was meant as a warning to all the world that Russia has new weapons, economic weapons. “Wake up,” Europe. Russia does not want to be “like us.” It has rejected human rights as an alien, Western construct. That is why we should be alarmed that “Russia already is, and will continue to be, a superpower.”

Recommended

Russia's failed Ukraine river crossing has pro-Russia war bloggers griping
Failed Russian river crossing
Losing faith

Russia's failed Ukraine river crossing has pro-Russia war bloggers griping

Sweden joins Finland in signaling imminent NATO membership bid
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson
'a new era begins'

Sweden joins Finland in signaling imminent NATO membership bid

Russia has lost a third of its invasion force, U.K. intelligence says
Ukrainian soldiers
heavy losses

Russia has lost a third of its invasion force, U.K. intelligence says

10 things you need to know today: May 15, 2022
Supermarket in Buffalo, New York
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 15, 2022

Most Popular

The trouble with running against the 'MAGA King'
Donald Trump.
Samuel Goldman

The trouble with running against the 'MAGA King'

Abortion rights protests kick off planned 'summer of rage'
Abortion rights protest in Washington, D.C.
in the streets

Abortion rights protests kick off planned 'summer of rage'

Texas court: Investigations of parents of trans kids can resume
Texas Governor Greg Abbot
Meanwhile in Texas

Texas court: Investigations of parents of trans kids can resume