To my regret, I am very much in demand these days from various international broadcasters. Were it not for the ongoing crisis in relations between Russia and the Collective West over Ukraine, over Russian demands to radically revise the security architecture of Europe with the associated risk of an outbreak of war in Europe that could go horribly wrong, I would be left in peace to mind my wine collection in Brussels and to prepare our vegetable garden in our dacha plot south of Petersburg.
However, present day reality steals time from such pastimes and I am being asked to provide insights into the degree of risk to global peace day by day. Today I was invited by TRT Turkish international English language television to join their panel discussing the latest state of play in the unfolding crisis over Ukraine. My fellow panelists were an expert on deterrence and a researcher on Russian policy-making at the federal level. The high level of the panelists was matched by the very capable presenter and by the station’s technical staff.
It is my pleasure to offer the link to this half hour program:
Your comments will be most welcome.
Today was also a day when my latest observations on the U.S.-Russian negotiations in Geneva were picked up and disseminated in an analytical article published by a Belgian scholarly news portal. True, my name does not appear in the text, but an embedded link in the first paragraph of this lengthy article takes you straight to my latest piece entitled “Blinken and Lavrov Meeting.”
For those of you who are not comfortable with Dutch, the text is readily machine translatable by insertion into www.linguee.fr or via Google translate. I believe you will find this small effort is worthwhile.
I take particular satisfaction in this publication because of the company I keep there: a widely published American think tank expert, Anatol Lieven, and a director of the prestigious Royal Egmont Institute, Sven Biscop.
In the academic world, as in the business world, institutional affiliations count for a great deal. They are easier to rank than quality of output of any given researcher – writer, so that this bias for institutional names is understandable. I am able to break that rule for the simple reason of the added value I bring on my own, without prestigious affiliation. While my peers, including the two experts just named, are watching one another or are piled up on the scrimmage line of the day’s latest news from Western news providers, I am daily paying close attention to the Russian side of the equation. This entails close monitoring of Russian media as an indicator of the predisposition of Russian political, business and social elites. Those elites, of course, do not set policy in Russia, but they do set constraints on what policy makers above them can do, and occasionally provide a narrative to explain or justify decisions taken above on other grounds, for example Realpolitik, which is never popular in pure form. Moreover, as an occasional insider, as for example by participating in Russian domestic political talk shows, I know better than most academics who is who on the Russian side, and especially who may be acting as an unofficial spokesperson for the Kremlin to send us signals that should not be missed.
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022