The Sochi Winter Olympics approaching, Russia faces a cold irony in the global arena, perhaps wondering if the Olympic torch has come to ignite the spirit of winning with renewed perseverance, or has it come to simply push Russia back into the void of the unyielding Cold War once again.
Apparently Russia has been having a tough time with US interference in its internal affairs for a long time now. In September, 2012, Russia had to kick out a $60 million annual budget of the USAID meant for Russia, alleging that the money was being used to fund NGOs that work to undermine the relatively conservative Russian values and her political process.
“We are talking about attempts through the issuing of grants to affect the course of political processes, including elections on various levels, and institutions of civil society,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said. (Source)
Months after Putin had regained victory in election in 2012, thousands of protestors including leftists, liberals and gay activists marched down Moscow’s tree-lined boulevards chanting “Russia without Putin!” amidst allegation of massive fraud in the votes. Putin had to take a tougher stance; he ordered all NGOs receiving foreign funds and engaged in vaguely defined political activity must now register as “foreign agents”.
Another headache for Kremlin has been the ‘Pussy Riot’ a Russian feminist punk rock protest group that advocates feminism and LGBT rights; opposes Putin’s policies, calling him a dictator and a supporter of the Russian Orthodox Church. The bottom line being; a West adamant at tearing apart the social fabric of the Russian society as it stands, trying all it might, to break their balance between modernism and values that conserve a society from deteriorating.
It may surprise many how several international organizations like the Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch, the Freedom House and so on, have gathered together around the Pussy Riot, voicing their cause, and condemning the Kremlin for barring freedom of expression and human rights, and how scores of western artist including Madonna and Brain Adams voicing support for their release.
The Pussy Riot dilemma had not ended yet that another insult was thrown towards the Russians; the gay-issue midst the up-coming Sochi games.
The Kremlin had signed Article 6.21 this year which bans gay activism and propaganda in the Russian public sphere, it says:[Propaganda is the act of distributing information among minors that 1) is aimed at the creating nontraditional sexual attitudes, 2) makes nontraditional sexual relations attractive, 3) equates the social value of traditional and nontraditional sexual relations, or 4) creates an interest in nontraditional sexual relations.]
This law does not ban nontraditional sex itself but only its propagation in public. But the West is not content at this at all; the US, France and Germany have announced to not send their presidents to the Sochi Winter Olympics and instead the US delegations will include two homosexual athletes to mark the Olympics with the rainbow flag, hence sending the message of ‘end of religion’ for Russia and the world at large.
John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada, wrote to Sergey Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, ‘In the lead-up to Sochi, Canada remains concerned about the legislation passed in June 2013 that places a ban on the ‘propagandizing of non-traditional sexual relations among minors’.
One needs ask what is Baird’s interest in compulsively exposing minors to transgender, and how will that make the world a better place?
All this going and Russia yet hit by another catastrophe; two bombings in two days! The first killing 16 people and injuring another 50 in a suicide bombing at a railway station in the southern Russian city of Volgograd, and the second killing at least 14 people and injuring dozens more, in the bombing of a crowded trolleybus.
The Guardian reports :
‘…the Russian national anti-terrorist committee said the explosion was presumed to have been caused by a female suicide bomber… One report identified the perpetrator as a Dagestani woman by the name of Oksana Aslanova, widow of a militant.’
‘Volgograd was the scene of a blast two months ago on a crowded bus, an attack also blamed on a female suicide bomber from Dagestan, a few hundred miles from Volgograd.’
‘Militants fighting to create an Islamic emirate in the North Caucasus started using women to conduct bombing attacks in the late 1990s… many of them young widows of militants killed in action. The women have come to be known as the “black widows”.’
The Guardian reports :
‘Police believe Sunday’s attack was perpetrated by a male suicide bomber… a doctor, Pavel Pechenkin, was a prime suspect… Pechenkin reportedly hails from the Mari republic on the Volga River, 500 miles east of Moscow. He reportedly converted to Islam a few years ago and went to Dagestan to join local militants. His parents went there to search for him, but in vain.’
Therefore now, Russia is to be under pressure for harboring terrorist upon its soil too. That also Islamic terrorist! Those that are a threat to the security and peace of the whole world! One would suspect that this is the old trick of the West, it never misses, to malign Islam and its followers, but one must not forget that all of Russia departed states to the south are of Muslim majority and so is its cherished ally Iran, whom it seems to be losing fast at the hands of its old-time Cold War adversary. So having Russia to admit the threat as ‘Islamic’ may be equivalent to alienating Russia from all its immediate neighbors to the south, when its west is already vulnerable.
In any case, the terror has come at dire time with the Sochi Olympics at hand; analysts have been quick in associating the bombings, as a preliminary, to the Olympic events. It is yet to be seen, whether Sochi is bringing the crown of the Olympics to Russia or if it is to push Russia to a checkmate, in the fast changing global scheme.
Discuss this topic on Defence.pk