This is coolbert:
From a comment to the blog:
"You are surprised Russia is pushing back . . . Maybe it's in the Russkies character to play hard guy when they can. Still, we have been baiting them for quite a while now and they react."
I first must say that I am mildly surprised by the current resurgence of Russia. For a period of almost two decades, the once "super-power" [at least in the form of the old Soviet Union] has been moribund. Seemingly down and out for the count, with a variety of difficulties, to include an unfavorable demographic problem [a smaller percentage of the population that is of Slavic origin/a sickly population unfit for military service] for which there is no reasonable resolution.
I also think the question should be asked - - is this new found assertiveness part of an overall plan - - long-term in nature - - or is it merely a reaction to behavior on the part of "west" that the Russians find to be intolerable?
Long-range aviation [Tu-95] "reconnaissance" flights. Development of hypersonic re-entry vehicles. Forceful incursion into Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Thinly veiled threats against Poland. Advanced weapons development and sales of same to Iran and India [BrahMos]. Staking claim on a goodly part of the Arctic Ocean. Denial of the Katyn Massacre, six thousand [6,000] ex-KGB in positions of power, Etc.
The list could go on and on! Machinations already occurring - - more to follow!
From the time of Ivan the Terrible until the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia was an expansionist Imperial power. The current rulers in the Kremlin again see themselves as inheritors of Czarist tradition? NOT ONLY maintaining the status quo, but acting on the world stage as SPOILERS!! Desirous to once again be a world power to be reckoned with?
Reaction on the part of the Russian to transpiring events - - OR - - part of a master plan - - orchestrated from the Kremlin - - OR a combination of both!!??
NOT surprisingly, defectors from the old communist eastern bloc tend to be very pessimistic in their appreciations of the Russians, warning of potentially dire consequences if this new found aggressiveness is not properly understood or countered!
Various secret services and "experts" are now trying to determine the intentions of the "Bear".