Sunday, May 11, 2008

Why is Moscow showing its big guns?

Friday, May 9th, Russia celebrated its largest secular holiday, Victory Day which commemorates its WWII victory over Nazi Germany. For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Victory Day parade in Red Square included military hardware: tanks, mobile missile units, armored vehicles, and Topol missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The speech delivered by President Dmitry Medvedev to mark the occasion was softer in tone than the address given by his predecessor Vladimir Putin last year. Nevertheless, beyond being an opportunity to show renewed military strength, this display does raise several questions:
  1. Why now?
  2. What messages is Russia trying to send and to whom, and
  3. What implications do these messages have for other aspects of Russian interaction with the west.
For organizations seeking to establish business or social links in Russia, this signal is worth noting.

AP Article

Moscow Times Article

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