Collapse of the Soviet Union and revitalization of Russia

N. Lygeros

Even those who are not dealing with geopolitics and geostrategy consider that the collapse of the Soviet Union is self-evident. But, in these fields, we should always be cautious with the self-evident. We can certainly assert that the USA diversion movement with the Star Wars program had weakened the military equipment of the Soviet Union forcing its economy to reach its limits. This, however, is not sufficient to give a full answer to the question of the collapse of the Soviet Union, nor does it explain the recent revitalization of Russia. The Soviet Union may have fallen into the trap of this trick, but this does not mean that its military equipment was no longer satisfactory. It proceeded with the discovery of the hydrogen bomb without waiting for the USA. No one can question the success of the S-300, especially now that the S-400 has been developed. As regards the Sukhoi aircrafts, examining both the manufacturing as well as the selling dates, one can see that they speak for themselves: Su-30 [1989-1996], Su-33 [1985-1994], Su-34 [1990-2007], Su-35 [1988-1996]. And the same goes for the MIG. Some analysts may criticize their technology, but the preference for vacuum tubes instead of transistors secures greater resistance to the electronic anti-measures even in a nuclear environment. The rockets with a speed of Mach 3 are of Soviet origin. More generally speaking, the redeployment of Russia is based on the soviet background as well as on the military equipment, without this reducing the contribution of the energy system in the field of geopolitics. However, we should also examine the purely political aspect of the case in order to perceive the causes. For many years, the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union had been based on the first-strike theory which does not hold up in a game theory analysis in zero-sum situations. And as the second strike is inevitable, the dispute resulted in the 1972 ABM Treaty which is a special case of Nash equilibrium. Nevertheless, the political context still remains the main factor. Therefore, any analysis of the collapse of the Soviet Union that does not include the contribution and the consequences of Perestroika and Glasnost, necessarily remains vulnerable. The political analysis of this case shows the background of the mental schemata that explain the collapse of the Soviet Union and the revitalization of Russia. The core of the collapse is the collapse of the communist system that did not bear its own burden when put into practice. But as the economic distribution was especially imbalanced, and this appeared when there were no more communist pretexts, the destruction of the political core did not have as destructive consequences on the extensions that acted de facto outside the communist framework and composed in practice the efficiency of the system as a whole. In other words, this approach proves that the expression “collapse of the Soviet Union”, though self-evident, is wrong and it conceals the real mental schema which is the collapse of the communist system. This small differentiation in the geopolitical field explains both the past and the future of a phase change, i.e. it offers stronger hermeneutic possibilities of the phenomenon.

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