Cultural Revolutions

Threatened Security

Russian security is threatened in the east as well as in the south and west (through NATO expansion).  In an interview in Moscow’s elite-oriented Nezavisimaya Gazeta on April 25, Prof. Vilya Gelbras of Moscow State University’s Asia and Africa Institute called Russia’s East Siberia and Far East regions the “weakest link” in the “system” of Russian “state security.”

That’s quite a claim for a country fighting a bloody war with Muslim “holy warriors” in Chechnya.  In fact, Moscow is threatened with the expansion of Islamic radicalism all along its southern border, from Central Asia to Georgia.  Nevertheless, Gelbras claims that the ongoing depopulation of Russia (about a million people per year), especially in Siberia and the Far East, combined with the burgeoning population of a dynamic, aggressive China, represents the chief long-term threat to Russian security.

The region is simply being overrun by illegal Chinese immigrants, a reflection of the huge population disparity in the Russian-Chinese border regions and of the market for cheap consumer goods in the poverty-stricken Russian hinterlands.  (Most Chinese illegals are traders or work in small-scale production, often owned and operated by their fellow countrymen, according to Russian media sources.)  China, with over one billion people, has a population of 106 million...

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