Vladimir Putin may have come from the KGB. But there arguably exists aspirations which are far away and removed from anything the Soviet Union set out to achieve.
Allow me to paint a picture...
Very soon, Russia's invasion of Ukraine will commence. Complete control of Ukraine is not Putin's objective, but neither will it stop there.
There are even now reports of the Russian army stationed in Moldava beginning maneuvers. It is altogether possible that Ukraine could be faced with invasion along two fronts.
Ukraine is needed not to solidify Russia's annexation of Crimea, but to establish an uncontested highway for troops and materiel to be transported to the south and west. Poland? Likely it has barely figured into Putin's strategy. Poland will not be a factor. Putin is aiming for something far more than re-establishing the borders of Soviet domination during the Cold War.
The Russian army now has free and clear dominion across the north and northwest of the Black Sea. Next on the agenda: Romania. Which may or may not acquiesce to Russia's military movements. When Putin's goals are made clear (perhaps by diplomatic channels) Romania will gladly afford the Russian army to pass through what could be called the "Carpathian Corridor".
And so too might Bulgaria, and then Greece, quickly rally to give passage to the Russian armed forces. Political boundaries will yield to common cultural ties. The entire region along the western Aegean Sea is now firmly under Russian control.
It will not be very long before entire divisions of soldiers, tanks, supply lines and reserves are sitting along the border of Thrace.
Ukraine? Putin is aiming far higher than that. Ukraine just happens to be in the way.
Because Russia has now positioned itself to take the true prize. The prize that has been the ultimate goal of Russia - and Orthodoxy in general - for nearly half a millennium:
The city once known as Constantinople. The shining jewel of Orthodoxy, until it was conquered by Ottoman Turks led by Sultan Mehmed II in 1453.
Putin knows that he must act soon. Even now it is being actively discussed in Ankara that Haggia Sophia be turned once again into a Muslim mosque. Haggia Sophia, which until the fall of Constantinople was the crowning architectural achievement of Orthodoxy as well
as it's spiritual focal point in the earthly realm
Haggia Sophia is now a
museum. But to make it a mosque anew?
The Russian - and Greek - Orthodox
will NEVER tolerate it.
And then Putin makes the final play of his long game:
the re-taking of Constantinople. Russian Orthodoxy's long-dreamt
re-conquest of Constantinople from the heirs of the hated Ottomans. The
restoration of Haggia Sophia as a church.
It has long been said in Russia that Rome was the
first, Constantinople is the second Rome. Moscow is the third. "A
fourth there shall not be."
The Third Rome, after more than four and a half centuries, is readying itself to retake the Second.
Vladimir Putin could very well deem himself the man who is destined to achieve Russia's longest, most lusted-after goal.
It is almost certainly a thought that Putin has seriously contemplated during the past several months and years. For sure, it has been at least a lingering thought these past few weeks.
Think that western Europe will try to intervene? In the two and a half decades since the fall of communism, Russia has come to control more than 1/3rd of natural gas and petroleum products throughout the European Union. Putin merely has to threaten to shut down the pipelines and most of Europe will not be in a position to negotiate with him.
Meanwhile, the troops and tanks are set to roll across the border of westernmost Turkey.
And then they do.
The Second Siege of Constantinople has begun.
It has now gone from clear provocation to full-scale war between Russia and Turkey.
In addition to Istanbul itself, Russia and Turkey especially fight for control of the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits. The Dardanelles will likely be the secondary objective after entering Thrace. If Russia succeeds in taking Istanbul - and it most certainly will - Putin will have effective control over the entire Black Sea region apart from northern Turkey.
All to reclaim Constantinople. To at long last punish the Turks for the desecration of Haggia Sophia.
It could be the single largest open conflict between Christendom and Islam in hundreds of years.
This is the scenario that I have seen could possibly unfold.
Time will tell.
The game that really lets you battle Hell on Earth! Guaranteed to send Dianne Feinstein into a frothing frenzy, make Chuck Schumer...
If you have small children anywhere in the vicinity, please have them leave. Because there are going to be things that I say here, and imag...
The other night I happened to catch Ghost Hunters on the Sci-Fi Channel. It’s an hour-long show that follows the members of TAPS ( T he A...
Law enforcement officials at the scene of the explosion, June 3rd 1985 Within minutes the skies turned a roiling black. Rain, and then...