From Lenin’s Communism (which didn’t work); problems with Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Andropov, the Cold War; Chernobyl (the worst nuclear reactor disaster in history); and the present seemingly black-mail over gas and oil; indicates that Russia is comfortable with unrealistic actions and refusal to work with other nations to make earth a better place to live.
High school classes in economics teach that communism is an ineffective form of government that fails because it kills the initiative of the people. In Russia it appears that being a supper power is far more important than caring for its citizens. To the Russian government a slogan ‘world peace’ is less important than the slogan ‘down with America and the West’.
Vladimir Lenin was the first Premier of the Soviet Union (1917). Joseph Stalin became General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party in 1922 and his policies and leadership were based on Marxist-Leninist ideology. He transformed Russia from a nation based on agriculture to a global superpower. Some write that Stalin was indirectly or directly responsible for the death of millions of Russians.
Nikita Khrushchev’s leadership (1953-1964) established the Warsaw Pact to counter the perceived threat from NATO. He led the Soviet space program that launched Sputnik 1. He played a large role in deployment of missiles in Cuba, causing the Cuban missile crisis. He then insured the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
In 1964 Leonid Brezhnev moved into power. He supported the North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War. He legitimized domination over Eastern and Central Europe with the signing of the Helsinki Act in 1975. He saw Russia reach the peak of its strategic and world power with the signing of the SALT 1 treaty.
In 1982 Yuri Andropov became General Secretary of the Communist Party. His rule saw the weakening of relations with the United States, which worsened when Soviet fighters downed a civilian jet liner.
It seems that historically Russia has placed more importance on being a supper power than caring for its own people and getting along with the rest of the world. It was reported that when the Russian K-141 nuclear attack submarine Krusk sank in August 2000, President Putin apparently confronted President Clinton with a threat of firing nuclear missiles at America. Clinton is reported defusing the incident by cancelling a multi-billon dollar debt owed by Russia.
Chernobyl: (the abandoned city). In the town of Pripyat, 16 km from Chernobyl is located the Chernobyl nuclear power station, which is the site of the worst nuclear reactor disaster in world history. An ignorant unauthorized test of one of the plant’s four reactors, obviously by unqualified persons, resulted in an uncontrolled chain reaction in the core of the reactor. Emergency backup systems were disabled.
The next day a tremendous explosion occurred and resulted in large quantities of radioactive gases and particles being spread throughout the northern hemisphere, including Ukraine, Finland and Sweden, Moldova, parts of Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria, the Slovak Republic, Yugoslavia, Finland, Bulgaria, Norway, Romania, Germany Poland, United Kingdom, Lithuania, Poland, Italy and even Japan. Perhaps this was of little concern to the Russian government.
Millions of people were affected in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. The World Health Organization estimates that the total radioactivity from Chernobyl is 200 times that of the combine releases from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The overall problems are much greater than the official estimates and the truth will likely never be known.
There is no safe level of radiation exposure. Today in many countries there is a restriction of production, transportation, and consumption of food because of fallout contamination. The full terrible effects of this Russian disaster will never be known. Exposure to ionizing radiation can cause cancer in almost every organ in the body. The time period between exposure to radiation and the appearance of cancer can be 50 to 60 years. The mental health impact of this disaster is terrible.
Ian Fairlie, PhD, UK and David Summer, Dphil, UK (in their article, “The Other Report”) wrote, “Our overall conclusion is that the unprecedented extent of the disaster and its long-term global environmental, health and socio-economic consequences should be full acknowledged and taken into account by governments when considering their energy policies”.
Chernobyl is not the only reactor and nuclear accident the Russians have experienced. From July 1961 to date there have been several naval reactor and nuclear accidents, including the sinking of the nuclear submarine Krusk. These accidents involved refueling, repairing, and constructing.
Russian expertise and safety standards appear very substandard for an area as serious as radiation exposure.
Russians leaders need to show great concern for everyone everywhere. It appears that Russia wants to build 40 new reactors during the next twenty years. The goal is to produce 100% of Russia’s electricity by nuclear power. The purpose of this is so that Russian can export most of its natural gas. The reason for this is to give Russia a powerful foreign-policy tool as Russia pressures the Western Europeans, who desperately need the natural gas. (Info from Nathan Hodge and Sharon Weinberger ‘A Nuclear Family Vacation in Russia’ – ‘The Atom Works for Peace’).
Besides boasting a plan to build 40 new nuclear reactors in Russia, it seems Russia has big plans to also make nuclear energy a top Russian export. Russia wants to create affordable new reactors for countries that can not afford to even consider developing one reactor. One concept is the “floating nuclear power plant”, which is a nuke on a barge that will be operated by Russian crews (specialists). Remember Russia has many years of experience with naval reactors and any country that buys a “floating” nuclear plant has no need to provide any specialist. These poor countries just lease a nuclear plant with full support from Russia; with little assurance that Russia really has the needed expertise to insure nuclear safety.
Russia’s past safety record is lousy and now Russia wants to furnish the world with nuclear energy packages that include Russian specialists.
Today Russia is siding with Iran with its nuclear ambitions…as Russia furnishes Iran with assistance. This should make a logical person question who will actually control Iran’s nuclear-fuel cycle.
On the other hand there could be a “dream come true”. If Russia and the U.S. could work together to prevent proliferation among other countries, the world could experience lasting world peace.
Recently, Mr. Putin mocked the U.S. missile defense plan, Russian renewed its Bear-H patrols to American borders. In Sep 07, Bill Gertz wrote that Russian strategic nuclear bombers conducted a practice exercise that involved a simulated cruise missile attack on the U.S.
President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other government leaders continue to call for nations through out the world to join together and insist that the U.N. do what is necessary to halt Iran’s nuclear activities. Iran’s president seems to just laugh at the world as he continues to seemly our smart everyone with his tough talk. Perhaps he really is the world’s smartest psychologist.
Over and over Iranian leaders repeat that “Israel must be eliminated from the face of the earth”. Most people seem to feel that Israel takes these threats seriously. President Bush stated that the U.S. will defend Israel if it is attacked with missiles. Israel seems to understand that there is no assurance that an Israeli attack on Iran could eliminate Iran’s nuclear program and threat. Israel has also attempted to assure all concerned that Israel has the ability to cause tremendous damage to Iran’s nuclear program with either a nuclear or non nuclear attack. Israel has also tried hard to convince the world that Israel will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. It should be the U.N. and not Israel that prevents Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
It seems that Russia will side with Iran? It seems clear today that Mr. Ahmadinejad wants to be the Islamic leader in the region. Is he willing to lead or does he just want the title “leader”?
It’s sad that too many people of the world seem to have a short memory. Millions are still alive that should remember situations and actions that lead to WWII.
Wake up world!