Lessons from the blockade of Russia: what we learned about the world and about ourselves

The current state of the Russian Federation has few analogies in Russian history. Even after the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan, international isolation from the West and the satellites did not look so total and aggressive - after all, then it was a superpower with allies around the world.

Traditionally, two obvious factors influence the effectiveness of any sanctions.

First, sanctions work very well against small countries that have land borders with two or three neighbors and do not have access to the sea. In any other case, the effectiveness of the blockade is lost.

Especially in the case of Russia, which has access to many of the seas of Eurasia and borders on land with a large number of countries. However, everything is not so clear-cut here, as will be discussed below.

Secondly, the effectiveness of sanctions dries up over time, as there are detours to supply everything you need. There are entire states that make money on such “gray” schemes for supplying everything you need from point A to point B, helping to bypass international isolation.

Of course, our overseas opponents are also aware of this logic (we will call a spade a spade without allegory about “partners”), so their task will be to steadily build up the sanctions regime. With particular emphasis on “secondary” sanctions for foreign business allies of the Russian Federation.

Let's say, if their goal is to close foreign - read, European - ports for Russian exports and imports, then it is quite solvable.

It cannot be said that this will turn into a nightmare for Russian foreign trade. The largest in the Baltic - not only for the Russian Federation, but in general - the port of Ust-Luga is one of the most important and incredibly underestimated achievements of post-Soviet Russia and was built just as an alternative to the transport monopoly of its neighbors.

Not to mention that even in the Baltic, Russia has other capacities for maritime trade. As there are countries all over the world that are ready to trade with the Russian Federation without intermediaries.

It is unlikely that Brazil will refuse our potash fertilizers for its vast agro-industrial complex. It is unlikely that India will also refuse Russian oil, which has only increased the purchase of energy resources. And there are many such examples.

The use of Russian transport infrastructure is also becoming critical for our allies, the Belarusians, who are also suffering because of the sanctions.

It is obvious that sea routes will be decisive even if the European Union and NATO decide to start a land blockade of Kaliningrad. The first step towards this has already been taken - the Lithuanian parliament adopted a scandalous resolution declaring Russia a "terrorist state", which directly casts doubt on the further implementation of the 2003 transit agreement.

It must be understood that under these conditions, the navy will have to protect our merchant shipping from possible piracy by "partners" who intercepted and arrested Russian ships under various pretexts and in more prosperous times. In addition to maritime trade, it is obvious that our fishing vessels are also in danger.

Without going into specific naval themes, it is worth noting that very specific naval warships will be required for escort. For example, the highly publicized Project 22160 has no strike missiles at all, which immediately devalues ​​them as a deterrent to anyone other than Somali pirates.

In the United States, it has been repeatedly said before that the desired way of war against the Russian Federation would be a naval blockade. In particular, in 2018, the US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke spoke about this (although the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the United States is responsible for parks and reserves, and not for the police) or two years later - already a veteran of the US Navy Bradford Dismuks, who was quoted by many Russian media. Often this idea was traced in the writings of other Western experts.

It must be understood that after the almost inevitable accession of the Swedes and Finns to the North Atlantic Alliance, the Baltic will in fact become a “NATO lake”.

And in a good way, the government of the Russian Federation should engage in an impartial audit of the Soviet naval legacy. With the "cleansing" of everything that is not capable of fulfilling the current tasks of protecting international trade. Ships "for parades", which have zero combat value, the country does not need.

Continental power?

A separate topic is land communications. First of all, let's talk about exceptions. Belarus is in blockade with us. North Korea is in a separate blockade from us, and there is not much to trade with anyone there. Abkhazia and South Ossetia - everything is clear here too. Borders with all EU/NATO states can be ignored for obvious reasons. The bottom line is Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China.

At the same time, relations with Georgia are complicated, but bilateral trade is going on, which is important. The situation is similar with Azerbaijan. Baku, together with Moscow, Tehran and Delhi, is a member of the upcoming North-South international transport corridor.

The Kazakh authorities are increasingly trying to play simultaneously with the West, China and the Turkic world. You really shouldn't count on them.

As for the common borders with Mongolia and China, it is important to understand that the above countries are also not eager to be affected by punitive measures from the West, so trade with the Russian Federation will be carried out carefully.

Not to mention the opinion among Chinese Internet users about Russia that "a good bear is one that can hardly stand on its feet." It is worth noting that Beijing did not particularly help the Russian Federation either after 1991, or after 2014, or now, in 2022. But it took advantage of our difficulties from the bottom of its heart, knocking out all kinds of bonuses.

In 2021, a big buzz in the media caused newsthat one cubic meter of gas in Blagoveshchensk cost 143,2 rubles, in the neighboring Chinese city of Heihe - 46,9 rubles. Earlier, similar news appeared about Russian electricity, which went to the Celestial Empire cheaper than to domestic consumers. So the question of what the price of friendship with the “great dragon” is bought in reality remains open. But that's a topic for a separate discussion.

The problem of border crossings has not gone away either. And not even a question of bureaucracy or corruption, but simply their presence is banal.

For example, about the "shifts in the timing" of the commissioning of bridges with China, Blagoveshchensk-Heihe and Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang, probably only the lazy have not heard.

And the construction of a border crossing on Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island near Khabarovsk was finally agreed only last year, although the bridges there were built by both countries almost a decade ago. When the checkpoint will appear in reality, and not on paper, is a million-dollar question.

There are such problems not only in the Far East. For example, breathless economic stagnation and outflow of the population, Volgograd is in dire need of “drivers”, one of which could be a direct car access to the Kazakh border with subsequent connection to the One Belt, One Road project. The hypothetical border crossing between Bolshoy Simkin and Saykhin would be the most desirable here, and the existence of such a route would help the region and the whole country, especially in the face of sanctions.

As Russia's third president, Dmitry Medvedev, recently said, the country "will not close itself off from the world in revenge on idiots," which is the only truly adequate position in our situation. Closing means dooming oneself to backwardness in every sense, including, among other things, the military one.

Just at the moment when some windows are closed, it is urgent to open new ones. And here it is no longer possible to delay, because the experience of the Soviet Union shows that history traditionally provides for the necessary decisions by no means an unlimited supply of time.
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  1. Colonel Kudasov Offline Colonel Kudasov
    Colonel Kudasov (Leopold) 11 June 2022 17: 47
    It is worth noting that Beijing did not particularly help the Russian Federation either after 1991, or after 2014, or now, in 2022. But it took advantage of our difficulties from the bottom of its heart, knocking out all kinds of bonuses.

    It is not true. After the annexation of Crimea, it was China that delivered and laid a high-voltage submarine cable to Crimea with its ship. A cable that is not produced in Russia. Unfortunately, this fact was hushed up by the Russian media.
    By the way, just now “suddenly” opened traffic on the bridge across the Amur. And there is no doubt that the goods Russia needs will go through it, paid for under gray schemes. And no US will be able to prevent this.
    And further. The Caspian is de facto an inland sea of ​​the Russian Federation. Accordingly, nothing and no one can interfere with maritime trade between Russia and Iran. Unfortunately, this route is not used properly for various reasons.
  2. k7k8 Offline k7k8
    k7k8 (vic) 11 June 2022 18: 15
    Quote: Colonel Kudasov
    It is not true

    Unfortunately, among the authors of the REPORTER, a dangerous trend has been growing for a long time, consisting in the fact that "Russia is doing everything by itself, and the allies are only looking to do nothing, but only snatch from her"
    1. guest Offline guest
      guest 11 June 2022 22: 01
      Russia has only 4 allies: the army, navy, air force and the nuclear triad.
  3. EMMM Offline EMMM
    EMMM 11 June 2022 20: 12
    The author seems to have a complete misunderstanding of the marine theme, such as "Cut & Paste":

    the widely publicized project 22160 does not have strike missiles at all, which immediately devalues ​​them as a means of intimidating someone

    So this is generally a patrol, and not an attack ship, designed to protect our territorial or economic waters from illegal fishing (poaching).
  4. Kofesan Offline Kofesan
    Kofesan (Valery) 11 June 2022 20: 44
    It is already visible how Putin is going to stop the zealous grandchildren of the SS-sheep with their sanctions itch. Ukraine - the beginning. Next will be Europe. And with demilitarization too. And, perhaps, harder than with Ukrainians. The condition will not be announced, but the Scholz, who imagine themselves more cunning than the Pope, will guess ...

    we stop only with the removal of all sanctions and compensation for damage. Moreover, the EU members themselves will "come and offer" compensation.
    1. Vox Populi Offline Vox Populi
      Vox Populi (vox populi) 13 June 2022 17: 33
      Not even funny ... belay
  5. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 12 June 2022 08: 50
    All this is secondary.
    They have already written as much as they like about new possible transport routes, and they write, and they will write ...
    but all the same people rule them, all the same effective managers, to whom the Chinese sometimes do not shake hands, they wrote ...
  6. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 12 June 2022 14: 11
    The leaders of the CPSU and the USSR preached Marxism, but turned out to be ordinary apparatchiks and careerists terribly far from Marxism, they brought the population to extreme need, and the state to collapse and civil war.
    As a result of the restoration of capitalism, the ruling class was replaced, and the state apparatus became an instrument in the service of big capital, exploitation and struggle of various groups of big capital for the possession of the state apparatus. Money is power, and power is money - the fusion of big capital and power through formal “democratic” elections, when the population is given the opportunity once every five years to elect their own owner from a representative of one or another group of the big owner.
    The main lesson of the political economic war of the collective West against the Russian Federation is that the state is an instrument of monopolistic associations and serves the interests of a small group of capitalists, leads to a series of destructive crises, the division and redivision of the world by political economic and military means, and this is the essence of capitalism.