The Russians are again imprisoning dissidents in psychiatric institutions, and cutting of oil to Germany. Without the US shield, that makes Europe very vulnerable, and its pols should start rearming pronto.
The elderly couple did not hesitate to open the door when they saw Dimitry Mukhin through their spy-hole. Mukhin, a psychiatrist who lived in the neighbouring building, had recently paid a friendly visit to ask if they needed anything. But this was no courtesy call.
As Emilia Tomareva and Albert Uzikov let him into the Moscow flat where they had lived for decades, Mukhin rushed in with two men in white coats and a policeman.
The shocked couple were bundled into an ambulance with their hands tied behind their backs and locked up in separate psychiatric hospital wards, even though neither was mentally ill.
Both were injected with drugs against their will and without a court order that is normally required under Russian law. By the time they were released 10 days later after a judge ruled that they should never have been incarcerated in the first place, both were ill and terrified.
Uzikov, a leukaemia sufferer, was so weakened by the drugs that he had to be carried home.
A few months later he died.
Russia has made significant cuts to oil supplies sent to German refineries recently, rekindling concerns in Germany over the reliability of Russian energy supplies.
Lukoil, Russia’s second largest oil producer, on Friday acknowledged that supplies to Germany had been reduced by about one-third in July and August but refused to explain why the reduction had occurred.
The Germans should rebrand it Out-Of-Lukoil and stop using it, but they won’t.
Europe has time to build its defenses, since the Russian economy is only the size of France’s, and its armed forces are poorly equipped and manned. But, with our help, it now has modern weapons and just needs to mass produce & deploy them, using the money we pay it for oil and gas.
It makes sense for Russia to expand West – its population is tanking, its non-oil economy is a basket case, and China threatens its Eastern provinces. It’s most likely to use economic pressure than a straight invasion, but it’s quite possible one would shade into the other.
If Putin keeps rearming, in 5 years time Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany would be very hard put to hold a Russian armored offensive. This would have quantitative air superiority, and use tactical nukes to take out air bases and troop concentrations.
Putin knows how to pacify Muslim states, so he might also go for Belgium, Holland, and Sweden.
To counter that, Europeans need clouds of armed drones, batteries of quick-launch observation satellites, ASATs, layered anti-air defenses, and of course BMD.
That needs them to push military spending as a percentage of GNP from about 1.5% to 4%.
Alternatively they should provide Russian language classes for every citizen.