If Russia were a nation-state and united, where would its borders be? And what will be the nature of the relationship between him and his neighbors? This is what we expect in the coming era, that is, after the war against Ukraine.
George Friedman’s book “The Next Hundred Years” is an anticipation of the 21st century and answers these questions as follows:
The Russian strategy will be “to create deep buffer zones throughout the European geography in the north, while controlling and dividing the capabilities of its neighbors to create a new regional balance in Europe.” From now on, Russia’s actions will be aggressive because it will not accept interlocking borders without buffer zones.
During the next three eras, it will focus its attention on regaining its influence and control over the countries of the former Soviet Union, reproducing the buffer zone system, and avoiding the establishment of hostile alliances, such as “NATO” or similar blocs and alliances. .
This influence, as read by Friedman, will grow rapidly through three theaters of operations, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the European theater, and the Baltic region will be included within its scope, and the Caucasus region is the border between Russia and Turkey. , on the Russian side that includes three separate republics: Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, which are independent countries, as it extends to Dagestan and Chechnya, and there is an unbridled Russian desire to control those regions and restore hegemony over them, and the determination to reestablish their positions in them, and the confrontation with the United States for hegemony over Georgia may lead to a war, not to mention Turkey’s lack of silence because it will see in this Russian action an incentive for the Armenians to invite the Russians to a military presence on their borders, and the result is the expectation of a confrontation in the Caucasus.
The second theater is the Central Asian region, which is located between the Caspian Sea and the border with China, because of its huge energy reserves, if another great power tries to control it here, the directions will change, because whoever controls Kazakhstan will be a Hundreds of miles from the Volga River, which is considered a lifeline for Russian agriculture, estimates indicate that Central Asia will return to the fold of Russian influence.
As for the third stage, it will be Europe and the region directly west of Russia. In this region, Russia will face three Baltic republics, namely Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Therefore, Russia must control Ukraine, and this is what is being implemented and is being implemented on the ground, and Belarus, which is a vassal state and an ally, and this has been achieved. Ukraine means a lot to the Russians, because if it falls under the control of NATO, for example, Russia will be in existential danger, since it is located two hundred miles from Belarus.
The Russians think in terms of cycles that occur every twenty years, and they know very well how the absurd can be turned into a situation where it becomes possible and reasonable.
From the point of view of the Russians, the expansion of NATO into Ukraine is a threat to their national interests, and if Putin succeeds and Ukraine and Belarus return to Russian space, they will already have returned to their old borders with Europe in the period between the First and Second World Wars.
These future readings may not happen exactly as the writer envisioned them, but it is a worthy attempt to uncover its details and look ahead to the twenty years of the 21st century, and this is what Friedman did by drawing a new roadmap.
The changes in the coming age will be surprising to the point of “shock”, and what is to come will be no exception. Russia is rebuilding its sphere of influence, which is an unavoidable challenge for the United States, and thus we face the inevitable “wars.”