Russia, China, Serbia – is a new barbaric era beginning?

Do authoritarian state leaders with their aggressive policies threaten the established world order? No, because the forces of free countries are more stable, he thinks Miodrag Soric.

Everything is happening in parallel: Russia is attacking Ukraine, China is subjugating Hong Kong and conducting military maneuvers near Taiwan, Iranian mercenaries are fighting in Gaza, and Serbian President Vucic is messing with his army on the border with Kosovo. Authoritarian regimes are testing how far they can push the tension. Despots need conflict to stay in power – they have nothing else to offer their peoples.

Whether in Russia, Serbia, China or Iran: military greatness is supposed to mask the general backwardness of the country, consolidate the power of the respective “national leader” and hide the fact that he, the leader, actually treats his own people with contempt. Otherwise, there is a danger that the people will realize what a miserable condition hospitals, old people’s homes and schools are in, that there is almost no sewage in the villages, and wages and pensions are very low. When there is internal conflict, there are always “enemies from without” who are blamed for it. Any criticism of the ruling clique, which recklessly enriches itself, is stifled. Corruption is a state policy. The individual citizen means nothing in the eyes of politicians and at best serves only as cannon fodder – as it has been for years in Eastern Ukraine.

So that the world does not fall into chaos

By attacking its neighbor, Russia declared war not only on Ukraine, but on the entire civilized world. The outcome of this conflict will depend on how the other authoritarian regimes will behave in the future: will they adhere at least in part to existing treaties and international law, or will a new barbaric era begin, in which the right of the stronger will prevail? If we don’t want the world to descend into chaos, we must help stop aggressors like Putin, arm Taiwan, and counter Iran’s terrorist militias wherever they operate: in Gaza, Iraq, Lebanon, or Syria.

Authoritarian regimes have never hidden their rejection of the law-based world order. For them, democracy is just as much a threat as respect for human and minority rights, freedom of the press or legal certainty. Despots invoke international law only when they have an interest in doing so.

The West has been trading with these regimes for years. And today, many European politicians are asking how Angela Merkel could act so naively as to make Germany dependent on Putin for natural gas imports. Even worse: China, meanwhile, is Germany’s most important trading partner. There is no doubt at all how brutal the regime in Beijing is. How could German politicians and responsible factors in the economy act so naively, throwing themselves into the arms of Beijing? Their greed seems greater than their sense of responsibility. Lenin once said: “The capitalists will sell us even the rope on which to hang them.”

Putin overestimated himself

Since the end of the Cold War, the global balance of power has by no means shifted in favor of dictators. Putin’s Russia daily demonstrates its military ineptitude in Ukraine. It is a myth that authoritarian leaders think long-term and therefore outperform the short-sighted West. The opposite is true: Putin made his decision to invade Ukraine hastily and in complete ignorance of the hatred with which the Ukrainians would greet his army. Putin is a player. And he was wrong. But he cannot admit this because he wants to survive politically and purely biologically.

In the future, the West should no longer contribute to its own weakness. Germany must significantly increase its military potential. If Greece, Russia, or Iran can each allocate four percent of their gross domestic product to defense, Germany should be able to do so as well. Along with its conventional weapons, Europe must also increase its nuclear potential. Only then will it be taken seriously by Moscow, Beijing and Washington.

Putin has challenged the West – as have many previous Kremlin rulers. Stalin and Hitler also hated the Western world, especially as allies between 1939 and 1941. The Soviet Union then supplied Hitler with food and raw materials and thus supported his declared war on France and Great Britain. In the end, the “decadent West” came out victorious. Who also won the Cold War. Likewise, he is now winning the hearts of many young and educated people forced to live in countries with authoritarian regimes.


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