Russian power and Russian influence in the world


Today’s Russia is not the old Soviet Union. It is not in terms of borders, ideology and economic system. Yet the geopolitical aims of 21st century Russia differ very little from those not only of the old USSR but also from those of the tsarist empire. The inclination to control the straits (Bosphorus first and foremost) and the projection towards the warm seas (especially the Mediterranean) remain constants in Moscow’s foreign policy. This is confirmed by the military support for Al Assad’s Syria as well as the projection of Russian power into the southern Mediterranean states. In this geopolitical context, Moscow has been able to extend its influence very strongly. This applies not so much to Algeria (Moscow’s historic ally since its independence from France) but to the very close ties it has been able to build with post-Gaddafi Libya and Al Sisi’s Egypt. All this has allowed Russia to become the main geopolitical player in the region in strong competition with NATO and the EU. In particular, relations with Al Sisi’s Egypt (heavily dependent on Moscow for its food needs) allow more or less direct control over the Suez Canal and therefore over the most important trade route in the world. Which represents a challenge deadly for the Anglo-Saxon thalassocracy for which the control of maritime straits has always been of vital importance (in truth we could say that there can be no thalassocracy without effective control of maritime straits). And that’s not all. In recent years, Russian influence has also seen a great expansion in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular in Sudan (where a historic agreement for the construction of a naval base for the Russian navy was recently signed) for Ethiopia , a country with which Moscow has established a military cooperation agreement and which depends on Russia for the import of food and, in particular, for the countries of the former French empire where Moscow has promoted (and is in all likelihood promoting still) of the regime changes that have replaced the old Francophile establishment with a new pro-Russian leadership (obviously creating great discontent in Paris which has always had very great interests in these countries). This happened in Mali, in Burkina Faso and in the Central African Republic where the presence of PMC Wagner is even reported.Not least was the expansion of Russian influence in the Middle East and in the area of ​​the warm Indian Ocean. In this region, Moscow has been able to create a Shiite axis that it protects militarily and with which it has established very close economic relations. This applies to Syria (to be considered a real Russian protectorate), to Iran (which benefits from Russian military supplies as well as military technological know-how) for its Shiite affiliates of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Iraqi Shiite factions. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning the rapprochement, which has occurred in recent years, of Qatar (and partly of Saudi Arabia) with the aforementioned pro-Russian Shiite axis after the unsuccessful support for the regime change attempt in Damascus wanted by the USA (military support for the Syrian Sunni factions fought against Al Assad’s government forces during the Syrian “civil war” from 2011 to 2016). All this has reshaped geopolitics (and therefore the balance of power) in the Middle East where Moscow’s geopolitical antagonists (USA, UK and Israel) have been defeated and have suffered a notable loss of power to the full advantage of Moscow (and Beijing, whose economic penetration in the area – especially in Saudi Arabia – is becoming such as to reduce the influence of the USA in the region to a minimum). It is easy to deduce the geopolitical consequences of these developments considering that around 30% of world oil production is concentrated in the Middle East region and on which many countries depend for their hydrocarbon supplies. In the region, Russia has also managed to establish solid relations with Erdogan’s Turkey – a country belonging to NATO – and to become an important commercial partner of the latter, becoming a supplier – a unique case within NATO – even of weapons and technology military (which has caused and is causing much discontent in Washington).


But let’s analyze in detail the regions and states with Russian influence.

Former USSR space

Since the collapse of the USSR, Russia has made every effort to regain control of the separatist republics. This was done by promoting economic integration between the various former Soviet republics. This was done with the establishment of a common free trade economic space (CISFTA) which opened the Russian market (by far the most important with its approximately 145,000,000 consumers) to the products of the smaller and less populous states of the former USSR. The most important economic and military relations concern Kazakhstan (very rich in mineral resources and the world’s leading producer of uranium) and Belarus (states which, in recent years, have undergone an unsuccessful attempt at regime change by the West aimed to separate them from the influence of Moscow) as well as Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The situation is different for the Baltic states (annexed into NATO), Tukmenistan (which maintains fairly cold relations with Moscow) and Ukraine where in 2014 a color revolution brought a pro-Western government to power where a very ferocious conflict of which it is not possible now to analyze developments and consequences. However, Russia has de facto occupied about a fifth of Ukrainian territory. An occupation that allows Moscow to control a large part of the country’s economic and mineral resources. In summary, Moscow has regained control of most of the states and territory of the former USSR (with all their resources) despite all the efforts of the USA and the Anglo-Saxon empire to prevent it.


The military and economic alliance with Middle Earth is probably the most geopolitically important fact of the last decade. It has not only redesigned the global geopolitical balance that had been established since the collapse of the USSR (1991) but also saw the birth of a geopolitical entity (the so-called Eurasian bloc) which has effectively put into crisis if not already clearly subverted the pre-existing power system. Russia has actively promoted, together with China, the integration and development (including military) of Asian countries including India (formally a strategic rival of Beijing but in fact a geopolitical actor that is increasingly integrating, even in commercial level, with Russia and China). This happened not only thanks to the creation of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) but also thanks to diplomatic action, both Russian and Chinese, aimed at countering Western economic penetration into the Asian continent. Today Russia, also as a consequence of Western sanctions, has become the main supplier of hydrocarbons to the People’s Republic. The construction and development of a network of gas and oil pipelines (Power of Siberia etc.) that connect the rich Siberian deposits to the cities of northern China are strategic for Beijing since they represent a safe and non-secure source of land supply. attackable” in case of open conflict with the Anglo-Saxon thalassocracy. Which, if necessary, could establish a naval blockade against Beijing and threaten its supply routes from the Persian Gulf. Furthermore, the two countries have developed unprecedented military cooperation that combines Moscow’s military technological potential (the best in the world) with Beijing’s numerical and quantitative one (China has the largest army in the world).


Moscow has boasted privileged relations with New Delhi since the Cold War. Trade between the two countries increased significantly during 2022 following the sanctions of Western countries which reduced imports of gas and oil (but also coal and precious and industrial metals) from Russia to the bone in an attempt to damage Moscow’s finances and eliminate, perhaps permanently, dependence on their main geopolitical adversary. Even if there are no certain data, it is certain that Moscow has significantly increased its export of hydrocarbons (and raw materials in general) to India as part of a geoeconomic strategy aimed at Asia. And it is likely that in the coming years this trend will further intensify, making New Delhi one of Russia’s main trading partners. India also represents the largest market for Russian arms exports. It is estimated that around two thirds of the Indian army’s vehicles and equipment are “made in Russia” and the two countries actively collaborate on very high-tech defense projects (as in the case of the SU-57 fifth generation fighter). Russia is also a key partner of New Delhi as regards nuclear energy since India has relied on the Russian Rosatom for the construction of new generation nuclear power plants over the last ten years. This has made the South Asian country Moscow’s largest customer in this sector.


Russian influence in Latin America (“the backyard” of the USA since the Monroe Doctrine -1823) has seen some development in the last decade. Moscow remains the main ally of Cuba and Venezuela in the region, to which it also provides economic and military assistance to counter, on the one hand, the economic sanctions imposed by the USA and, on the other, the countless regime change attempts made by the Anglo-Saxons against them . The two states have considerable geopolitical importance. Cuba for its strategic position which makes it a Russian outpost close to the USA as well as a support base for the Russian fleet in the Caribbean. Venezuela for its immense oil reserves (the largest in the world according to many estimates) which make it (and will continue to make it) one of the main geopolitical players on the South American continent. But it is in Brazil (the largest and most populous Latin American country as well as the largest economy in the area) that Russian influence has seen its greatest development in recent years. The immense South American country represents the largest buyer of Russian hydrocarbons and fertilizers in South America. The supplies of the latter are indispensable for the immense Brazilian production of cereals (primarily corn, of which Brazil is the third largest producer in the world after the USA and China). Brasilia imports over 20% of fertilizers from Russia (and a another approximately 10% from Belarus, a country “in the orbit” of Moscow) and it is therefore clear how the flourishing Brazilian agriculture (in great development in the last twenty years thanks to the deforestation of the Amazon area) needs more than ever the Russian fertilizers for their expansion.


Only on one continent, the European one, has Russian influence undergone a very strong reduction. 2022 represented, in all likelihood, the end of the commercial partnership between the EU and Russia. Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in fact, the EU has decided to block Russian imports (primarily gas, oil and coal) and infrastructure projects (north stream 2) promoted in the last decade to facilitate supply of raw materials. This decision was no small decision since Moscow satisfied approximately 40% of Europe’s gas needs and a quarter of that with oil. Nor did it result on the one hand from a crisis in the European supply system (the effects of which will be visible in the years to come given the impossibility of importing gas and oil from Russia) and on the other from a crisis due to lack of income for the reduction in exports of raw materials. The EU was in fact Moscow’s main trading partner until 2022 and such a total and immediate break certainly produced serious repercussions on Russian finances. Europe has therefore decided to follow the USA in their geopolitical challenge against Moscow and Beijing. Only in the coming years will we be able to draw conclusions from these geopolitical and geoeconomic dynamics. For the moment it seems clear that Moscow has started a strategic repositioning of its economy and its trade flows in favor of Asia and its zones of influence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *