Writing in theMay 26 Segodnya, military analyst Pavel Felgengauer said that Westernplans to enlarge NATO have unified the Russian elite and the Russianpeople, and thus have reduced Yeltsin’s freedom to maneuver on thisissue. Earlier, he said, American leaders had assumed that if theyconvinced Yeltsin, they could have their way. Now they cannot do so.Moreover, the US lacks the means to influence the broader Russianelite: most of American aid is humanitarian assistance which,Felgengauer said, the U.S. Congress will never drop. And the Americancommitment to NATO expansion will inevitably lead Russia to seek alliesamong anti-Western states such as Iran. Increasingly, the Russianpeople share these views. One piece of evidence for this, Felgengauersuggested, has been the failure of anti-war activists to organize asingle large demonstration against the fighting in Chechnya. Theirinability to do so shows that the vast majority of Russians now believethat the independence and territorial integrity of Russia are “moreimportant than anything else.”
Moscow Looks East.