June 2, 2023
Authoritative military expert Scott Ritter met with readers.

Authoritative military expert Scott Ritter met with readers.

Photo: Mikhail FROLOV

An interesting guest came to the Moscow House of Books. An authoritative military expert met with readers in the country-famous bookstore on Novy Arbat Scott Ritter.

He served as an intelligence officer in the US Marine Corps. Fought in the Middle East. He was the UN weapons inspector in Iraq. And in the 80s he worked in the perestroika USSR.

Today, Ritter is one of the network’s most popular US experts on the military, armed conflicts, and Washington’s external aspirations in eastern Europe (primarily Ukraine).

At the IBC, he presented a large-scale work published by the Komsomolskaya Pravda media group with the assistance of the Director General of the Investment Promotion Agency of the Novosibirsk Region Alexandra Zyryanova.

Photo: Mikhail FROLOV

What is his book The Disarmament Race about?

The former Marine, intelligence officer and UN expert presented his work this way.

“I brought three stories together under one cover,” he said. The first is the history of the treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range missiles (RSDM) between the USA and the USSR. How 30 Americans, thousands of miles from home, in an open field in front of a defense plant in Votkinsk, created a control service.

Speaking about the second part, Ritter smiled.

– My personal history is described there. I was the youngest officer. In general, there were many junior officers in our group. In Washington, perhaps, someone thought that this mission was impossible, – the author looked thoughtfully at the full hall, – But we did a great job. Once upon a time, many of us were taught to kill Russians. And in Votkinsk, after two years of work, we shook hands. And I found my love. She was our translator and became my wife. This book is dedicated to her and my daughter.

Photo: Mikhail FROLOV

The third part, according to Ritter, is the environment in which the Americans worked in the USSR in the late 1980s.

– Votkinsk was a prosperous city-factory, – he recalled, – People who make rockets received good salaries and many benefits. When the treaty was concluded, they stopped launching rockets – and the city was being destroyed before our eyes.

The readers who came to the MDK had a lot of questions for the well-known American expert.

A veteran of the GRU special forces, now a popular columnist, wanted to know how sincere the US was then, 35 years ago, in its desire to “befriend the Russians” by proposing to cut missiles.

– The president Reagan took the treaty seriously. I took it very seriously, I worked on it,” Ritter said, “But there was a lot of opposition to this treaty in the United States. Yes, Reagan once called the USSR an “evil empire”, but over time he changed his mind. When asked by students in Moscow if he still considered the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union, Reagan replied “no.”

Photo: Mikhail FROLOV

The former Marine regretted that this US leader left his post in 1988 and was replaced George W. Bush.

– Bush did not think that it was necessary to be friends with the USSR, – Scott explained, – This president tried to step on the throat of the Soviet Union. He believed that the future of the United States is not in cooperation with your country, but in the exploitation of its resources.

A representative of the school of journalism asked the American guest why he considers the topic of the treaty, which entered into force 35 years ago, relevant today:

– I met very knowledgeable people in the Writers’ Union. But even many of them forgot that there was such an agreement between our countries, and work on it can teach a lot even today, – Ritter answered, – That agreement was divided into several parts. The first, perhaps the most difficult, is the destruction of missiles. This happened in three years. Then there were 10 years of control. Then the inspections were stopped. But the agreement was successful, and it was observed! So far, in 2019, the United States has not violated it. The first to test new medium-range missiles.

The Doctor of Philosophy asked Scott Ritter if it was true that the treaty was more beneficial to the USSR than the United States, because the reduced missiles could destroy the top leadership of the USSR, but not the White House.

Photo: Mikhail FROLOV

The author of “The Disarmament Race” recalled the story in which he was a participant.

– The agreement was signed in December 1987. Perestroika was in full swing. Gorbachev and Reagan shook hands, Russia turned to the world with a new side, – said Ritter, – But I assure you, then no one in America could imagine the departure of the Communist Party from power in the USSR. And no one in the US at the time could have foreseen that destroying the missiles would kill the economy of the cities where the missiles were being made. At the same time, there were suggestions that such an agreement could incite certain forces in the Soviet Union to overthrow Gorbachev.

The American author of The Race for Disarmament answered the questions of Russian readers of different ages in the center of Moscow for a long time and in detail, just as he had previously communicated with those who were interested in modern history in St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, and Irkutsk.

At the end of the conversation with readers at the Moscow House of Books, Scott Ritter signed books for all participants in the meeting.

Find out where and how you can get acquainted with this amazing work and unique facts about a turning point in the history of our country at shop.kp.ruin the Moscow House of Books and on all marketplaces.

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