To my confused friends

A country like a prey

For 8 months I’ve been watching with dismay the school of thought which tries to explain or legitimize Putin’s war against Ukraine as it follows: the West and NATO have „provoked” Russia by expanding to the East; Ukraine persecutes Russian civilians and endangers/sacrifices/kills its own citizens; Ukraine is corrupt and sold to the corrupt West; the „Christian-conservative” Putin is fighting the globalism [Western neocommunism] or Nazism in Ukraine; Ukraine is an artificial state, which should not exist because Ukrainians are actually Russians; Ukraine is a ‘local problem’ which doesn’t concern the rest of the world, etc. 

The same school of thought, along with the   ‘pragmatists’, is advocating now peace with Russia by recognizing the ‘annexation’- euphemisn for ‘territorial theft’ – of four new regions: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye. What a joke! We are talking about four separatist regions manufactured exactly like Crimea, by the classic Russian method: invaded, destroyed and ethnically cleansed through Russian terrorism text book case. Four new regions which, on September 30, in an aberrant speech, Vladimir Putin declared as belonging to the Russian Federation: ‘We will defend our territory by all means’. And Sunday, October 23, the residents of Kherson were told to leave the city, because the Russian occupying troops will ‘defend their territory’.

How do you make peace with a relentless aggressor destroying your country, piece by piece, for 8 years? And if you do, how long will it last? What guarantees will offer  this particular undefeated aggressor that it won’t wage war against another piece of your land, and another one, until you have no country at all? We’re talking the same old Russia, with the same old predator tactics and strategy of territorial theft, delusionally called „peace and stability”, and applied in several former Soviet republics: Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan, Transnistria and Gagauzia in the Republic of Moldova, South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia. The same outlandish lies, the same defiance of international laws and peace. With Russians there’s only one way to have some lasting peace, and surrender is not it; you must defeat them.

My part of the world, under threat from Tsarist, Soviet or post-Soviet Russia for hundreds of years, should have known better. Better than to fall for the ‘entitled Russia vs. Ukraine sold to the corrupt West’ propaganda, or for the idea of an impossible peace.

Eastern Europeans, more than Westerners, should have known that Ukraine, as a former Soviet republic, was not and could not be a democratic paradise, free from corrupt or perverse ideological influences (Western included), because neither are their countries. But this cannot and should not justify any external aggression, especially from Russia – responsible for most of the Ukrainian problems.

Romanians should have known from their past 30 years experience that the disastrous Russian influence hasn’t ended with the fall of USSR, but overlapped or clashed with some corrupt financial and ideological Western influences on our land – many sponsored by Russia itself, by the way. But this doesn’t mean Russia is preferable.

We, in the Eastern Europe, should have known it’s natural for Ukraine to experience our problems, only at higher levels. After all we are talking about a former Soviet republic, and a bigger prey than us, more tempting since it’s not protected by the NATO membership status.

Yes, this is Ukraine for Russia: a big tempting prey for a traditional predator. Therefore it was natural to have bigger problems than ours. What is unnatural  for some Romanians and Eastern Europeans is to refuse to understand that none of Ukraine’s internal problems can legally or morally justify the Russian aggression, and that Ukraine is not ‘a local problem’ (as Viktor Orban declared recently), but a dangerous precedent for us all. Today is Ukraine, but tomorrow…

From the point of view of the international law Putin’s regime had no right to hack and turn Ukraine into a war theater. And the option of an independent state, internationally recognized as such, to be part of one geopolitical bloc or another – EU-NATO or Eurasia – must remain free and sovereign. At least in the civilized world, where we like to claim freedom and sovereignty for ourselves, and security guarantees to defend them.

So no, Russia has no legitimate justification for doing what has been doing for 8 years in Ukraine, and you don’t have to love Ukrainians, not even like them, to accept this. The only justification for Putin’s war against Ukraine is that he wanted it. My only surprise is that many Romanians and Europeans still don’t get it.

Nothing new on the Russian front

Though a founding member of the UN (77 years) and member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (30 years), Russia has never hidden its hostility towards the West, civilization or freedom, and permanently violated the laws of the Western peace. Russia, not America, has violated at will the principles of the UN Charter and of the Final Act of the Helsinki. Interesting principles (perhaps many more should read them), intended to guarantee peace, freedom and security for us all: resolving disputes between states by peaceful means, refraining from wars of aggression, from the threat of force or the use of force against other states, respecting their territorial integrity…

Soviet or post-Soviet Russia never respected the life, liberty and sovereignty of its own people, and even less of others’. Never. Not in the Stalinist era, when was turning Eastern Europe into its socialist camp by armed terror and horrors, in total opposition to the Western political and military doctrine. Not when was threatening the US with the nuclear war in the 60s. Not under the Brezhnev doctrine officially launched in November 1968, after the invasion of Czechoslovakia (which wanted less socialism); the Brezhnev Doctrine officially stated that the countries of the ‘socialist community’ had their sovereignty limited to the Marxist-Leninist duty to not deviate from the dictates of Moscow, and if they did, the USSR and the fellow socialist countries could use armed force against the deviationist state.

Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, Prague, 1968

Soviet Russia didn’t respect these principles in 1979 when invaded Afghanistan – which Russians had been working hard to transform from a kingdom with western democratic tendencies into a Marxist republic (done in 1973), but meanwhile they noticed they couldn’t control Islamic communism, so they went to geopolitical war with the West on Afghan territory.

The official Russian geopolitical doctrine has always been one of aggression against other sovereing states, especially against the non-submissive neighbors, incompletely destroyed. This hasn’t changed after 1991. After the collapse of the USSR, in its good old geopolitical tradition of dominance by official lie, terror and destruction, Russia immediately manufactured separatist enclaves in the former Soviet republics that had declared their independence: Transnistria, Gagauzia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh …And nothing changed in the past 23 years, since Vladimir Putin became the supreme leader of Russia. Only the pretexts, propaganda, technology and methodology of the war against the free world (the West) diversified, and their founding ideology was given a different name: Eurasia.

No new Evil Empire without Ukraine

Putin’s regime, with its strategies and ideologies shaped by his own Rasputin (or rather his court jester) Aleksandr Dugin, has never hidden its hostility towards the West, America and Euro-Atlanticism. Nor did they hide the plan to restore the ‘Evil Empire’ in its new Euroasian form – which means more than USSR. Ukraine remains an important stage of this new imperialist plan.

The destruction of Ukraine did not begin in February 2022, and not even in 2014. It began with the coming to power of Putin, in his mind, with his messianic visions translated in official statements and policies, in which he saw himself as ruler of a new Eurasian empire, defender of the Russian communities of the lost USSR, bringing back the lost territories under the Russian rule, and then some, if possible.

Putin has never hidden his messianic Eurasianism, based on an alleged cultural-identity continuity. If aberrant Western identity politics (multicultural, woke, sexually fluid) frightens you, the Russian ones should terrify you.

The Russian Eurasianism is an ideology imagined by the disturbed mind of the „great philosopher” Dugin.  An ideology with which few Westerners (or Romanians) are familiar, and which, in essence, is nothing more than a new kind of fascism text book case (or Russian imperial xenophobia, as the journalist Evgenii Ikhlov said), no better than Stalinism, Nazism or Western neocommunism, through which Russia aims to expand its borders to the West in the form of a Super State. And this can’t be done without Ukraine.

In other words, Putin’s war against Ukraine is part of a geopolitical plan announced long time ago, yet diligently ignored at West from Russia. The fact that only in 2014 the plan made its brutal debut with the official annexation of Crimea, doubled by the unofficial invasion of  Donetsk and Luhansk, only made it somewhat more visible. But still not intelligibly enough outside the conflict zone, though in the eight years ever since Putin has not for a moment suggested he abandoned the objective: the destruction of the unruly Ukraine stubbornly  continuing its western turn.

Therefore, the February 2022 invasion should not have surprised anyone. It was in line with the official doctrine of Kremlin. And the West, more vulnerable than ever due to the self-destructive pandemic and „green” policies, offered Putin the long-awaited pretext and opportunity.

And so, Putin’s Eurasian plan, which makes no sense without Ukraine, advanced along the line, by the classic Russian scheme: military invasion under aberrant pretexts, creation of separatist enclaves followed by brutal ethnic cleansing, their official recognition as distinct entities from the host-country, eventually followed by annexation to the Russian Federation, all of it against international laws and opposition. Madness? Maybe. But madness with official plan,  in plain sight for more than 20 years.

Make Russia Great Again or the Russian Conservatism

Offspring of a USSR intelligence colonel, Aleksandr Dugin was haunting in the 80s the Moscow intellectual bohemian circles, flirting within the Yuzhinskii Circle with occultism and esotericism, but also with chauvinism, Nazism or fascism Russian style. After the collapse of the USSR, with such lovely origins and ‘philosophical’ training, without any profession, it was natural for him to become the chief ideologue, then a parliamentary candidate of the New Bolshevik Party. He did not perform in the elections, but he did as an ‘intellectual’.

Dugin’s great success on the ideological market began in 1997, with the publication of the volume The foundations of geopolitics: the geopolitical future of Russia. In this volume, requiered reading in the Russian military academies, Dugin argued that Russia’s long-term goal should be the creation of an Eurasian empire. For this purpose, among other things, Georgia had to be dismembered (done by now), Finland annexed (they didn’t ask for nothing to join NATO in July 2022) and Ukraine totally destroyed as a state.

‘Ukraine, as an independent state with certain territorial ambitions, represents an enormous danger for all of Eurasia.’, wrote Dugin. ‘The Eurasian Empire will be constructed on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, the strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us.’ [where by ‘liberal values’ he understood individual freedom, capitalism and free market economy]

At the time, such ideas seemed childish or simple intellectual delusions. However, in 1998, prof.Andrei Tsygankov (specialist in international relations and post-Soviet politics) warned that Dugin’s Eurasianism is the ‘speech of war’. Nonsense! Who in the West or in the Europe newly freed from Soviet Communism (thanks to Reagan’s America) still believed in the late 90s that the Evil Empire could reborn like this? Or that Russia would dare to resume the Cold War? Or launch hot wars against some former Soviet colonies? In general, no one. No one except the young successful ex-KGB Vladimir Putin, the new tsar of the Russian Federation.

And so Eurasianism – the new Russian fascism which, as a height of irony and propaganda, claims now to be fighting Nazism all over the place, in Ukraine, or even in Romania!; see the official report 2019 of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs  – has been embraced by the new President of the Russian Federation as state policy. In 2008 was already tought at the Moscow State University, where Dugin had become the head of the Center for Conservative Studies.

This is what the current Russian conservatism means (and some European conservatives see it as an alternative to the Western New Left): a geopolitical ideology structured by a delusional ‘great thinker’ in the Moscow laboratories of ‘social sciences’, embraced by the Russian new tsar, then handed over to the Russian state administration as manual for the revival of Great Russia.  Nonsense, you say?

The plan and the reality

In November 2000, Putin publicly stated: ‘Russia has always perceived itself as a Eurasian country’, and Dugin became one of the Kremlin’s advisers drafting the new (Eurasian) national security plan. The Dugin version of the plan required to outclass and defeat the ‘Atlanticist Anaconda’ . How? By the Russian divide et impera. For example, it envisaged destabilizing America and undermining the cohesion of Euro-Atlantic institutions. Objective accomplished, I’d say. Just look at how coherent the Euro-Atlantic cooperation works, or look at the already famous Russian interventions in the American elections [not in favor of candidate Trump, no].

The Dugin-Putin strategy included, logically, undermining America’s good relations with its European partners, among which Germany was assigned a leading role. Germany would be persuaded to give up America and tighten relations with Russia instead. In exchange for this service, Germany was to be compensated with hegemony over the European Union and other advantages (some preferential Russian gas, perhaps?). Which, if you were paying attention, already happened.

And if you weren’t paying attention, I remind you, for instance, that on October 5, 2022, in the context of the current (energy) crisis, Traian Băsescu, former President of Romania, currently member of the European Parliament, spoke the following truth in front of the EU Parliament:

‘We have another big problem, the problem of strengthening Putin by the dignitaries of the European Union. And here I will list some prime ministers of the European Union who put themselves in Putin’s service after the end of their mandates: Schroder is on everyone’s lips, Matteo Renzi, former Italian prime minister, employee of the Russian company, Christian Kern, former Austrian chancellor, Francois Fillon, former French prime minister, Esko Aho, former Finnish prime minister, Paavo Lipponen, former Finnish prime minister, Karin Kneissl, former Austrian foreign minister, Hans Schelling, former Austrian finance minister, and surely Dominique Strauss Kahn could not be missing. With such people around him and at the top…’

And at this point, the chairman of the session, fellow MEP Rainer Wieland, cut off his microphone like a good German Christian-Democrat that he is.

Similar divisive strategies for the intra-European cooperation, with compensations adapted to each country, were also planned for the Baltic countries and Poland, or for the Balkan’s area. Or for Orban’s Hungary, which, as you have noticed in recent years, had no problem standing on Germany’s side when interests were common with Russia’s (for example in favor of Nord Stream 2), but against the ‘corrupt West’ when it rejected Western offers  and decided to build nuclear reactors with ROSATOM.

In other words, the more divided Europe and weakened its ties to the US, the happier the New Imperial Russia, which formalized its beginning in 2015, as the Eurasian Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. As a pure coincidence, these were also the foundations of Dughin’s geopolitics, published in the 90s and taught in Russian universities and military academies as Russian conservatism.

Nonsense? Perhaps. Except it’s a quarter of a century old nonsense, which became official doctrine when Putin came to power in 2000, only to be confirmed step by step by reality. Yet many still refuse to take it seriously and identify it as motivational foundation for Putin’s war against Ukraine.

The nonsense shapping reality

April 2005. In a speech addressed to the parliament of the Russian Federation, Putin said very clearly:

‘Above all, we must be aware that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. And for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of fellow citizens and compatriots remained outside the Russian territory.

In other words, he officially presented his new doctrine of territorial grand theft and the pretext under which he will exercise it: ‘the protection of tens of millions of Russian compatriots left outside the USSR’. The fact that the pretext was used in 2014 for the annexation of Crimea and the creation of the other Russian enclaves in Ukraine it’s pure coincidence. Or nonsense, according to some.

Munich 2007. During the Security Policy Conference, in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a speech of epochal impudence, Putin reaffirmed his Eurasianist, anti-Western standing. I’m talking about epochal impudence because in defense of his position, Putin invoked the international law and the UN Charter which Kremlin was red handedly and traditionally violating!

In Munich 2007 Putin declared his opposition to US, NATO, the EU, and the spread of Western freedom to the East, claiming that Russia represents a superior factor in maintaining peace and stability in the world, and giving the example of the occupation force of 1500 Russian soldiers from the Republic of Moldova! Occupation military force stationed in Transnistria for peacekeeping, of course. He also invoked the military withdrawal from Georgia … which he re-invaded back a year later, also in the name of peace and stability. And many applauded him in Munich …

Putin and Merkel at the Munich Conference 2007

The disgraceful year 2008. At the NATO summit in Bucharest, the evil Euro-Atlanticism, more specifically America, had a plan to expand NATO. Within it, Ukraine and Georgia were to be presented the ‘road map’ to become members. Earlier, in Brussels, violent protests had begun against the expansion of NATO, the installation of American anti-missile shields in Europe, and for „nuclear disarmament”. You know, like during the Cold War, the same useful idiots of the Western left, „peace” activists, about whom I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they were also sponsored by Russia, within the broad strategy of Euro-Atlantic destabilization, especially since these were also the grievances of Putin.

Unfortunately for NATO and Europe, but especially for Ukraine and Georgia, the latter were denied the ‘road map’ for joining NATO. They were basically ceded to Russia in exchange for other advantages negotiated (badly, in my opinion) by the NATO leaders with Putin. In other words, Putin managed then to keep Ukraine and Georgia in his sphere of influence, with the help of Sarkozy’s France, Merkel’s Germany and of the socialist Gordon Brown, PM of Great Britain. For Putin, the signal was clear: free to hack Georgia and Ukraine. Which he did. It started with Georgia, a few months later:

In August 2008, Putin resumed his Georgian plan – Georgia divided, remember the foundations of Russian geopolitics, Dugin 1997? He did it under the same false pretexts and according to the same scheme of separatist enclaves. In Georgia, post-USSR Russia had already manufactured two such enclaves: South Ossetia and Abkhazia. They only needed some awakening.

So, on August 1, 2008, South Ossetian separatists, backed and armed by the Russians, began bombing Georgian villages. On August 7 the Georgian government had to send the army there. On the same day Russian soldiers illegally entered the territory of Georgia to support the separatists. On August 8, Russia launched the total war against Georgia, attacking territories outside the separatist zones by air, land and sea. All under the pretext of an imaginary „genocide” committed by the Georgian government, and in order to maintain peace and stability. Not kidding: in August 2008 Moscow justified the invasion of Georgia claiming a Georgian „genocide” against separatists – who had actually attacked Georgians, supported and armed by the Russians.

On August 12, Nicolas Sarkozy (who had opposed the admission of Georgia to NATO) gloriously negotiated a ceasefire with Russia. On August 26 Russia recognized the two enclaves as independent republics.

And the great European powers did not object, they remained in good relations with Russia. After all, why would they have objected? France, Germany and Great Britain had just handed over Georgia to Putin in April, in Bucharest, and Russia’s responsibility for the „violation of human rights” in the separatist areas or in that invasion was recognized and condemned at the European Court of Human Rights only in 2021, while for war crimes, the International Criminal Court only this year started issuing warrants for the arrest of some Russians.

And then, Ukraine … The same methodology of invasion, enclavation, ethnic cleansing, deportation,  the same false pretexts, lies, killings, terror ….

The end of memory?

Let’s recap. Make Russia Great Again as Eurasia, geopolitical plan published in 1997 under the title ‘The Foundations of Geopolitics: Russia’s Geopolitical Future’, formalized by Putin’s arrival at Kremlin and confirmed by reality, step by step, ever since. Russian conservatism [actually fascism] with classic Russian methodology of lying, enclavation and territorial abduction, followed by total war.

In other words, history repeated for decades under the entire’s world eyes, who looked the other way: in its good pacifist tradition, in several former USSR republics, Russia terrorized, mass-murdered, chased away, deported civilians, ethnically cleansed the majority population of the separatist enclaves it manufactured in order to claim afterwards that due to the ethnic composition, different from the majority, the separatist areas have the right to „self-determination”; all under, you guessed, the very international law that Russia itself was violating!

This is happening in Ukraine, in stages, starting in 2014.  This is the Russian geopolitical model. Russian conservatism. The Make Russia Great Again methodology. Zero legitimacy, defiance of international laws, lies, theft, mass-murder and terror raised to the level of state policy.

How is it possible that some still don’t understand, in my part of the world included? How is it possible that some still ignore these realities in plain sight, or believe that Russia was somehow „provoked” by Ukrainians, so it’s somehow entitled to repeat this geopolitical ‘trick’ in Ukraine? How was it possible that famous global strategists, analysts and scholars were taken by surprise by the full scale Russian invasion 8 months ago, and are still seeking for Putin’s motivations? Or dream about some impossible peace with the undefeated Russia? I have only one reasonable explanation: amnesia or ignorance by propaganda. The end of memory. Unfortunately, not the end of history repeating itself in erros and horrors again and again.


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