Now it is official – the former republics of the USSR owe much to Russia. Territory, money, loyalty. This is a case when the input is one ruble and the output is two. Even if they were dragged into the USSR by force it does not matter – it was still “voluntary entry.” Through Russia 1’s latest television masterpiece, Putin told about the debts of the now independent countries of Russia. The wisdom of the great leader and father of peoples was praised… But we’ve already seen this somewhere…
Yes, we have already seen this – under Stalin.
Flesh from flesh and blood from blood of the Cheka – NKVD – KGB – FSB, Vladimir Putin has led Russia to this for 20 years – the vertical of power, authoritarian power built on law enforcement agencies, the Russian World, Russia’s borders not ending anywhere, the de facto rehabilitation of Stalin, “war of historical memory” with all those who disagree with the Russian concept of history – and now, now we can openly declare the idea of a re-building of the empire. This is the path from the post-perestroika doctrine of the KGB chief Primakov on Russian geopolitical legitimate interests through the Gerasimov doctrine to the Putin doctrine.
The ideology of modern Russian imperial nationalism, which began to take shape during the reign of Stalin and especially after his death, was described in detail in our analytical report “The Re-building of the Empire”. This is the ideology of the security forces – guardians, for whom it is important not what the state system is called – communism, socialism, state capitalism – but the idea of Russia’s imperial power, revenge for defeat in the Cold War, the return of “lost territories,” and the return of lost spheres of influence, as well as their expansion.
It seems that Putin has not only “nullified” the Russian constitution and presidential terms, but also all expert assumptions regarding a less aggressive Russia at the exit from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as attempts by “handshake” Kremlin experts to serve as messengers of the “new world”. De facto, he has also nullified “post-Soviet” sovereignty in Eurasia in a series of speeches.
In Russia, the peak of the pandemic has not yet been reached and the president is sitting in a bunker with a disinfecting corridor, but further plans for world domination and the “cementing” of autocracy turning into totalitarianism inside the country have already been announced.
The thesis that upon leaving the USSR the republics were “dragged away” from ancient Russian lands promoted by the main state television channel “Russia 1” was distributed by all media of the “Kremlin chain,” which we have already described more than once – state news agencies, media directly or indirectly connected with the Russian Presidential Administration, and the Prigozhin media factory ( Patriot Media Holding). The documentary itself was advertised in advance and quoted enthusiastically by Kremlin telegram channels. One of Putin’s main propagandists, Solovyov, also hinted that there are territorial claims against Poland.
Putin’s statements very much resonate with the so-called amendments to the Russian constitution, about which has already been written many times – historical memory, ancient Russian lands, and a ban on “revising” the history of World War II. The de facto amendments have already been adopted, however, to project national unity, quarantine has been canceled in Russia, and people are essentially forced to vote on the amendments.
For an aging Putin, the re-building of an empire is the pinnacle, his last crusade. And this situation is especially dangerous, especially for Russia’s neighbors, as biting off pieces from their territories is declared legal and, quite possibly, will continue if such an opportunity presents itself.
For Belarus, the situation is very difficult. It is mired in a “union state” and dependence on Russia and the country’s leadership has realized this very late when the “brothers” had already begun to take down the doors of the house.
What should Belarus make of it?
First and foremost, “brotherly love” attacks will end, in the best case, when Putin leaves, although this is not a fact (we also wrote about this in the report “Coercion to integration”.
We do not know in what form Belarus will come out of these elections, though our forecasts are not encouraging. But one thing is clear – it is time for the authorities to wise up and not just try to sell stories about the “hand of Moscow” to the West, but really minimize dependence on Big Brother to the East, both economic and political. To finally achieve this the country must be allowed to develop normally politically, socially, and economically, so that the country has agency and full, not post-Soviet, sovereignty. And arrests with batons are definitely inappropriate for this.
This article is also available in Russian on Reform.by.