“In Ukraine, even with a delay and the high price paid, a dangerous deathly expansion of Western alliances has been stopped. From a quasi-Weimar state on the defensive, Russia has now gone back to its familiar role as a victorious country, back to a new self-confidence.“

Karaganov, a Eurasian thinker with an additional chromosome instead of a brain fold.


For over twenty years I have been trying to explain to the delusional Russian political class some realities that I believe to be quite obvious to any normal human being. I persist in this hopeless mission, because this serious illness affecting the “nation’s brains” is leading my country to inevitable disaster.


The most important obsession of Russian foreign policy discourse is a perverse delight in the “humiliation” that Russia supposedly experienced in the last quarter of a century as a result of USSR’s defeat in the Cold War. This demonstrative garment-tearing and exposing of geopolitical ulcers is the favorite occupation of our entire political “elite”, from the Asiopeans[1] Prohanov[2] and Dugin[3] to the Yablochniks[4] Arbatov[5] and Lukin[6].


The irreplaceable “elite” that came out of the “largest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century” is packed as never before. But, by securing for themselves  bread and butter for several generations to come, they once again chose not the constitution, but Asiopean grandeur – the new Golden Horde, uniting those peoples and nations that strive to get within  its premises.


The thieving and inept, yet pompous and cowardly Russian political “elite”, unable to choose between Courchevel and Lefortovo, does not recognize that in the post-Soviet space, it is not needed by anyone as a teacher of life and a center of gravity. And it’s not because Americans are playing dirty tricks on Russia, but because Putin’s ‘judo coterie’[7] holds no attraction to anyone – not to the millions of Ukrainians who dream of getting rid of their own ruling bandits, nor to the Central Asian dictators who do not need a pahan (mafia boss)[8] ruling over them from the Kremlin. Ukraine’s “yes” to Europe with a 90% majority meant “no” to the post-Soviet model of bandit capitalism, “no” to the ‘taiga’ alliance of  the four gangsters.[9]


Perhaps it would have been possible to find amongst our neighbors a few like-minded brothers in with the same social savvy, if the Russian elite with its growling hatred of the West had offered them a consistent anti-Western ideological project. Alas, the whole world knows where this “elites” stash their money, what healthcare they prefer for themselves and what education they choose for their children.


Sooner or later, every new head of the neighboring countries has been declared “pro-Western” or “more pro-Western” by Moscow, not noticing that this is the definition of our own policies. Where are the “pro-Russian” forces dreamed up by the Kremlin, for whom it kept building the sand castles of its new empire? Perhaps, there is actually something wrong with us and our politics, and the neighboring presidents are just pro-Ukrainian, Pro-Georgian and Pro-Belarusian?


The inability of these “elites”, narcissistic in their megalomaniacal fantasies as they are, to recognize not formally on paper, but psychologically the quest for independence of their “brotherly” states. Their astounding deafness, their spiritual laziness and imperialistic hubris prevent them from seeing the possible reactions of our neighbors and seeing themselves in the mirror. All these “wonderful” qualities of the Russian kleptocracy have, in fact, produced nothing but alienation and hostility throughout the post-Soviet space.


The aggressive concept of a “Russian World”, borrowed in a schoolboy manner from Hitler’s foreign policy of the 1930s by the leader of our “divided” tribe, and the shameful experience of its practical implementation in Ukraine, became the apotheosis of a quarter of a century long orgy of “humiliation”.
The patient finally answered the question asked by those around him, long concerned by his inadequate conduct, i.e., about the source of his humiliation. It turns out that when encountering history, the Russian man feels humiliated when unable to trample on and divide his former brothers with whom he was previously busy constructing Platonov’s Foundation Pit.[10]


In their philosophical treatise “Distance instead of confrontation: post-European Russia in search of self-sufficiency”, the two noble politologists, Aleksey Miller and Fyodor Lukyanov, from the coterie of Kremlin’s foreign policy lackeys, testify about it all with charming simplicity before the roaring tribunal –

“By annexing Crimea and supporting anti-Kiev forces in the Donbass, Moscow not only drew the red line that it is ready to defend at all cost, including military. Russia did not admit the rock-hard reality that emerged after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and did not consider its actions in relation to neighboring countries (created with agreed decisions in 1970-1980s) as a breach of treaties that had been achieved earlier. In other words, Russia never fully agreed with the existing “new world order” that the West regards as a given, though by the middle of the 2000s it had assented.“


What a bunch of ridiculous pseudo-legalistic rubbish and lies, distorting history (while lying to oneself) in this professorial quote by the two post-European scribes. It turns out that Moscow has always considered itself entitled to reshape the borders of neighboring countries and to act on their territory as it likes, because these countries were created after 1991. The Russian Federation, by the way, was also set up after that. Perhaps in its own terms and in full compliance with this logic, all rules of international law must be abolished, along with all national boundaries (oh, and what about Beijing?). And what about the dozens of agreements concluded by the Russian Federation with Ukraine and other countries not in the 1970s and 1980s, but already after 1991, including its obligations under the Budapest Memorandum?


And who ultimately humiliated the weak, humbled Weimar Russia by imposing on it the rock-solid realities of the new world order? The damned West? Please stop deceiving yourself in your grandiose myopia. The West was shocked by the prospect of the largest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century – the breakup of a nuclear superstate. US President George Bush-Senior tried unsuccessfully in his  Chicken Kiev speech  to convince the communist Ukrainian MPs of the need to preserve the Soviet Union. I remember his national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft, in his despair in Washington worrying about with whom he would negotiate about nuclear weapons. Secretary of State James Baker was rushed to the capitals of the new countries, calling on the authorities to hand over all their nuclear weapons to Russia.


The Russian nomenclature sought “independence” from the trade union center and “dropping the ballast from unnecessary republics” to avoid being assigned a supporting role in the upcoming division of the multi-billion-dollar property of the former USSR. It took only a few years and it had already gorged itself and was burping, while once again resuming its dreams of “geopolitical greatness”. Then, in 1991, the RSFSR Supreme Council ratified the Belavezha Accords almost unanimously and not at machine gun point by the Western interveners. Nikolay Travkin led 150 people for a protest in Manezhnaya Square. Great Russia of 150 people. The “Greatness” had disappeared again in three days.


A quarter of a century later, the rebuilders of the victorious state were found: the Girkins[11], Motorolas[12], Prilepins[13], Givis[14], Putins, Karaganovs[15], Lukyanovs[16], Millers[17]. In actual fact, why not rebuild by tearing apart one’s neighbors with the help of red lines? After all, almost 100 years ago, after the collapse of the Russian Empire, they succeeded in recovering approximately the same state boundaries as during the reign of the Romanovs.


Yes, it worked because Ulyanov-Lenin and his comrades did not try to pass the completely alien and hollow idea of “Great Russia” to any other nation. The Red Army had brought on its bayonets with the help of its commissars and their propaganda, the inspirational communist idea of social justice and the liberation of enslaved workers. Is it important that the idea turned out to be false and that its realization was criminal? This fact was clarified later. At the time, it captured millions of people, regardless of their nationalities, and was not just quasi-religious – it was a true new religion.


The genius Andrei Amalrik[18] was right predicting as early as in the late 1960s the collapse of the Soviet Union, stating: “Just as the adoption of Christianity extended the existence of the Roman Empire for 300 years, so too the adoption of Communism has extended for several decades the existence of the Russian Empire.”


The USSR could have disintegrated a little earlier or a little later in the same or another scenario (as the Yugoslavian, for example,) but once the Communist religion died in the souls of its high priests first and then in the hearts of the rank and file parish members, the Soviet theocratic empire was doomed.


And what possibly could today’s rogue Russian “elite” offer to its former neighbors in the communal housing estate? Nothing but pompous discussions about its majesty, its historic imperial mission, about the sacred Kherson (the new Mecca), about the Arian tribe descending from the Carpathian mountains with the dangling extra chromosome of spirituality between their legs… But this palaver is no longer interesting.


In Ukraine, the “victorious state” has lost everything. It is already indecent to speak of the “Russian world”. This Nazi concept has suffered two painful defeats by now. Firstly, it was rejected by the majority of the Russian population in Ukraine who maintained their loyalty to the Ukrainian state and its European choice. Secondly, this idea did not find significant backing in Russia either, save for social thrash from provincial car-washes and metropolitan political writers. The fascist “elite” did not find any fascist people at hand. The illustrious Novorossiya shrank to the small slice that is Lugandonia banditry, which the Kremlin is desperately trying to push back into Ukraine. “Crimea is ours” seems more and more like a suitcase without a handle. Ukraine has been lost forever and with it, the whole post-Soviet space.


Here again, Kremlin kleptocrats, pouting and sulking at the eternally hated yet devilishly attractive West, simultaneously opened the talk about the Asian vector of Russian foreign policy. We have to pay tribute to our two putinoid post-European scribes With what is left of their diminishing acumen, they know how false and contrived this new orientation is. Moreover, word has it that their Eastern colleagues say this right in their eyes:


“Moreover, in China and India many are convinced that all Asian avenues are secondary to Moscow, even worse – they are not valuable on their own. They are not taken seriously but only as supplementary and subordinate to the main goal – the struggle for the favor of the West. Thus presently Russia’s openness to Asia is perceived as an outburst and a temporary phenomenon, which will end as soon as things start improving at the next turn of the foreign policy spiral of the relationship with the West.”


So now they can see! Aren’t the two scribes pathetic and sparse in their wording? Pardon my lack of modesty, but I did warn about all this quite plausibly and convincingly fifteen years ago:


“In general, all this concept of Russian Eurasianism is secondary from historical perspective; it is like a function of the insult by the West, and for the Russian “elite” it is nothing more than a psychological bandage placed on the wound in the critical days of its relations with the West. All these motifs are wonderfully articulated in the famous poem by Blok[19]. The passionate declaration of love to Europe, when there is the slightest doubt of reciprocity, is replaced with the threatening – “if not, we have nothing to lose, And we are not above treachery! … we will turn to you with our Asian muzzles.”[20]

What are China, India, our Serbian Brothers, Iraqi or North Korean dictators? All this is nothing more than transient contingencies that the manic-depressive Russian “elite” needs in order to clarify its relationship with the ever-hated and forever beloved West. The existential Russian question “Do you respect me?” is addressed not to a casual drinking buddy, but to the sky above the West. There is no answer, however.


The Chinese, by the way, are perfectly aware of all this and therefore skeptical, handling the sporadic Russian play-act with the inevitable dose of aloofness and haughty contempt. It is possible, of course, for tactical considerations, that they will continue to fake a bond for a while, yet such endeavors can be quite wearing.


China is a cat walking on its own for several millennia; a self-sufficient country that, unlike the Russian political “elite”, does not suffer excessively, has no historical neuroses and does not need any strategic partnership with Russia, even less on anti-American grounds. If these blond pale-faced northern barbarians, who once used to impose unfair treaties to the Middle Kingdom, for some reason attach importance to the papers for strategic cooperation and multipolarity, then why not sign these papers to keep the inflow of Russian energy and Russian weapons.


Still, relations with the United States as PRC’s main business partner and political rival, are much more important than relations with Russia, and in the process of upholding them, Beijing will consider everything else but the complexes of Russian politicians.”


Perhaps, fear is the deepest psychological reason for Kremlin hysteria over the imaginary threat by the West and the insult for the “humiliation” caused by it. The authorities want to lose themselves in their entertaining heroic battle with the West, and not think about the real threats to the security of the country to the South and East as they are so serious indeed, but Moscow hasn’t got the faintest idea how to oppose them.


The “victors”, although standing on their feet, can sense with their bone marrow (they are not allowed to use anything more than that) which “partners” would let the oil giant traders to grit their teeth improperly and boast a full agenda, with radioactive ash, laughing “Topols”[21] and all, and where they must turn tails and not even mention large-scale military exercises near Russian borders.


There is a remarkable international organization – the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), created by the victors to “oppose the building of a unipolar world”. In fact, it has proved to be an ideal instrument for the full economic and geopolitical takeover of the former Central Asian Soviet republics by China in the medium term. In our time this perspective has become short-term.


The new post-Crimea understanding of the conditionality of state borders also fully concerns the Russian Federation itself. Let me remind you of that fine concept of our national leader regarding the military protection of citizens with a Russian passport or even those who feel a cultural affiliation to the Russian world, wherever they are – a solid legal argument for the forthcoming annexation of the Russian Far East and Siberia. The polite little yellow men will not even have to give away passports.


Middle Kingdom rulers no longer feel they need to conceal this uplifting perspective from their smaller strategic partners. On May 24th, 2014, Comrade Li Yuanchao drew on the wall of the Banquet Hall during the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, addressing the most representative mediocrity of our political class: “mene mene tekel upharsin”.[22]


“All your land is great and generous. Only order is absent in it. The hard-working Chinese will come and establish a new Heavenly Order.”


The arrogant gesture of the second person in the PRC was not accidental. On the contrary – it was profoundly deliberate. People close to the Russian-Chinese official talks, have concurred lately in reiterating that the Chinese worry ever less about having to pretend and put on any polite face whatsoever. They refer to the bribe-prone Russian kleptocracy with genuine contempt and are no longer ashamed to express their feelings publicly.


And why should they treat such “efficient managers” differently from the way they do in China, where they take them by trucks to the stadiums and shoot them during halftime of a football match for much lesser transgressions? The custom, of course, is barbarous by European standards, and let us hope that it will not make way to our country, yet in some respects it is quite right.


By Andrey Piontkovski


[1] The term “Asiope” was coined by the Russian historian and publicist Pavel Milyukov. He doubted the productivity of the fashionable ideas of “Eurasianism” at the beginning of the 20th century as a synthesis of Western civilization and Eastern barbarism. Miliukov believed that politics cannot be built on the marriage of despotism and pluralismand called such an alliance “Asiope” (Asia-Europe). Subsequently, this neologism was used by Joseph Brodsky.

[2] Alexander Andreyevich Prokhanov is a Soviet and Russian writer, a member of the secretariat of the Writers Union of the Russian Federation.

[3] Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin is a Russian political analyst, known for his fascist views.

[4] Supporters of the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO is a Russian social liberal party.

[5] Dr. Alexei Georgievich Arbatov, PhD is a full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Head of the Center for International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations.

[6] Vladimir Petrovich Lukin is Russian liberal political activist who served as Human Rights Commissioner of Russia from 2004 to 2014.

[7] Дзюдохерия-Rus. A term coined by the author and gaining popularity

[8] The term used is pahan, the head of a criminal group

[9] Bandits – in Russian

[10] The Foundation Pit is a novel by the Russian writer, playwright, and poet, Andrei Platonov. The plot revolves around a group of workers living in the early Soviet Union. They attempt to dig out a huge foundation pit on the base of which a gigantic house will be built for the country’s proletarians. The workers dig each day but slowly cease to understand the meaning of their work. The enormous foundation pit sucks out all of their physical and mental energy.

[11] Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin (Russian: И́горь Ива́нович Стрелко́в) is  a Russian army artillery veteran who played a key role in the Russian occupation of Crimea, and later the War in Donbass as an organizer of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s militant groups

[12] Arsen (Arseny) Sergeyevich Pavlov ; (b.1983 – d. 2016), known by his nom de guerre Motorola, was a Russian citizen who led the Sparta Battalion, an armed group fighting the Ukrainian army, in the ongoing War in Donbass.

[13] Yevgenii Nikolaevich Prilepinр writing as Zahar Prilepin is a Russian writer, and a member of Russia’s unregistered National Bolshevik Party since 1996.

[14] Mikhail Sergeyevich Tolstykh, better known by his callsign Givi, was a commander of the pro-Russian Somalia Battalion in the War in Donbass.

[15] Sergey Alexandrovich Karaganov is a Russian political scientist who heads the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy and is a former Presidential Advisor to both Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin.

[16] Fyodor Lukyanov. Share. Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs magazine, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy.

[17] Alexey Borisovich Miller is the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Management Committee (CEO) of Russian energy company Gazprom.

[18] Andrei Alekseevich Amalrik was a Russian writer and dissident, was best known for his essay Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?

[19] Alexander Alexandrovich Blok was a Russian lyrical poet (b 1880 – d.1921).

[20] Translators: Tatiana Tulchinsky, Andrew Wachtel, and Gwenan Wilbur

[21] Topol is a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile designed in the Soviet Union.

[22] The phrase mene mene tekel upharsin (Daniel 5), appeared on a wall in the palace of Belshazzar, the acting king of Babylon. The biblical account of the mysterious and frightening appearance of the phrase has given rise to the modern expression “the handwriting on the wall,” meaning “a portent or warning of inevitable misfortune.”

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