This article from the Russian state propaganda publication RIA Novosti was to be published after the occupation of Ukraine but was accidentally published early and then removed. The Internet Archive web service, however, managed to save it.
We at New Politics don’t usually publish rightwing positions or articles from state agencies, but we make an exception here because we believe it is important to understand Vladimir Putin’s worldview and his long-term goals. While Putin himself didn’t write this, the professional propagandist Pyotr Akopov writing for a state-owned publication presents several of Putin’s central ideological and strategic views.
Akopov’s article’s dominant theme is an old one, first raised in Oswald Spengler’s 1918 book The Decline of the West, which announced the fall of European civilization. Putin too argues there is a decline of the West and—though it isn’t discussed in this article—now will be the time of Russia, the Slavs, and a great Eurasian power. The war in Ukraine is an essential step for the establishment of this new force.
Akopov argues—as Putin recently did—that the collapse of the Soviet empire was a “terrible catastrophe.” It was the fall of the USSR, of course, that reestablished Ukrainian independence. Putin’s war then is about restoring the complete Russia that includes the Great Russian, and Belarusians, and the Little Russians, that is, the Ukrainians. In doing so Putin is overcoming Russia’s sense of “humiliation.” And he is doing so sooner rather than later when reincorporating Ukraine to Russia would involve a full-scale confrontation with “the Atlanticist bloc.”
Ukraine will be restored to Russia, Akopov argues, with its own boundaries within Russia and with the elimination of anti-Russian sentiment there. Russia’s position as part of Europe will be reestablished. The defense of Russia from the expansion of the West and the reassertion of Russia’s role as a European power has led the West to punish Russia, Akpov argues. But the “Anglo-Saxons,” the U.S.-U.K. alliance, are losing power and the Western nations in general are in decline, and the rise of a greater Russia will be supported by countries around the world. There will an end to Western domination as the center of power shifts to the Pacific and a multipolar world emerges.
Putin has many other ultra-right ideas that Akopov doesn’t take up here, but there is no doubt that this article gives insight into some of them. – Eds.
The Offensive of Russia and the New World
A new world is being born before our eyes. Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has ushered in a new era in three dimensions. And of course, in the fourth, domestic Russian. Here begins a new period both in ideology and in the very model of our socio-economic system – but this should be discussed separately a little later.
Russia is restoring its unity – the tragedy of 1991, this terrible catastrophe of our history, its unnatural dislocation, has been overcome. Yes, at a great price, yes, through the tragic events of the actual civil war, because now brothers are still shooting at each other, separated by belonging to the Russian and Ukrainian armies – but Ukraine will be no longer be anti-Russia. Russia is restoring its historical fullness by gathering the Russian world, the Russian people together – in all its totality of Great Russians, Belarusians and Little Russians. If we had abandoned this, if we had allowed the temporary division to take hold for centuries, we would not only have betrayed the memory of our ancestors, but we would have been cursed by our descendants for allowing the disintegration of the Russian land.
Nationalists in Ukraine are fighting on the recommendation of foreigners, Vladimir Putin has assumed, without a drop of exaggeration, a historic responsibility by choosing not to leave the solution to the Ukrainian question to future generations. After all, the need to solve it would always remain the main problem for Russia – for two key reasons. And the issue of national security, that is, the creation of an anti-Russia from Ukraine and an outpost for the pressure of the West on us, is only the second most important among them.
The first would always be the complex of a divided people, a complex of national humiliation – when the Russian house first lost part of its foundation (Kiev), and then had to accept the existence of two states of not one, but two peoples. That is, either to abandon their history, agreeing with the insane versions that “only Ukraine is the real Rus”, or to impotently gnash their teeth, remembering the times when “we lost Ukraine”. To return Ukraine, that is, to return it to Russia, with would become more and more difficult with each decade – recoding, de-Russification of Russians and turning against Russian, Little Russians-Ukrainians, would gain momentum. And if the full geopolitical and military control of the West over Ukraine is consolidated, its return to Russia would become completely impossible – it would have to fight for it with the Atlantic bloc.
Now this problem does not exist – Ukraine has returned to Russia. This does not mean that its statehood will be liquidated, but it will be restructured, re-established and returned to its natural state part of the Russian world. Within what boundaries, in what form will the union with Russia be fixed (through the The Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Eurasian Union o a United State with Russia and Belarus)? This will be decided after the end is put in the history of Ukraine as an anti-Russia. In any case, the period of division of the Russian people ends.
And here begins the second dimension of the coming new era – it concerns Russia’s relations with the West. Not even Russia, but the Russian world, that is, three states, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, acting geopolitically as a single whole. This relationship has entered a new phase – the West sees Russia returning to its historical borders in Europe, and loudly resents this, although deep down it must admit to itself that it could not have been otherwise.
Did anyone in the old European capitals, Paris and Berlin seriously believe that Moscow would give up Kiev? That Russians would forever be a divided people? And at the same time that Europe is uniting, when the German and French elites are trying to seize control of European integration from the Anglo-Saxons and bring together a united Europe? Forgetting that the unification of Europe became possible only through unification. Germany’s unification, which happened by a good (albeit not very clever) Russian will. To swing after that to claiming Russian lands is the height of not even ingratitude, but geopolitical stupidity. The West as a whole, and even more so Europe individually, did not have the strength to keep in its sphere of influence, much less to take Ukraine for itself. Not to understand this, you just had to be geopolitical fools.
More precisely, there was only one option: to bet on the further collapse of Russia, that is, the Russian Federation. But the fact that it didn’t work should have been clear twenty years ago. And fifteen years ago, after Putin’s Munich speech, even a deaf person could hear that Russia was returning.
Now the West is trying to punish Russia for the fact that it returned, for not justifying its plans to profit at its expense, for not allowing the expansion of Western space to the east. In seeking to punish us, the West thinks that relations with it are of vital importance to us. But this is no longer the case – the world has changed, and this is well understood not only by Europeans, but also by the Anglo-Saxons who rule the West. No Western pressure on Russia will lead to anything. The losses from the escalation of confrontation will be on both sides, but Russia is ready for them morally and geopolitically. But for the West itself, an increase in the degree of confrontation carries huge costs – and the main ones are not economic at all.
Europe, as part of the West, wanted autonomy – the German project of European integration makes no strategic sense while maintaining Anglo-Saxon ideological, military and geopolitical control over the Old World. And it cannot be successful, because the Anglo-Saxons need a controlled Europe. But obtaining autonomy is necessary for Europe and for another reason – in case the States move to self-isolation (as a result of the growth of internal conflicts and contradictions) or focus on the Pacific region, where the geopolitical center of gravity is moving.
Russia, into which the Anglo-Saxons are dragging Europe, deprives Europeans of even a chance of independence – not to mention the fact that in the same way they are trying to impose a break with China. If the Atlanticists are now happy that the “Russian threat” will unite the Western bloc, then Berlin and Paris cannot help but understand that, having lost hope for autonomy, the European project will simply collapse in the medium term. That is why independent-minded Europeans are now completely unable to understand that, having lost hope for autonomy, the European project will simply collapse in the medium term. That is why independent-minded Europeans are now completely unable to understand that, having lost hope for autonomy are interested in building a new Iron Curtain on their eastern borders – realizing that it will turn into a corral for Europe. Whose century (or rather half a millennium) of global leadership is over anyway – but various options for its future are still possible.
Because the construction of a new world order – and this is the third dimension of current events – is accelerating, and its contours are becoming more and more clearly visible through the sprawling veil of Anglo-Saxon globalization. The multipolar world has finally become a reality – the operation in Ukraine is not able to rally anyone but the West against Russia. Because the rest of the world perfectly sees and understands that this is a conflict between Russia and the West, this is a response to the geopolitical expansion of the Atlanticists, this is Russia’s return of its historical space and its place in the world.
China and India, Latin America and Africa, the Islamic world and Southeast Asia – no one believes that the West leads the world order, much less sets the rules of the game. Russia has not just challenged the West – it has shown that the era of Western global domination can be considered completely and finally over. The new world will be built by all civilizations and centers of power. naturally, together with the West (united or not) – but not on its terms and not according to its rules.