Putin’s Lost Weekend
“He has a discussion there about Big Russia and Little Russia — Ukraine. He says that no one should be allowed to interfere in relations between us; they have always been the business of Russia itself.”
— Russian “prime minister” VladimirPutin, quoting White Army Commander Anton Denikin last Sunday while laying a wreath upon his grave
There he goes, again. Is he drunk, stupid, a maniac or simply evil? Any way you slice it, he’s a venal enemy of Russia’s future.
It must be so nice to live in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, mustn’t it? Everyone is a hero! It would be like living in the USA and feeling that Martin Luther King and David Duke both made equally important contributions to American success — just different, that’s all.
Josef Stalin, Bolshevik; Anton Denikin, Tsarist. Great Russian heroes, one and all!
We’ll come to the “Ukraine is just little Russia” remark in due course, but let’s focus on Putin’s lionizing of a racist, imperialist lunatic in order to justify Russian aggression against its peaceful neighbors and anyone who would dare to make alliance with them. Paul Goble, referring diplomatically to Putin’s “unreflective nationalim,” points out that while ostensibly opposed to the Bolshevik dictatorship “it was Denikin’s unwillingness to make any concessions to non-Russian groups, combined with Lenin’s false promises of respect for national self-determination that led to the collapse of the anti-Bolshevik cause and allowed the communists to triumph, first at the expense of the Russians and then of the non-Russians among and around them.”
At one stroke, the madman named Putin has alienated all those connected with Russia, both within and without its borders, who are not ethnically “Russian” as Putin (and Denikin) would define that term. Goble reminds us that Denkin was highly sympathetic with the Nazia attack on the Bolsheviks and consistently expressed a Hitlerian contempt for the rights of ethnic minorities throughout Russia. Worse, he considered people in places like Georgia and Ukraine to be nothing more than such minorities, living on Russian territory at the pleasure of the Russian Tsar. Goble cites a number of Russian liberals who believe that Putin’s remarks signal a desire to restore the Russian Empire and the subjugation of as many former Soviet slave states as possible.
Goble writes: “In April 2008, Putin notoriously said that ‘Ukraine is not a state! What is Ukraine? Part of its territory is Eastern Europe, and part, a significant part, was given to it by us!'” How do Russians expect Ukrainians to react to crazed imperialist rhetoric of this kind? Should they agree and submit? Is that what Russia would do if such rhetoric was aimed at it by the United States?
They are hardly likely to do so, but rather will be pushed even farther away from Russia, ever closer to NATO and the West. Russia will stand ever more utterly alone. Time magazine quotes Olexandr Paliy, a political analyst with the Institute of Foreign Policy at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Academy:
These comments by Putin should be taken very seriously. Russia is engaged in a propaganda war against Ukraine, designed to convince the West not to support Ukraine. Russia doesn’t understand cooperation with equals, only with subordinates.
So it’s clear: Russia is totally unable to deal with Ukraine by any means except brute force. When the U.S. tries to deal with Russia in that way, Russia calls such tactics dangerous and illegitimate. Yet Russia has no hesitation in adopting them to serve its own interests, chiefly because Russia has absolutely nothing to offer Ukraine at the bargaining table, much less by way of friendship.
Ukrainians can now clearly see the absolute contempt — race-based hatred– with which Russians regard them. They are, in fact, viewed by Russia as slaves of the Kremlin, targets of plunder and exploitation. Their only choice is to unifty against Russian aggression and stand with NATO and the EU against the neo-Soviet empire. Any other choice will only allow Russia to drag Ukraine into the black hole of neo-Soviet failure and ultimate collapse.