The history of present-day Russia has been untypically idiosyncratic both in its schizophrenic mentality as well as in its discombobulated irrationality. Starting with the Varangian rule of Prince Oleg of Novgorod in 882, continuing with the Mongol invasion in 1237-1240, and culminating in the establishment of the Tsardom of Russia in 1547, the synthesis of Slavic-Byzantine-Mongolian heritage has given birth to the first pseudo Russian civilization, in which stark disagreements about what constitutes such a culture have never been solved with unambiguous clarity. In its civilizational cum cultural misery, Russia has remained completely isolated from Europe and Asia for two centuries. More importantly, from a political perspective, the Russian monarchy was evil from its inception. In this manner, national or individual liberties were never contemplated, let alone implemented, throughout Russia’s bloody history.
Then, around the late 17th century, the fourteenth child of Tsar Alexis, called Pyotr Alekseyevich, emerged first in 1682 as a co-ruler and in 1696 as the sole Sovereign of all Russia. Until his death in 1725, this monarch, known in the West as Peter the Great or Emperor Peter I, attempted by ruthless despotism to “Westernize” his realm. He built a military fashioned after the Western Empires, partially broke the monopoly of the Russian Orthodox Church over public education, and reorganized the administration. Latent and open opposition to his Western reforms resulted in an interregnum that lasted until 1762, when the second of his surviving daughters Catherine I was crowned.
From there on, Tsarist Russia was even more badly ruled. A succession of male and female despots were more preoccupied with navigating the cruel labyrinths of factional wars than dealing with Russia’s chronic domestic backwardness and international isolation. Even the long reign of Catherine II did not result in lasting reforms for the better. While having built cordial relationships with many of the great minds of her era and amassed tremendous powers, she was bound by emotional attractions, interests, and opinions, which she had to observe. Following the French Revolution, she turned against everything she helped to create. When she died in 1796, her mentally challenged son Paul mounted the throne. In March 1801, he was duly assassinated by the nobility led by the Count of Bennigsen.
His son Alexander was the product of a mentaly ill father and the grandson of a nymphomaniac. Accordingly, throughout his reign, he exhibited all the signs of mental impediments. His contradictory foreign policies throughout the Napoleonic wars earned him the contempt of Europe. At home, he oscillated between two extremes: despotism and liberalism. At the end, he became the proverbial bull in the China shop at the Vienna Congress as well as in Russia. His death on December 1, 1825, triggered the Decembrist Revolution against his successor, Nicholas I. Antagonist of both the throne as well as his brother’s flirtation with Western ideas, Nicholas I became a dreaded despot and the sworn enemy of free thought and reforms both at home and abroad. His successors were as incompetent and occasionally mentally deranged as most of the Tsars after Peter the Great.
Repeatedly humiliated by crashing military defeats in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the dead Russian soldiers killed the living political elite. The misnamed Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 was nothing but a desperate attempt to save Imperial Russia from itself. Led by an exiled anti-Tsarist demagogue Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, aka Lenin, who took full advantage of the disintegration of the monarchy during World War I, Russia was violently transformed into a terrorist state. Having wrapped himself and his movement into the ideological cloth of fuzzy Marxism, he laid the foundation with his hypocritical rhetoric to the future destruction of the Soviet Union through self-interested preaching of fallacious idealistic theories. Moreover, by mixing his views on class hatred with racism-stinged Pan Slavism, he established the future Soviet Union as a militaristic nation predisposed to unbending hostility, which stood in a state of perpetual war with the rest of the world. In the same vein, he instituted a degree of domestic terrorism that was unparalelled even under the despotism of Tsarist Russia. Finally, by promising a “new world order,” his thesis of “total war” destroyed humanistic values across the Red Army occupied lands, instead of bringing about the promised perfect world. Russia’s pseudo civilization was never about humanity. Essentially, international politics was divided between the Soviet Union cum Russia, and with few exceptions, the rest of the world.
No wonder that this bastard political fraud, which was further debased by the boundless terror of Stalinism, deflated any optimism regarding the future betterment of Soviet Communism cum Socialism. In 1991, the much glorified Soviet experiment ended in a catastrophic defeat and enormous global disarray following more than seven decades of obdurate refusal by the Kremlin to face reality. After a decade of chaotic interregnum, in April 2000, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin became the head of state with virtually unlimited powers. The legislature was made the obedient instrument of the President. So was the judiciary. The declared objective of the President to turn Russia internationally into a positive player in Europe and beyond and to build a democratic society at home, came to a crushing end first in Georgia in 2008 and then, in quick succession in Ukraine in 2014 and in 2022. The coming military defeat in Ukraine presages the future collapse of the Russian Federation too that points to a much deeper malaise, namely, the repeated failures to address the centuries-old conflict between Westernization and Pan Slavism in earnest. Putin’s restoration of Russia’s Asiatic despotism will remain, as in the past, incongruent with his efforts to unite Pan Slavism and Western values into a coherent set of political, economic, cultural and moral systems. Today, history again repeats itself. Freedom and Despotism, Individualism and Globalism are in a worldwide struggle for supremacy. To wit, in the middle of these proverbial red lines is the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
To state the truth as plainly as possible, President Putin is a mediocre product of this totalitarian and inhuman pseudo civilization cum culture. As by his countless predecessors, the question of right versus wrong has never entered his mind or his conscience. His miraculous epiphany from a cold blooded officer of the KGB stationed in the occupied eastern part of Germany to a deeply religious adherent of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose teachings represent a corrupted form of Christianity, attests to a morally and intellectually irredeemably corrupt character. Coupled with the corrupt, decadent and backward culture of the Russian Federation, he will never understand what democracy, individual freedom, opposition to despotism, and domestic as well as international principles of justice are all about. Moreover, having been led by the spirit of despotism throughout his professional career, he has never comprehended the distinction between elective leadership and coercive submission of his constituents. Finally, he has always been oblivious to the needs of the average Russian, because he has never respected the basic rules of justice and the most elementar values of human life.
While Russia’s history is replete with weak despots who appeared powerful on the surface, they all considered themselves to be the “Peter the Great” of a crooked course that attempted to combine reform and order. With the illegal invasion of Ukraine, President Putin has added to this fallacious domestic agenda the dictum of rebuilding Russia’s glory on the most extremely racist Pan Slavik tradition. In this sense, he has stated repeatedly that his Russia will be for or against the rest of the world according to his personal judgments and desires. His self-serving interpretation of history, in which his belief in a unifying policy of all Slavik people and beyond, supporting the creation of a Pan Slavik Empire out of a pot-pouri of “artificial” states such as Ukraine, has been bound to result in a catastrophically antagonistic foreign policy. This quest for the forced union of all Slavik nations as well as peoples has been designed from the beginning to destroy the existing international order that had triumphed over his predecessor Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin.
Thus, when NATO, the European Union and President Zelenskiyy rejected his ultimatums, President Putin began to execute the illegal invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine. On February 24, 2022, his military marched into Ukraine. After initial military successes and amid chaotic fighting, the Russian military advances have stalled. The reasons are many but one argument stands out. In President Putin’s sickly mind the fundamental concepts of his despotic regime at home closely correlate with his basic ideas of Russia’s current foreign policy. Thus, President Putin has a choice to make – either he repudiates Russia’s historical despotism at home with his ridiculous ambition for the violent unification of all Slavs, which includes usurpation of the political processes abroad and all of his outlandish territorial aggrandizements, or he will bring about his demise and the total destruction of the Russian Federation. In other words, unless his barbaric shenanigans of political folly at home and abroad end, he will surely fail in all of his objectives. History will remember him as a loser of epic proportions. For all of these reasons, enduring peace in Europe and beyond is impossible unless President Putin and his inner circle in the Kremlin does comprehend that employing exclusively military force to advance Russia’s political objectives is transitory, while the destructive nature of race-based Pan Slavism will live on indefinitely. For NATO, the European Union and the rest of the freedom loving states the strategy must be obvious. President Putin’s narrow-minded and racist empirical political folly must be decisively rejected. In order to stop once and for all the Russian military menace to the world, the rest of the world must be united, determined and free of biased visions. Such a steady resolve will guard the decision makers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean from being duped by President Putin’s lies and evil rhetoric or, in the alternative, becoming the victims of unexpected circumstances. Finally, this united front cannot be allowed to be choked by squabbles and internal contradictions. The status quo ante in Eastern Europe must be restored in its fullest. Nothing less would assure the lasting peace and stability of the world.