Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Normally I wouldn't give much credence to a story written by some random journalist I don't know.. However, this story was published just a couple of days ago in an official Russian government supporting media forum. It also echoes many of the themes in Putin's recent speech on the de-Nazification of Ukraine and the fact that he doesn't consider Ukraine to be a "real" country.

AFAIK the single most influential Russian foreign policy textbook is "The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia" , a book by Aleksandr Dugin who says it was inspired by General Nikolai Klokotov of the Academy of the General Staff and Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, head of the International Department of the Russian Ministry of Defence. It is required reading in Russian military academies. It says of Ukraine:

"Ukraine should be annexed by Russia because "Ukraine as a state has no geopolitical meaning, no particular cultural import or universal significance, no geographic uniqueness, no ethnic exclusiveness, its certain territorial ambitions represent an enormous danger for all of Eurasia and, without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics". Ukraine should not be allowed to remain independent, unless it is cordon sanitaire, which would be inadmissible." [see wiki]

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 4th, 2022 at 08:26:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and the fact that he doesn't consider Ukraine to be a "real" country.

This is hardly just Putin. I knew Jewish emigrees from the Cold War who beiieved the same thing.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Apr 4th, 2022 at 10:07:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Timofei Sergeitsev is well known in Ukraine and presidential campaign circles ... responses on an Ukrainian website RFERL Svoboda.

"Appearance with guilt." Runet reads "manifesto of Russian fascism" | RFERL |

Igor Gretsky:

Let me remind you, this is the same political technologist who for many years selflessly worked on pro-Kremlin projects like Prokhorov or Yanukovych. Since the early 2000s, he has voiced Putin's already familiar theses about Ukraine: its "external governance," its "civil war"; about hints at the consequences of decommunization and de-Sovietization in the form of loss of territories, etc. He also pushed the idea of Ukraine as an "instrument of shock to Russia." After the Orange Revolution, he predicted a "lemon revolution" led by Yulia Tymoshenko, which was supposed to make Ukraine a "completely puppet state."

And now about the article itself. It is absolutely cannibalistic. Following in the footsteps of the Italian fascists and the German Nazis, the author justifies national violence. The text essentially justifies the genocide of Ukrainians. But the article is not just about Ukraine. There is an equal sign between Nazism and Europeanization. Consequently, the search for "Nazis" will be not only in Ukraine, but in Russia as well. That is, Russians who considered the European path of development possible for their country will be forced to "part with their pro-European illusions."

Vadim Fulmacht:

In 1999, I had the opportunity to listen to Timofey Sergeytsev's speeches at Artek [Арте́к],  where I was briefly involved as a young man as part of the Street Television project (this was a preparation for Kuchma's election campaign, which I did not yet know about). Sergeytsev spoke very brightly. Dmitry Kulikov, if I'm not mistaken, was also there. These are not some half-witted fanatics like [Alexandre] Dugin and [Sergei] Glazyev, but real intellectuals, very erudite.

Sergeytsev and Co. are professional political technologists, absolutely cynical. However, as shown by the results of their wards in the elections in Ukraine (for example, the result of Yatsenyuk in 2009), they are not able to influence the voter, but are well able to enchant the customer. Hence the obvious conclusion: Sergeytsev's manifesto reflects the main customer's ideas about beauty (in the opinion of Timothy). I do not rule out that this customer has not yet made a choice and has not provided a budget, so Sergeytsev's text is something like a "test task".

Dmitry Shusharin:

Timofey Sergeytsev's article is useful in its own way, both for its frankness and the author's belonging to a fraudulent and fascist - yes, this combination - subculture associated with the names of father and son Shchedrovitsky. The younger one has been training Sergei Kirienko for more than twenty years, which is very significant.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 5th, 2022 at 12:27:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Rise And Fall (And Rise?) Of Arseniy Yatsenyuk | ECFR - Oct 19, 2009 |

Yatsenyuk was suddenly no longer omnipresent on the Inter TV channel then close to Firtash. Pinchuk became the more important sponsor, and replaced Yatsenyuk's Ukrainian team with Russian-connected "political technologists:" Timofei Sergeitsev, Dmitry Kulikov, and Iskander Valitov.

As well as working for Yanukovych's controversial campaign in 2004, the new Russian team came from the Duma Expert Council under Konstantin Zatulin. It is headed by Sergei Markov and notorious for its attempts to set up Russia-friendly NGOs and politicians throughout the CIS. If Russia cannot control or confront Ukraine directly, it has an interest in helping to build up a "satellite ideology."

The new team pushed a version of a Russian "third way" ideology, which stretches from the nationalist right to earlier campaigns for the Union of Rightist Forces and Anatoly Chubais's infamous "liberal imperialism." It combines business-friendly policies with attacks on the bankruptcy of the West and Western liberalism, the consequent degradation of structures based on them like the EU, and the rise of an alternative pole centered around Russia in the east.

'Greater Europe'

Yatsenyuk shifted from his plague-on-both-your-houses rhetoric and so-called "New Ukrainian Pragmatism" to something more like a new Ukrainian isolationism, suddenly repositioning himself as the Sinn Féin ("Ourselves Alone") candidate and lambasting the EU and everything non-Ukrainian. His campaign slogans - "Productive Village," "A Battle-Ready Army," and "New Industrialization" - suddenly sent a different message, one that also sounded more like "feed and support Russia."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 5th, 2022 at 12:30:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For those who can read French, this Twitter thread from Anna Colin Lebedev, professor at Paris-Nanterre university & specialist of post-Soviet societies:
  • RIA is state-controlled but is not an official communication of the Russian government.
  • Nevertheless, everything published there is "acceptable by the State", even though not "official" discourse.
  • Russian prime time national TV shows are choke full of "freaks calling for murder, genocide, nuclear war. This has been the case for years. Leaving ordinary Russians unmoved." (I've seen some sample of this: armchair warriors casually discussing annexation of the Baltics, carving out Poland and nuclear bombing of Germany. Fox News looks like a Sunday church picnic in comparison)
  • Timofei Sergueitsev doesn't have any official position (free electron), but it shows "the idea of the necessary extermination of Ukrainians is growing within Russian society." It's not impossible this discourse might be adopted by the Russian leadership at some point.
  • No official policy yet, but setting the stage.
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 5th, 2022 at 08:15:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Roughly as I expected, but has there been any official denial that his article reflects state policy? Have Russian ambassadors been summoned to explain whether it reflects official policy?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Apr 5th, 2022 at 08:26:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No: this kind of discourse has been bread and butter on Russian media, only now with the volume cranked up to 11 and more attention being paid to it from Europe.

Why should there be any official denial? Officially, this is just his own opinion, largely shared by a vast number of "patriots".

Is the US ambassador summoned each time Tucker Carlson bleats out yet another deranged editorial?

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 5th, 2022 at 08:43:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, no, because Tucker supports Russia.  His little show, the White Power Hour, is quite consistent with Putinism.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2022 at 12:50:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kramatorsk rocket strike: it wasn't us

The Kremlin has denied that Russia was involved in a missile strike on a railway station in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Speaking to reporters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Russian armed forces had no missions scheduled for Kramatorsk on Friday.

Russia's defence ministry has also denied that Russian forces were responsible for the strike, the Russian state-owned news agency RIA reported.

The Russian state-owned organisation quoted the ministry as saying that the missile was of a type used only by the Ukrainian military, and similar to one that hit the centre of the city of Donetsk on 14 March.

The Russian government has consistently denied it has attacked civilians since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Apr 8th, 2022 at 12:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Ukrainian servicemen stand next to a fragment of a Tochka-U missile with a writing in Russian "For our children" after Russian shelling at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Friday, April 8, 2022. Photograph: Andriy Andriyenko/AP

Context : the Ukrainian government has urged civilians to leave the Ukraine-controlled parts of the Donbass, to avoid being encircled and murdered by the RF army.

 The only train line is then bombed by the Russians, resulting in 4000 civilians being concentrated at the Kramatorsk railway station.

Then rockets arrive, killing at least 39.

The Russian denials, I think we have understood by now, are strictly for domestic consumption. (it's possible that there are still some among their apologists in the west who choose to believe them)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Apr 8th, 2022 at 12:34:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OTOH, Dmitry Medvedev is an official from the Russian government:

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 5th, 2022 at 08:37:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They want to lose to Portugal too?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2022 at 10:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many tractors do Portuguese farmers have?
by IdiotSavant on Wed Apr 6th, 2022 at 01:32:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably enough to hold back a Russian tank division, on current form

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Apr 6th, 2022 at 09:55:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Accordning to MSN he said

`The goal is for the sake of the peace of future generations of Ukrainians themselves and the opportunity to finally build an open Eurasia - from Lisbon to Vladivostok.'

Considering that the phrase "Lisbon to Vladivostok" isn't new, and has previously refered to economic integration, I would say taht interpreting this as a threat of war or empire (as for example MSN does) is to put too much into it.

by fjallstrom on Wed Apr 6th, 2022 at 08:31:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given what they are willing to do to Ukranians "for the sake of the peace of future generations of Ukrainians", I would not be so sure.
by det on Wed Apr 6th, 2022 at 09:04:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series