Staunton, January 1 – Most Russian commentators argue that the United States is doing everything it can not only to break up the former Soviet space by pulling the non-Russian countries away from Moscow but also to undermine the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation itself.
But Oleg Tsarev, a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician who has been part of the Kremlin’s Novorossiya project from the beginning, argues in a new article that the United States is unwittingly promoting the restoration of the USSR, something he describes as “a strategic mistake of Washington” (svpressa.ru/blogs/article/139536/)
As perverse as his argument appears to be, his words deserve attention both as an indication of how some pro-Moscow elements in occupied Ukraine feel and as a reflection of the kind of messages Russian propagandists may be delivering not only there but also in other parts of the former Soviet space and more generally.
According to Tsaryev, “the US, guided by the theory of controlled chaos, has organized ‘color’ revolutions and wars throughout the entire world” and flooded Europe with refugees. “The goal of these actions” is to make the US appear to be the only “safe harbor” for capital and thus prop up the American economy which is near collapse thanks to rising government debt.
“Potentially, Russia could be a center around which countries that want to challenge the world hegemon the US could assemble,” he continues. And therefore, the US has sought to undermine stability in Russia’s neighbors and even Russia itself. It has had some success in the former case but little in the latter.
“Economic sanctions, insufficient successes in import substitution, the eternal problem of post-Soviet countries – corruption and as a result the outflow of capital – and problems in credit and monetary policy have led to a decline in Russia’s GDP,” Tsaryev acknowledges. But he says that the Russian leadership has prevented Western actions from having the impact the US wants.
Indeed, the pro-Moscow Donbas politician says, “the paradox of the situation is htat thanks to the actions of the US not only in the majority of post-Soviet countries but also in Europe itself can arise processes which sharply reduce the standard of living and destroy the state institutions of the authorities.”
“In other words,” Tsaryev says, “around Russia may arise such a zone of chaos and powerlessness that will mean that the problems inside Russia will appear insignificant in comparison.” And in that case, Moscow will “inevitably become a center around which unification processes will begin.”
He argues that “this is not the first such occasion in [Russian] history. Similar processes occurred when Russia established itself in the form of the USSR after the Civil War,” when Russia was in much worse straits than now but when the situation in the territories immediately around it was even worse.
“When people have nothing to eat, when there is no law and order, when you or members of your family can be killed, raped, or stolen from at will, questions of ideology for a large part of the population become less important,” Tsaryev says.
That is what is happening in Ukraine and many other places as well, thanks to US actions, and as a result, “despite the Russophobia imposed on the population, people will be ready to unite even with Mars and not just with Russia,” he suggests.
According to Tsaryev, Washington’s destructive actions will only intensify with the worsening of the domestic situation in the US. But “if the situation in Russia can hold out, and [he says that he] is certain that it will because its strong army will prevent an intervention and its strong power is capable of decisive actions to maintain order, then Russia has good chances for the restoration of its former greatness.”
“At the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union,” he continues, “we passed through such difficulties and were tempered to the point that the coming crisis doesn’t frighten us … [Russians] were the first to go into crisis, to survive, to restore ourselves, thus we look to the future with optimism.”
Moreover, he concludes, Russian civilization has a millennium of historical experience. Many times many people have “unsuccessful sought to divide, conquer and put us on our knees, but each time after all the tests, our country, like the Phoenix, is reborn from the ashes and becomes even stronger and more beautiful.”