Sunday, December 3, 2017

Moscow’s Local Wars Since 1945 have had a Common Imperial Purpose, Khristenzen Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 3 – After 1945, Moscow took part in some 50 local wars, 39 of which the Russian law “on veterans” recognize officially.  The last of those officially recognized is in Syria, where Russian military involvement began in 2015. Russia’s military role in Ukraine, however, isn’t recognized by Moscow but must be included, Yury Khristenzen says.

            “The real goals in all of these 50 ‘post-war’ wars of the Kremlin were one and the same and based on the imperial ideology of its occupants,” the Moscow commentator says, even though they always presented what they were doing as being about defense or liberation and never mentioned the imperial component (

            Moreover, in every case, he continues, their methods were always “win-lose – perhaps we will live worse but you will live still worse than we,” a reflection of the unfortunate reality that Russians have always been ruled by “people with the psychology of bandits” rather than by statesmen concerned about the well-being of their own people.

            The goals the Kremlin said it was pursuing were always intended to whitewash its “real goals and methods. We always were defending our victims and dealing with some sort of threat. For example, in Afghanistan, we were defending ourselves from the placement of NATO bases near the USSR and defending the Afghans from ‘the Amin junta.’”

            In addition, Khristenzen says, the Soviet system was based on prizes and ranks that could only be won in and have value in military times, and thus those who sought to rise had a vested interest in military conflicts so that they could get ahead. Unfortunately, that “professional deformation of the leadership of the state” continues.”

            Those in the Kremlin now like those in the Kremlin in Soviet times do not know how to act otherwise.

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