Sunday, December 25, 2016

25 Years On, Evil Empire is Less Big but No Less Evil, Yakovenko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 25 – Twenty-five years ago, Mikhail Gorbachev bowed to the inevitable and handed over the nuclear codes to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, thus bringing to an end the inglorious history of the Soviet Union which Ronald Reagan precisely described as “the evil empire.”

            Now, that empire is smaller in many ways, but it is no less evil, Igor Yakovenko says. While the USSR was a super power, “Russia has been transformed into a super-problem” and the size of the threats to the world emanating from it have not in any way diminished (

            “Being a super power, the USSR completely justified the name ‘evil empire.’” Putin’s Russia, “which has been reduced by some measures by a factor of two and by others by an order of magnitude (science and technology) nevertheless continues to remain the very same ‘evil empire,’” the Russian commentator says.

            He cites with approval the observation of Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkavicius that “Russia is a super-problem but not a super power,”  arguing that “one can with certainty assert that Putin today is the biggest producer of problems in the world.”

            “Despite all the ineffectiveness of the way it tried to organize society and its anti-human essence, the Soviet Union was a strong state,” Yakovenko says. “Putin’s Russia is a weak state; and in its attempts to oppose Western civilization, it has chosen the weapons of the weak – terrorism and provocations.”

            It has put particular pressuren its nearest neighbors, “above all Ukraine, Moldova and the Baltic countries,” and it has sought to divide and disorder the countries of Europe.
“Whether Trump is good or bad for America is for the Americans to decide,” Yakovenko continues. “But that the West has lost a leader to oppose Putin is already a fait accompli.”

            “In this situation,” he says, “the only barrier to Putin’s hybrid aggression may be Germany headed by Angela Merkel … but knowing who Putin is and also understanding what is at stake, it is impossible not to presuppose that he will not try to do something” to force her from office.

            According to Yakovenko, “the process of the Schroederization of the European elite has gone much further than a sense of national security and self-preservation should have allowed.”  It reflects the fact that European and American leaders lack any understanding of what they are up against in the form of Putin’s Russia.

            “Words have meaning,” he says. “The overwhelming majority of Western politicians do not know Russian and therefore don’t watch Russian television or read Russian newspapers.” That may be good for their mental health, but it isn’t especially good for their national security and survival.

            They don’t recognize that “for Putin and his entourage, human life has significant only if this life is ‘theirs.’” They will get upset about the death of an ambassador or the shooting down of a pilot, but they are indifferent their own mass murder of innocent civilians in Aleppo and elsewhere.

            Moreover, they do not recognize something else: “In contrast to its predecessor, the USSR, Putin’s Russia has no positive proposals for the West. The communists seriously wanted to remake the world. For Putin, it is completely unnecessary that the West adopt Orthodoxy or make corruption the basis of its economy.”

            The Kremlin leader’s “goal and dream is to continue to live as a parasite on the effective economy of the West while at the same time undermining its elite.”  As the West does not yet recognize, “the Putin regime is fascism of a new type,” a regime which survives as a parasite on others.

             “Understanding the essence of this regime and the dangers coming from it can be the first step in the organization of resistance to this global threat,” one no less dangerous and in many ways more insidious than the one the Soviet Union as the earlier stage of the evil empire presented.

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