Staunton, Dec. 11 – Aleksey Kochetkov, a Russian activist and commentator closely tied to the Kremlin, says that Moscow must “unleash” the powers of the ethnic Russian nation rather than fall victim to those who argue for a meaningless Eurasianism that in fact is little more than a tool in the hands of Russia’s enemies.
Speaking yesterday at a Livadia Club conference on Eurasianis as an Ideology of the Future in Yalta, the author offered one of the most sweeping defenses of the idea of Russia for the Russians and broadscale attacks on Eurasianism as an alternative ever from a Kremlin confidant (apn.ru/index.php?newsid=40808).
Kochetkov says the earlier Eurasians like Nikolay Trubetskoy wanted to downplay the Russian core of the state and boost the importance of non-Russian nations, religions and cultures, something that puts their ideas even now in conflict with those that anyone concerned about the Russian nation and the Russian world should support.
“It’s possible that initially, Eurasianism was considered by its founders as an extremely specific continuation of the Russian civilizational project,” one that was being modified by the Bolsheviks who were “de-Russifying ‘the former Russia.” But that trend of thought has “degenerated into an attempt to substitute for the ideas and meaning of Russian civilization” entirely alien Asiatic notions.
“That is,” he continues, “the ideologues of Eurasianism have denied and thrown out as unnecessary those foundations on which the unique cultural historical type of Russian civilization was built. They are prepared to recognize Russia as Turanian, Mongol, Yaku, Turkic, or whatever else but only not as Russian.”
Eurasian ideology refuses to recognize the fact that the potential of the Russian people in Russia itself, despite all the catastrophes of the 20th century, to this day has not been completely revealed or exhausted, even despite the fact that 25 million Russian people were left beyond the borders of Russia.”
Now what is needed, Kotchetkov says, “is not the replacement of Russianness with Eurasianness but a clear articulation of the truth that Russian civilization for the indigenous Asiatic peoples of Russia has become their own, fully corresponds to their interests and thus creates conditions for their comfortable existence” within Russia.
According to the commentator, “the state-forming Russian people bears on its shoulders all the weight of supporting and preserving the Russian State. But this very State does not as it were acknowledge the existence of Russians.” As a result, “the state-forming people” lacks a status in the state it built.
“Russia for Russian people is the only home and the only state which they to a complete extent can call their real historical motherland,” Kotchetkov says. That is the case “for all Russian people without exception and not only Great Russians regardless of their actual place of residence.”
Given that Russians form more than 80 percent of the population, Eurasianist talk about the dangers of Russian nationalism to the state are “absolutely without foundation.” What threatens the country, the commentator says, “is not Russian nationalism but the destruction of the faith of the Russian people in the ability of the Russian state to defend its interests.”
The development of what he calls “regional nationalisms,” a reference to Ukrainian and Belarusian variants of Russian nationalism and the nationalisms of non-Russian minorities “leads not to the strengthening of ‘Eurasian’ civilization but to its destruction. And the chief victims become the indigenous peoples themselves.”
As a result, he says, it must be recognized that “present-day Eurasianism for all its externally aesthetics is only a weapon in the hands of Western neo-colonialism.” Given the way things are in the world, it could not be otherwise. Moscow must not cater to it but rather work to “liberate the energy of the Russian people.”
To that end, the Russian state must ignore the appeals of the Eurasianists and do everything possible to provide “a clear and bright image of the future” for the Russian people so that it can “realize its full spiritual potential.” Failure to do that, Kochetkov says, will only lead to disaster.
It will promote “apathy in the broadest sense, and apathy under conditions of the intensifying world crisis … is mortally dangerous, above all for the state itself.”