Staunton, Mar. 18 – For the last several years, Putin’s propagandists have insisted that Russia has repeatedly won against what they call “the collective West;” but in fact, Vadim Sidorov says, Russia has only “won” in the West when the West was divided, with some Western countries in conflict with others. When the West was united against Russia, Russia lost.
That reality is especially important to remember now, the Prague-based Russian analyst says, because as a result of Putin’s war in Ukraine, the divisions within the West that allowed him to win have almost completely disappeared (trtrussian.com/mnenie/protiv-kollektivnogo-zapada-est-li-shansy-u-rossii-8278292).
Before the war in Ukraine began in earnest, most people considered that while Poland and the Baltic countries were anti-Russian and had the support of the US and the UK, France and Germany were opposed to that approach and insisted on doing everything possible to maintain “cooperation” with the Kremlin.
How deep, sincere, and long-lasting this unity will be remains to be seen, but even many “’friends of Putin,’” like Marine Le Pen, have been compelled to distance themselves from the Russian leader because of his aggression in the hopes of maintaining any support in their own countries.
Russians should take note of this, Sidorov says, because all too many of them have accepted the Kremlin’s claim that Russia has defeated the West before and can defeat it again. But that is a myth that does not correspond to reality. “Russia has lost all wars against a united West;” it has won only when it was allied to one part of the West against another.
That was true in World War II, in the Crimean War, and in the War of 1812. Indeed, forming alliances with one part of the West against another has been a basic principle of Russian foreign policy for 500 years. When Russian rulers have failed to do that, they have lost not only abroad but at home.
And there is an even more recent example. During the Cold War, Russia faced a united West and when it lost, it suffered a massive defeat that cannot be explained away, as Kremlin propagandists try to, by pointing to domestic enemies. Instead, the USSR lost and disappeared because the West was united.
Quite obviously, that is not a lesson that Putin and his camarilla want Russians to remember in the current context when Moscow does face a united West and is launching yet another campaign to root out domestic “traitors.”