Staunton, June 8 – Russia’s tragedy is that “regardless of the political system, it has always been, is now, and always will be an empire” in large measure because even those who believe they are liberals are imperialists to the core, Arkady Babchenko says. And there is no way out unless everyone, including liberals, admits it is an empire and must be destroyed.
Putin’s war in Ukraine provides another object lesson of this fact, the Russian commentator now in emigration says, and recognizing this reality is precisely “where our healing must begin” (idel-ural.org/archives/lyuboj-russkij-liberal-vsegda-do-samyh-kornej-imperecz-arkadij-babchenko-ob-otnoshenii-v-rossii-k-korennym-narodam-i-predstavleniyah-o-graniczah/).
Russians of all political persuasions, he continues, must finally wake up to the fact that “’all our native lands’ are in fact lands seized from other peoples and soaked in their blood.” And because that is so, “the Empire must cease to exist and the peoples conquered by our ancestors must get freedom.”
Russian liberals must recognize that this the case and overcome their own imperialistic impulses, Babchenko says; and they must thus work for the defeat and disintegration of the Russian Empire. Anything short of that will be insufficient to allow Russians to live in freedom and at peace with their neighbors.