Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Venetian Manifesto Seeks to Unite People Around the World who Favor the Defeat, Demilitarization and Decolonization of Russia

Paul Goble

             Staunton, Aug. 11 – Ekaterina Margolis has issued what has already become known as the Venetian Manifesto which calls for the defeat and demilitarization of the Russian Federation, the elimination of its imperial ideology and terrorist practice, and decolonization of that country. It is now open for signatures of those who share these goals (

             The text of the manifesto is as follows:

 STOP Ruscism -- The Venetian Manifesto

1. We desire not simply the termination of this war, but the complete victory of Ukraine

and the total defeat of the Russian Federation. We desire the the restoration of Ukraine's

sovereignty over its entire territory, and the provision of international guarantees for its

security. We desire an international trial for for Russian military criminals and the

payment of reparations. Any peace must be made on Ukraine's terms and with the

consent of the Ukrainian people. Only a peace brought about on those terms can be

strong and just.

2. This may be an absolutely necessary condition for today, but it is not a

sufficient one for tomorrow. We desire a real future, not a fake one. We believe that

only cessation of the existence of Russia (the Russian Federation) as an empire and its

demilitarization, including the removal of all nuclear weapons and other weapons of

mass destruction, could be a real step to a safe future that would prevent similar acts of

further aggression

 3. We want analysis, deconstruction and eradication of Ruscism in all its forms.

We understand Ruscism as a distinct ideology and practices, established in the 21st

century by the regime of the Russian Federation – a regime that is cynical, aggressive,

misanthropic, and dangerous to the planet.

4. We see Ruscism as being deeply rooted in historical Russian imperialism, which has

persisted and has even intensified in the expansionist policies of the USSR and the Russian

Federation. It has become a fundamental and constitutive element of the official ideology and

the basis of the unofficial consensus within Russia. Today's Ruscism relies on the

traditional political practices of the Russian Empire / USSR, including the policy of

exercising absolute control of special services in all spheres of Russian society,

inherited from communist totalitarianism, as well as systematic organization of

subversions and terrorism abroad.

5. We are convinced that though there are certain similarities, Ruscism differs

from fascism. Fascism is amoral, while Ruscism is immoral: it is built on fundamental

nihilism. Fascism relies on inhumane ideological convictions, while Ruscism is

ideologically cynical: its officially declared ideological foundations are nothing more

than formal declarations, whereas in truth it feeds on the absence of any internal values

and thrives on civic passivity. Ruscism parasitizes on achievements of world civilization,

including the most advanced technologies. It has no historical precedents, so that radically

new methods are needed to combat it. Despite its aggressive archaism, Ruscism is a

contemporary phenomenon.

• 6. We consider it necessary to actively resist Ruscism today and work towards its

total dismantling in the future. We intend to work on a system of identification and

analysis of Ruscist narratives and their dissemination via global media, on Ruscist

manipulations of cultural narratives, global intellectual and political resources, as well

as on decolonization of Russian studies.

7. RUscism brings death and suffering to the people of Ukraine. It threatens the very

existence of the Ukrainian nation and state. It creates an immediate threat to the territorial

integrity and sovereignty of countries neighbouring Russia. Ruscism destabilises the global

situation too, igniting internal conflicts in European, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern

countries. It exacerbates migration issues, interferes in elections, and stops at nothing in its

attempts to influence world politics. It seeks to corrupt politicians and political parties in

throughout Europe and North America – and it persistently seeks to undermine the European

Union from within.

8. Ruscism is also dangerous to Russians themselves. It systematically neglects

human rights, represses dissidents, destroys civil activism and participation in political

life, deeply corrupts the population of Russia. Ruscism has infiltrated the consciousness

of Russians of various social statuses and political preferences, including those living

outside the Russian Federation. It infects many representatives of the so-called "titular

nation" with Russian ideological and day-to-day chauvinism, normalises discrimination

against ethnic minorities, homophobia and misogyny, makes Russians participants in

the criminal war. We call on Russians to acknowledge their responsibility for this war

and its consequences and do everything in their power to combat Ruscism and Russian


9. We see our task not only as influencing political decisions related to the

development of a new architecture of international security. We also seek to work at

the everyday level, using existing and developing new instruments of information

technologies, journalism and social media, as well as various educational programs in

order to demonstrate the complete unacceptability of Ruscism in all its manifestations:

from culture to ideology, from justification to normalization, from behavioral patterns

to speech clichés.

10. Who are we? We are a free horizontal international community committed to

resisting Ruscism today, working to prevent its repetition, revival and diffusion in the

future. We invite everyone who supports Ukraine today to join us now and participate

in our work. We welcome everyone who understands that today is the proper time to

create the guaranties of responsibility and non-repetition of all numerous historical

precedents of Russian aggression and threat to the world at large.

We have a simple and very difficult goal: to make this future present.

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