Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Ukraine Won’t Achieve Real Victory Unless Imperial Russia Disintegrates, Magaletsky Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 25 – It is critically important that the world understands what the war in Ukraine is really about and how its outcome will determine not only the fate of the peoples now living within the current borders of the Russian Federation but also those in Russia’s neighbors and the world as a whole. Oleg Magaletsky says.

            The organizer of the Forum of Free Countries of Post-Russia says that Putin launched his expanded war against Ukraine “not for territory” but to destroy an alternative vision of society and politics, one based on democracy and freedom rather than totalitarian control (region.expert/ukraine-for-ingria/).

            Because that is the case, Magaletsky says, “the war can end only when one of the projects, Russia or Ukraine, ceases to exist.” That means, for Ukraine to win, Russia must cease its existence as an imperial state;” and for that to happen, its citizens must have the right to form their own states and get out from under imperial control.

            Unfortunately, that is not yet fully understood either by the so-called “Russian liberal opposition” or by Western experts and governments, he continues. “The Russian liberal opposition is not Russian (but Muscovite) and not liberal” because it is not prepared to offer to others the powers it hopes to arrogate to itself.

            And in the West, both experts and officials are still overwhelmingly of the belief that the disintegration of Russia is either impossible because of Moscow’s nuclear arsenal or unwelcome because it will cause so many headaches, even though the experience of the last 30 years and especially Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine should convince them otherwise, the activist says.

But whether anyone likes it or not, the Russian empire is “disintegrating,” continuing a trend from 1991 that was opposed by many in the West but happened anyway. And the West needs to prepare for that because otherwise the chance that there will be revanchism in what remains of a country centered on Moscow will be very great.

Magarlitsky says that among the things everyone must be concerned about is that Russian revanchism may arise not just in Moscow but in the regions, where people are more likely to suffer and thus will be more likely to listen to those who call for taking revenge on the supposed causes of their misfortunes.

And if revanchism is not blocked by the combined efforts of those now within Russia who want independence, those Russians who want to de-imperialize their state, and the West which has a compelling interest in all these things, then, Magarlitsky says, Russia will attack again – and he names as the most likely next target Latvia, even though it is in NATO.


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