Friday, December 22, 2023

Putin’s Loose Talk about “Immemorial” Russian Lands Likely to Backfire, El Murid Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 19 – Vladimir Putin is increasingly given to loose talk about “immemorial” Russian lands when speaking about his campaign in Ukraine and his aspirations elsewhere, but that is likely to backfire given that most of Russia today is not immemorially Russian, according to Anatoly Nesmian who blogs under the screen name El Murid.

            Instead, these territories have belonged to others at various points in the past, and there there is no reason to give primacy to Russia’s current claims. The Poles have as much right to speak of Smolensk as “immemorially” Polish as the Russians do or even more, the commentator says (

            And east of the Urals, Japan and China have long viewed and with some justice the territories there as part of their patrimony for all times.

            But there is another aspect of Putin’s words that is even more troubling. Clearly for him, what is most important is the territories themselves and not the peoples who have lived on them or live on them now. For him, their views and aspirations don’t matter, a classic example of “the medieval view of the nature of things” that defines much of his thinking. 

No comments:

Post a Comment