The Izborsky Club, a group of intellectuals and writers put together by Aleksandr Prokhanov to promote Russian nationalist and traditionalist views, clearly has had a major influence on Vladimir Putin’s thinking and policies, including his annexation of Crimea and support for the idea of “a Russian world.”
Vitaly Averyanov, the director of the Moscow Institute of Dynamic Conservatism and a co-founder of the Izborsky Club, spoke to a “Svobodnaya pressa” interviewer at the end of last week when asked about the influence of group.
Asked about the widely-rumored links between the Izborsky Club and the actions of pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine, Averyanov said that “of course the Izborsky Club is not the author of the scenario of the rising in the Donbas. But a connection exists, a deep connection,” and Igor Strelkov is “a man of our direction.”
With regard to Ukraine, he said that “Ukraine is not a state: it is a buffer formation.” It is the product of the weakening of the Russian nation. And it is not a separate nation either – although he said one can create the simulacrum of a nation. “Give me the money and staff, and after 15 years, I will form a nation of Siberians which I can control,” Averyanov added.
The division of Ukraine is not an ethnic one but “a mental or civilizational one,” the specific “front” of the clash of civilizations in which the West is seeking to extend its sway over Russia. If the West wins in Ukraine, he argued, there is “a great probability” that it will extend this clash into Russia itself.