Rabid Russian imperialism and anti-Americanism feed worldview of key Kremlin strategist

Leonid Reshetnikov speaking at the "Moscow the Third Rome" conference November 11, 2014. (Image: Dmitry Glivinsky pravoslaviye.ru)

The head of Putin's administration analytical center Leonid Reshetnikov speaking at the imperialist "Moscow - the Third Rome" conference in November, 2014 (Image: Dmitry Glivinsky pravoslaviye.ru) 

2015/04/04 • Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Some “pearls of wisdom” from Leonid Reshetnikov, a retired SVR general, director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI), and an advisor to Vladimir Putin in a recent interview include: what is occurring in Ukraine is not a fight between Ukrainians and Russians, but “a war of world systems;” US “creates, feeds, provides for and then gives orders” to terrorist groups like ISIS; and that there is no possibility that “Novorossiya” will be part of Ukraine ever again.

He also rules out the likelihood that the territories of the “Donetsk Peoples Republic” and “Luhansk Peoples Republic,” with their “millions of people,” could become something like a Transdniestria, a partially recognized country within the borders of another country recognized by most.

And thus he suggests that the immediate future is more war and the longer term future is the annexation of these areas and ultimately the rest of Ukraine and much of the former Soviet space into a new Russian state that will combine “the best features” of the pre-1917 Russian Empire and the USSR.

These are just some of the views that Reshetnikov offers in the course of a wide-ranging interview he gave to Aleksandr Chuikov, a journalist for “Argumenty Nedeli.”

Reshetnikov says that his institute which began as a secret part of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has long specialized on “the analysis of available information on the far and near abroad,” information “which is needed not only for intelligence but for the structures which define the foreign policy of the country.”

“However strange it may seem,” until very recently, “there were no such serious analytic centers in the Presidential Administration of Russia,” the former SVR general says. Instead, what the Kremlin had too many of were “’institutions’” which consisted of “a director, a secretary, and the wife of the director” but without the staff that could make them effective.

RISI is different, he continues. It was created by Vladimir Putin, “and all government assignments for its investigations are signed off by Sergey Ivanov, the head of the Presidential Administration.”

When RISI was set up as a separate institution in 2009, Reshetnikov says he thought then that if Moscow would finance it the way Stratfor or RAND are financed, he would be in a position to leave Western analytic centers in the dust because “Russian analysts are the very strongest in the world.”

“I can say this with confidence,” he adds, “on the basis of 33 years of analytic work initially in the First Chief Directorate of the KGB of the USSR and then in the SVR.”

Reshetnikov says that his institute was one of two that has been working most intensively on Ukraine. (The other is the Institute of CIS Countries.) “From the very beginning of our activity, we wrote analytic reports about the growth of anti-Russian attitudes in central Ukraine and the intensification of pro-Russian ones in Crimea.”

He says that RISI was not alarmist about this but rather urged that Moscow take steps to use NGOs in both places to promote pro-Moscow feelings, something the Russian embassy in Kyiv did not do as much as it should have and as Russian embassies are now doing thanks to the intervention of President Putin.

The probability that there will be more war in Ukraine in the coming months is “very high,” Reshetnikov says, because the idea of the federalization of Ukraine has been rejected by Kyiv which is operating under pressure from the United States which wants a united Ukraine so that it can put cruise missiles there to be directed at Russia.

That is so important to Washington, the RISI director says, that “the US will fight for the Donbas down to the last Ukrainian.”

When Yanukovych was ousted by the Maidan, Moscow lost its “SOB” in Ukraine, even as the US installed its “SOB,” he says. But both Russia and the US received “compensation.” Russia got Crimea and the resistance of Ukraine’s south-east, even though “the enemy also received an enormous territory which was part of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire.”

At the same time, Reshetnikov says that it is “too early” for Moscow to go for broke and attempt to seize all of Ukraine. That is because Putin understands that “in Europe there are taking place certain processes which are hidden for outsiders,” processes which “give hope that we will be able to defend our interests by other methods and means.”

Putin understands as many do not, Reshetnikov says, that the US has organized a plan to dismember Russia – something he says is “not propagandistic but real” — even as it keeps its dominance over Europe. Washington is acting in Central Asia as well as Ukraine. Indeed, the US may strike first at Turkmenistan using various proxies, as some in Moscow have suggested.

According to Reshetnikov, Russian-American cooperation in the struggle with terrorism is “a fiction,” because the US “creates, feeds, provides for and then gives orders” to groups like ISIS for its own purposes. “Perhaps,” it will shoot attack one group of terrorists but only to be in a position to better control the others.

But all these American actions, the RISI director says, are part of a general plan and thus they must be countered as a whole rather than responded to piecemeal. That affects how Putin acts in Ukraine, even if many do not recognize the reasons that he does one thing or another, Reshetnikov adds.

According to the RISI director, what is occurring in Ukraine is not a fight between Ukrainians and Russians, “but a war of world systems. Some consider they are ‘all Europe’ but others that they are Russia. For our country is not simply a territory; it is a separate and enormous civilization which has brought to the attention of the entire world its views on world organization.”

The next year is going to be difficult for Russia, he continues, but “in the course of the next five or six years, we will see” the restoration of “a Russian empire as a model of eastern Slavic civilization. The Bolsheviks destroyed it,” but they brought “a new civilization idea.” Now, Reshetnikov says, Russia is moving toward “a good symbiosis” of its two predecessors.

The West understands that and consequently, “an attack has begun” on Russia “from all sides,” he says. That attack is being made by American presidents, but the real power lies with “secret forces,” including “transnational financial corporations” which want to define the new rules of the game.

But both the attractiveness of what Russia is offering and the ugliness of what the West is doing is leading to “an explosive growth of anti-American attitudes,” in Hungary, Greece, Italy, Austria, France and so on. “If Russia holds out now,” he says, “then processes will occur in Europe that will not be helpful to those now seeking world domination.”

At the end of his interview, Reshetnikov says that he is “extremely” opposed to the idea of uniting the SVR and the Federal Security Service (FSB). Were that to happen, he argues, the number of sources of information available to the president would be reduce to one, and thus he would be subject to distortions that that one would almost inevitably introduce.

He says that when he was a captain in the KGB in Soviet times, he was aware of “such manipulations with information” by his employer.


Chuikov appends a biographical sketch of Reshetnikov. The RISI director was born in Potsdam in East Germany in 1947. He graduated from the Kharkiv State University and did graduate work at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria. From 1974 to 1976, he worked at the Moscow Institute of the Economics of the World Socialist System.

Then, from 1976 to 2009, when he became RISI director, Reshetnikov served in the analytic sections of Soviet and then Russian foreign intelligence. His last post was as chief of the SVR’s Information and Analysis Administration. In addition to his native Russian, he speaks Serbian and Bulgarian and can communicate in Greek.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dirk Smith

    It’s more like watching and laughing at Russia’s obsession with the USA. Americans don’t give a shit about third-world Russia. Toilet of humanity.

    • Dirk Smith

      What planet are you from? I’m sure you deny that Russia invaded Ukraine right? Go to Lugansk and support your drunken baboons, coward.

      • puttypants

        Michaelinlondon1234 is somekind of weirdo or a putler troll that’s for sure. I’ve seen him on every site he doesn’t know anything…nor does he have anything intelligent to add to any conversation.

        • disqus_aJpixObjG7

          there is no Michael in London, rather the russian criminal fascist trash MIKHAIL in St Petersburg fighing as a troll on this website for mass murder, racial and ethnic cleansing and the genocide of all Ukrainians the same goes for the criminal troll Hristo

      • puttypants

        Hristo. Another putler tool. By the way you’d better start reading. There is all kinds of evidence that Russia has invaded Easter Ukraine. Read something other than your dictator putler controlled propaganda. You’re making a fool out if yourself by showing the world your ignorance.

        • Dirk Smith

          I guess that explains why drunken baboons have a mechanized rebel army using T-64’s, BMP’s, BTS’s & SA-12’s in full Russian combat gear. How’s the weather in St. Petersburg this morning katsap?

          • disqus_aJpixObjG7

            there is no Michael in London rather he is the russian criminal fascist trash MIKHAIL in St Petersburg fighing as a troll on this website for mass murder, racial and ethnic cleansing and the genocide of all Ukrainians the same goes for the criminal troll Hristo

          • disqus_aJpixObjG7

            you little fascist shit who profited from all the PRIVILEGES the West offered you , consciously decide to FIGHT for RUSSIAN FASCIST RACIST GENOCIDE AND THE BUILDING OF A GIGANTIC NEW NORTH KOREA. You too will perish with the murderers you fight for just as your idols Beria Yezhov, Kaganovich and Lenin did

          • Dirk Smith

            Here is a picture of the St. Petersburg chapter of the fascist RNU party. Which one is you in the picture?

          • Dirk Smith

            Hopefully FIFA does the right thing regarding fascist russia and it’s imbecilic followers.

          • vSkiper

            Those guys were last month invited to Peters burg by your government right?

          • Michaelinlondon1234

            They also held the gathering for the worlds anti smoking lobbies in
            Moscow last year….Same policies as the Hitler youth but far more evil.
            How about finding us a picture of that group.

          • Dirk Smith

            ????? Are you Hristo’s supervisor? Or Kommissar?

        • disqus_aJpixObjG7

          there is no such Michael in London rather the russian criminal fascist trash MIKHAIL in St Petersburg fighing as a troll on this website for mass murder, racial and ethnic cleansing and the genocide of all Ukrainians the same goes for the criminal troll Hristo

      • Dirk Smith

        No, not at all. It’s all a big conspiracy with Kyiv Nazis, the CIA, and Victoria Nuland. Did I miss anyone? They’re invading eastern UKRAINE; not poor innocent Russia. Brainwashed twit.

        • kievjoy

          you obviously didn’t see on RT the massive nazi meeting in St Petersburg. Every country has some Nazi’s, but not nearly as much as in Russia.

          • kievjoy

            In that case, why did they have the ordinary Russian people protesting against the Nazi meeting and why were quite a few of the ‘delegates’ wearing swastika tee shirts waving swastika flags. As I say, the news on the meeting was from RUSSIA TODAY mostly, but then again you’re the stupid brain dead one. Since you are so stupid you only think what you see is true, but won’t come over to prove it, I’m not going to bother answering you any more. You have to write 30 posts a day to get your money from Putin. Before you say the same to me, I live here.

          • Dirk Smith

            It’s spelled Kyiv now. The muscovite vermin have been thrown out of Kyiv.

          • Dirk Smith

            LOL. In that case, you might want to notify Poroshenko, who is jewish. Think for a change.

          • Dirk Smith

            Here is one your speakers at the St. Petersburg Fascist Forum. Surprised Putler wasn’t the guest speaker.

          • Dirk Smith

            Where will the next Fascist Forum be held? Moscow? Volgograd?

          • vSkiper

            Yes he can if you invite nazis from all the Europe, how would you call it? A speed skating championship?

          • disqus_aJpixObjG7

            HALF OF THE ENTIRE WORLD’S NAZIS ARE IN RUSSIA & 78% OF RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT ARE NEO NAZI. 0% neo nazis in UKRAINE’s PARLIAMENT

          • Michaelinlondon1234

            They also held the gathering for the worlds anti smoking lobbies in Moscow last year….Same policies as the Hitler youth but far more evil.

        • disqus_aJpixObjG7

          FACT>78% OF RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT IS NEO NAZI, FASCIST UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT IS 0% NEO NAZI simply google russian parliament

        • Dirk Smith

          Thanks for proving my point Putinist parrot. LOL. The kremlin counts on morons like you to actually buy into their vitriol of hate and fascism.

        • kievjoy

          I live in Ukraine, it’s the Russians who are invading. I’ve been screamed at by a pro-Russian for speaking English. My older kids speak Russian, my younger ones speak Ukrainian, at the table they speak Serjik (of you know what that is) and none of them have had any problems. Where do you live Dirk.

          • Dirk Smith

            I live in Milwaukee USA. I visit Kyiv regularly and plan on re-visiting this fall. My earlier post was sarcasm towards the muscovite troll. What is Serjik?

          • kievjoy

            Serjik is a mixed Ukrainian/Russian language. During the Soviet times people were not allowed to speak Ukrainian in public, but many did at home, and they ended up having a mixed language. (I may not have spelt it right), most of my neighbours here is the village speak it.

          • Dirk Smith

            Interesting. I’m currently learning Ukrainian. My first trip in 2001, I prepared by learning basic Ukrainian, but everyone spoke Russian! I now make it a priority to learn Ukrainian only; mainly for political reasons ;).

          • kievjoy

            It’s taken me 12 years to learn about 80 words and phrases in Russian, if I start trying to learn Ukrainian it’ll probably take me another 12 years to learn the same number of words. I am useless at languages. As I say, been here for 12 years and still can’t converse in either language. The kids have had to learn English and translate for us if anyone comes to the gate. Does them well at school though.

          • Dirk Smith

            Yes, fresher minds can pick it up easier. I remember those days.

          • kievjoy

            When I was at school I did French for 4 years. My last exam I got 9/100. I’m just lousy at languages.

      • kievjoy

        You should try to keep up with the Russian press as well as the free press. Putin has admitted it at least a week ago if not longer.

        • kievjoy

          You are not keeping up to date. He gave a speech on RT and it was vaguely mentioned on there. But of course you only watch the bits you want to. As someone else said, if you think poor Ukraine under the influence of NAZI come and fight for them.

          • kievjoy

            Since you don’t even know Putin’s propaganda channels, RT is RUSSIA TODAY. Nothing to do with Kyiv news channels. Russia and the occupied areas close all Ukrainian or independent news channels, Ukraine doesn’t so I often watch RUSSIA TODAY in English to have a good laugh.

      • disqus_aJpixObjG7

        there is no Michael in London rather the russian criminal fascist trash MIKHAIL in St Petersburg fighing as a troll on this website for mass murder, racial and ethnic cleansing and the genocide of all Ukrainians the same goes for the criminal troll Hristo

      • Dirk Smith

        When did the USA come into the conversation? Is it envy or jealousy?

      • puttypants

        SuVolk…you people are Putler trolls and totally insane. How can anyone respond or believe you maniac. I live in America..I have no fear about a police state. I think if you live in Russia you are the ones in a totalitarian police state. omg…you are truely unbelievable nut jobs!!!

    • puttypants

      What did Ukraine do to Russia so they would invade the country, kill it’s people and devastate it’s cities and towns? How do you have the guts to be on these sites? America could care less about Russia. No one has bothered Russia…I believe if you bother looking at the true facts instead of Russian propaganda you might say Russia get the f___k out of Ukraine. If you’re not Russian you are a putler idiot!!

      • disqus_aJpixObjG7

        there is no such Michael in London rather the russian criminal fascist trash MIKHAIL in St Petersburg fighing as a troll on this website for mass murder, racial and ethnic cleansing and the genocide of all Ukrainians the same goes for the criminal troll Hristo

    • canuke

      Well you can say the same to Russia: As you say above, “Fuxk off Russia and leave them (ie Ukraine) alone.” You know, that would work perfectly well for Ukrainians. As my wife is so fond of saying, (to Russia) “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out”.

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      there is no Michael in London rather the russian criminal fascist trash MIKHAIL in St Petersburg fighing as a troll on this website for mass murder, racial and ethnic cleansing and the genocide of all Ukrainians the same goes for the criminal troll Hristo

      • kievjoy

        Disqus I suggest we don’t answer them any more so that they can’t earn their money from Putin. They have to write 30 propaganda posts a day to get their dollars from Putin.

        • disqus_aJpixObjG7

          it’s 50 posts per hour over 5 sites . if they know English well they get double normal salary. Their words are more effective than bullets in murdering FREEDOM with russian fascism

          • kievjoy

            It always makes me laugh that they try to persuade people they know more than someone living here.

  • european

    This guy is a tinfoil hat in a dangerous position. There are no world systems anymore and in the strict way, they have never existed. Why did West Germany, Benelux and France want a common army in the 50s (narrowly beaten in the Fr parliament because they feared they would not be able to act in their colonies alone) and W-Germany and France developed nuclear weapons together if they were so sure of American protection. Actually there is a lot of anti-American sentiment in the EU and in Germany, it was the worst popularity of the USA ever. Then Putin invades Ukraine. For the USA, there couldn’t have been any better situation. Now they are more liked in Europe again.

    The USA is an oligarchy on the national level but with strong civil liberties for all to fight that oligarchy and to change things on the state or even lower level. The founding fathers of the USA were truely enlightened people and so they made two ways to add something to the constitution. Via national government or via the majority of the state governments calling for it. This is currently done to ban money in politics via (like in all developed countries) publicly financed elections and some other little things. Outside , the USA are an Empire. But on the inside people have freedoms. Difference to Russia.

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      America have completely trashed there environment and we are not far behind in Europe.
      I look forward to the next dust bowl in the USA.

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    It is perhaps best not to answer the criminal russian trash fascist trolls hristo and mikhail in london. they simply seek to clutter up and sabotage the discussion with their russian nazi trolling

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      FACT: 78% OF RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT IS NEO NAZI, FASCIST UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT IS 0% NEO NAZI simply google russian parliament

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      you fascist shit who profited from all the PRIVILEGES the West offered you , consciously decide to FIGHT for RUSSIAN FASCIST RACIST GENOCIDE AND THE BUILDING OF A GIGANTIC NEW NORTH KOREA. You too will perish with the murderers you fight for just as your idols Beria Yezhov, Kaganovich and Lenin did

  • Wonfu

    America the beautiful democracy of the world is planning to invade some one at this very moment. It could be you and heaven help those who doubt this bit of insight.
    Meanwhilst, the trolls from 3rd world russia will die knowing that their country failed at every thing and were nothing but the worlds greatest and most prevalent losers.
    What time is it in Moscow?
    The end time. lol

    Russian = losers. Always have been always will be.

    • Wonfu

      PS: Putler is gay.

      • Czech Friend

        no, he’s a proven peadophile but maybe a gay one too.

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      America has environmentally trashed its own country and now seeks new places to wreak.

  • Czech Friend

    Russia is going down in flames with Putin squeaking like a cowering rat he is. And who will you call for help after that, you nazi scum? Oh, we know the answer already: West.

    But that West will only laugh at you this time and will send a big FUCK YOU all the way down to the last shithole in Siberia.

    I can’t wait to see you suffer personally for all the evil you have helped to create with your inhuman ignorance and hatred.

    Europe will be rid of your plague and you will be Chinese slaves for good.

    End of story.

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    ти смердуцча назистка-фасцистка бандитска катсапска собака скоро, скоро погибнесч

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      I will take that as a yes then