Russia – in ‘a state of war for survival with the US,’ says RT commentator close to Kremlin

Rostislav Ishchenko, commentator for RT (formerly Russia Today), president of the Moscow Center for Systems Analysis and Prediction (Image: Novy Region 2)

Rostislav Ishchenko, commentator for RT (formerly Russia Today), president of the Moscow Center for Systems Analysis and Prediction (Image: Novy Region 2) 

2015/05/22 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia, Ukraine

Rostislav Ishchenko, a commentator for RT (formerly Russia Today), who gained notoriety for arguing that Moscow should “preventively occupy” the Baltic countries, says that Russia now “is in a state of war with the United States and that each of its citizens is on the front lines regardless of whether he is fighting with arms in his or her hands.”

In a speech to a May 17 conference on “The Ukrainian Crisis and Global Politics” organized by the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI) and in an interview given to Prague’s “Parlimentni Listy” portal yesterday, Ishchenko presents these and other notions which–because of his closeness to the Kremlin–deserve attention.

For his speech to the RISI meeting in St. Petersburg, see here (in Russian). Its analysis by Kseniya Kirillova on Novy Region 2 (in Russian) – here. For his interview, in Czech see here and in Russian – here.

In his speech in St. Petersburg, Ishchenko, who is also president of the Moscow Center for Systems Analysis and Prediction, said that it was already long past time to speak about the existence of a state of war, about why it had come about, and about how Russia must prosecute it in order to ensure its national survival.

According to Ishchenko, “the war was inevitable” because the US needed to expand its markets and could do so only by turning Ukraine against Russia. Only Russia could resist the US, he says, because of Moscow’s nuclear arsenal, one “approximately equivalent” to that of the US, even though Russia’s economy is much smaller.

Indeed, he continued, “GDP and other economic indicators do not play as important a role” as many imagine. “The barbarians destroyed the Roman Empire even though their GDPs were microscopic” in comparison with Rome’s. That must be kept in mind, he said, now when “a war for survival, for determining who will live in the brave new world,” is taking place.

In this situation, he argued, it is important to understand that “we are on the frontlines. We have a common enemy and we have a common victory. Each of us is fighting for his or her future. It is not important what weapons we are employing, guns, computers, or pieces of paper. We are fighting for our lives” and for “the survival of our people and of ourselves.”

“Unfortunately,” Ishchenko said, “the enemy is a very serious one. This is the largest economy in the world. One cannot defeat it today or tomorrow however much we would like. Yes, we will take losses, in the Donbas and in other places, not just in Ukraine.” Instead, Russia is facing “all of Eastern Europe” as its zone of operations.

In his Prague interview, Ishchenko provides context for these extremely militaristic and aggressive views. He argues that Putin’s “greatest service” to Russia has been that he has restored the country’s power step by step rather than by radical measures, so gradually that only now can Russians “see the gigantic extend of the work he has carried out.”

The war in Ukraine is a result of a general overreaching by the United States, a trend that reflects the “dizzy with success” feelings many American officials had after the collapse of the USSR and their sense that the US could do anything. Now, thanks to Putin’s rebuilding of Russia, they are learning that they have underrated the power of those arrayed against them.

“Putin has acted correctly,” Ishchenko says. “Now his time has come and he can calmly offer the US any compromise. Washington has gone too far. Compromise for it is defeat and loss of face.” Because that is the case, the US will increase tensions in what will prove a failed effort to reverse the situation.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, Ishchenko argues that “the civil war [there] will not only continue” in the Donbas “but spread throughout all of Ukraine.” And he adds that those parts of Ukraine, like those parts of other former Soviet states, will ultimately rejoin Russia in one form or another.

“There won’t be such small states around Russia,” he suggests. “Most likely they will become part of Russia [because] that is what the people populating these regions are seeking. If there won’t be such a possibility, then they will form under a Russian protectorate a confederal or federal union (or even two or three of these).”

The sign in the city of Kaluga, Russia says "Crimea Today - Rome Tomorrow! Happy Victory Day of May 9!" (Image: KP-Kaluga, May 2015)

The sign in the city of Kaluga, Russia says “Crimea Today – Rome Tomorrow! Happy Victory Day of May 9!” (Image: KP-Kaluga, May 2015)

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Lev Havryliv

    Anti-Ukrainian and anti-Western hysteria in Russia has reached fever pitch.

    Dictators typically promote a siege mentality and paranoia to justify their imperial aggression. Putin has taken this to new heights.

  • Kruton

    Russians are crazy!

    • Michel Cloarec

      Crazy people can be funny ! Insane people have to be relocated !

      • gmab

        Good one!

  • John Shirley

    Maybe Putin should not have…..”awaken a sleeping giant”….Japanese ADM. Yamamoto, December 1941.

  • Murf

    “Now his time has come and he can calmly offer the US any compromise. Washington has gone too far. Compromise for it is defeat and loss of face.” Because that is the case, the US will increase tensions in what will prove a failed effort to reverse the situation.”

    The US didn’t loose 500 billion last year.
    Has not gotten thousand killed.
    The only one escalating the violence is Russia.
    This guy a a modern day Mandarin. A courtier rationalizing the ideas of their heaven sent leader. “Yes o mighty one! Marvelous idea your worshipfulness. Who but you could think of such wonderful thing but you!”
    Putin could revers him self tomorrow and this guy would “pissing down his back” at what a great decision it was.

    • commieslayer

      And here you hit the nail on the head. In Russia, Putin is god, just like in the old Chinese Empire. One can’t expect a rational dialogue with a country that has such a despotic mentality.

  • Michel Cloarec

    Another Kremlin useful idiot , pissed off by the humiliation to have to admit there are russian soldiers and troops and weapons in Ukraine.
    Once upon a time , there was one like that called Goebbels propaganda minister .

  • commieslayer

    This guy is completely out of touch with reality. Which tells us something about the Russian leadership if he is as close to them as claimed. Russia’s real problems are internal, soon to hit them where they expect it the least.

  • puttypants

    He must not have heard the USA just capitulated to Russia in regards to Ukraine. He should be happy…With a surname like ishchenko someone in his family had to be Ukrainian so he’s a damn traitor too.

  • Jacks Channel

    “According to Ishchenko, “the war was inevitable” because the US needed to expand its markets and could do so only by turning Ukraine against Russia.”
    Would SOMEONE please tell this moron that the Ukrainian people CHOSE to align themselves with the west, and that we (the U.S.) didn’t somehow do it for them..
    Ukrainians looked west and saw what they liked, so they decided to kick their lame duck President out of Office for not signing the EU Association Agreement. It was that simple.
    If you don’t believe me, why don’t you call your Ukrainian friends and ask them who inspired them on Maidan and why. Then you will have your answer.
    In Russia there is no freedom of choice, period. Stop insulting the West and look at yourself for once. You have no true political freedom in Russia, and thats the truth.

    • Sasha Kravets

      Yes very true. Only an uneducated person can say that US turned Ukraine against Russia to capture more markets. Russia in fact has turned Ukraine against itself by annexing Crimea and starting a war in the east. While US tried to have good trading relations with Russia and never wanted this kind of international problems. But Russian people in their majority do not understand global processes and believe propaganda without thinking, even Russians who live in USA. Sad.

  • Jens

    This like an echo of madness from the 1930th Hitler Germany. Scary

    • gmab

      This jerk like the trolls online recite the Putler script but if you ask them to elaborate or discuss the merits of such ideas, they go blank or change the topic. Much like the masses of Nazi Germany. Russian Robots!

  • Sasha Kravets

    In reality, Russian corrupt elite is in a struggle against its own society. Progressive part of Russian society wants change and democratization, but Russian leaders offer war and fascism instead. Because for Putin and his friends democratization means loosing power and the illegal profits from industries, which belong to Russian people according to their constitution.