Former Soviet republics must and will become Russia’s ‘protectorates,’ Moscow blogger says

Image: flickr.com

Image: flickr.com 

2017/01/01 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

Given loose talk among some in the West about recognizing a Russian sphere of influence over the former Soviet space, a Moscow blogger has brought back yet another term from the past to describe what he says should be the basis for the future: These countries, Aleksandr Khaldey argues, can and will again become Russian protectorates.

On his blog yesterday, Khaldey argues that “the specific characteristic of Russia as a civilizational-state formation consists in the following: it in principle cannot be a peripheral nothing. [Instead, it] can live survive only as a center” of something much larger and more powerful that dominates weaker states around it.

“Russia always was a sovereign surrounded by vassals,” and the latter never could or can exist independently, he says. If they try to escape from Russia’s orbit, they can only become protectorates or colonies of other powers hostile to Russia. Thus, Russia must ensure for its own survival that they become again its protectorates.

“A protectorate,” Khaldey writes, is when a weak state is in formal dependence on a stronger one. “In its soft form, a PROTECTORATE the subordinate and dependent state formally retains its state system” but even then “supreme rule in the country really belongs to the stronger power.”

He continues: “In a more harsh form, the subordinate exists in COLONIAL DEPENDENCY,’ where the patron state decides completely all aspects of the state system and the existence of the client state. That is, one is speaking about the presence of external administration.”

At present, Khaldey says, “Russia is struggling” to escape from being “an American protectorate” which he says the US imposed after the collapse of the USSR and thus its leaders understand full well what is at stake and why when they can, vassals – because that is what those in protectorates are — throw off rule by a former sovereign.

Russia’s temporary weakness is “coming to an end,” he continues; and Western efforts to “transform the country into the periphery of the Western global system are at the edge of collapse.” Consequently, Russia must work to restore itself as “one of the global civilizational centers” and restore its protectorates over its neighbors.

The examples of protectorates Khaldey gives are suggestive and disturbing: the League of Nations mandate territories in the Middle East after World War I, Hitler’s protectorate over Bohemia and Moravia in 1939-1945, and Russia’s protectorate over the Karachay a century earlier.

“At present,” he suggests, “Abkhazia, South Ossetia, the DNR and the LNR are Russian protectorates,” which all have a strong desire to become “a component part of Russia.” In some ways, Armenia is also “a protectorate of Russia.” And now Russia is seeking to make Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and later Georgia its protectorates as well.

It isn’t yet “politically correct” to speak the word “protectorate” aloud, he says; “but all experts understand that in fact that is what is being discussed: all these former republics are clients of Russia” and they will become even more so as Russia’s economy grows and their trade with Moscow increases.

There is “one obstacle” to this: many of the leaders of these weak states don’t want to become so obviously subordinate to Moscow; but Russia’s success in promoting that status is highlighted by their complaints. Such whining to the West, however, will not “stop the machine of history.”

And Khaldey concludes: “Russia will again be the protector for the former union republics” and they will soon recognize “the historical inevitability of this restoration and the hopelessness of resisting it.”


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Victor Victory

    Putins wet dream is to bring back USSR 2.0. Putin will get what he wants on January 20th once Trump is in office.

    • http://www.rferl.org/content/crimea-independence-declaration-russia-annexation-referendum/25299518.html treepot

      Not really. As Obama pointed out, Democracy does not depend on a single person.

  • BCHistorian

    What utter arrogance on the part of many Russians. There is no hope to ever deal with such utter chauvinists. There can only be one solution for Ukraine: to continue to increase it’s military and economic might.

  • Vasyl P.

    This is why a lot of Eastern Europe ran away from Russia and even joined NATO.

  • Greg

    The arrogance of Russians is truly astonishing! No question these sick people live in a altered universe! i guess once they wake up from the kool aid the nation will fall completely apart! the world will be a much better place once these former nations escape the Russia boot!

  • W8post

    “characteristic of Russia as a civilizational-state ” the words ‘Russia’ and ‘civilization’ in the same sentence is an OXYMORON!

  • zorbatheturk

    ruSSia and civilization are mutually incompatible constructs.

    • slavko

      Yes Sir!! You are on a roll buddy!!

  • Robert Drake

    I am not sure that the argument here is even relevant. Russian dominance does not suffer for an identifier like “protectorate”… as in “protect from **who** ?” No one in the west truly wants the baggage of most of former Soviet states, (witness the EU vote of the Dutch over Ukraine’s association) so there is no vast conspiracy or hegemonic interest that is threatening these smaller countries – only the free market economies that will allow them cultural exchange and to trade on a basis not fixed by the Kremlin. Note too that the markets and economics of even the most independent former Soviet states are still rife with institutions that have some governing basis in old Bureaucratic interests – and many still have substantial kleptocratic and corrupt interests running essential elements of their economies.

    The Russian’s can call it what they like, “protectorate,” or whatever else suits their factually baseless threat, though the simple truth is that they are a threat to Russia only because Russia does not control them – which feeds into the “ending the period of weakness” narrative. IE they will be strong and will again dominate all around them.

    The Russians AND the former Soviet states are not at all threatened by the West. Though like Ukraine, they cannot compete with the standard of living in the West and cannot do right by their populations without some kind of financial transparency and egalitarian reform. And this is incompatible because it will regulate and expose the real economy and the share that corruption takes from the public. The rest of this, is just classic rationalization and propaganda and skewing of the factual terms to serve the Russian expansionist agenda. They want more because they think they should own these nations and… the other cultures are considered by Russia to be inferior, and by definition should be subservient to the Russian interest… not to mention available for Russian’s to financially exploit under a system of economics run by avarice and payoffs.

  • http://www.rferl.org/content/crimea-independence-declaration-russia-annexation-referendum/25299518.html treepot

    Russia was a vassal state to the Golden Horde for about 200 years and Russia has adopted that mechanism to their neighbors ever since. That requires a strong government and therefore all resources. The Russians understand that and support it. That is why Putin does not hessitate to spend all resources on the armed forces at the expense of the population. That keeps the state on high alert and Putin in power.

    • Turtler

      Very well said, and an astute observation. Moscow has only ever known chains. Before it was the plucky underdog leading underdogs trying to loosen and break them. Then it decided to be the chain holder.

      • http://www.rferl.org/content/crimea-independence-declaration-russia-annexation-referendum/25299518.html treepot

        There is a little more to it. Russians are a merger of Finno-Ugric tribes and their language is essentially Old-Church or in fact Macedonian of 5th Century or so. Kremlin claims that Ukrainians and Russians are one nation, but then Ukrainian language is closer to Polish, Check and Slovak. Putin, if he is as intelligent as they claim, knows that, but propaganda is the daily meal in Russia and it has its effect on Western nations. Russia was never a strong country, because it spent a lot of effort in conquering and controlling neighbors, but they are very persistent.

        • Turtler

          “There is a little more to it. Russians are a merger of Finno-Ugric
          tribes ”

          Not overly, there are certainly many annexed groups but the primarily ancestry seems to be East Slavic, and the fact that they are so distant from Ingrians and Finns is a good indicator of that.

          “and their language is essentially Old-Church or in fact Macedonian of 5th Century or so.”

          Old Church, sure, Old Church Slavonic is the ancestor of most Eastern European languages today. As for Macedonian though, not so much. Russian is pretty far removed from even Slavic Macedonians, let alone Classical ones. Russian ultimately is mostly an East Slavic species, not a Finno-Ugric one, and so are most Muscovites.

          “Kremlin claims that Ukrainians and Russians are one nation, but then Ukrainian language is closer to Polish, Check and Slovak. ”

          Which is because Ukrainian is closer to being the “root” language of Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, so on. As well as the centuries more Ukrainians were under the authority of Poland and Lithuania, which also would have involved in a lot of bleedin.

          “Putin, if he is as intelligent as they claim, knows that,”

          There is almost no chance Putin is as intelligent as he claims, but even if he is partially Finno-Ugrian himself he can probably find the language families fairly easily and see what language family is mostly connected to (Eastern Slavic, not Finno-Ugrian).
          ” Russia was never a strong country, because it spent a lot of effort in conquering and controlling neighbors, ”

          I respectfully disagree. Russia may have been a despotic mess for essentially all of its’ history, but that did not make Moscow and especially the greater Russian Empire it helped birth very strong. Lesser powers would have simply collapsed after a defeat like Narva in 1700, let alone the dozens of defeats that happened after it. Or the repeated massacres and burnings the Mongols subjected it too. But Moscow proved quite capable of enduring, recovering power, and manifesting it.

          The fact that they could and did get the best of titans like Frederick the Great and Charles XII should be very worrying to us.

          • http://www.rferl.org/content/crimea-independence-declaration-russia-annexation-referendum/25299518.html treepot

            First of all let’s be clear that it was proven, people looking at the same thing under a microscope, made different observation and came to different conclusion, so why would people looking at a complex past come to the same conclusion?! First of all you claim that Russians are too far away to have anything to do with the Finns. Have you looked at the map? Because of the many different tribes in the area their kings chose to use one language in church and at the courts. Brilliant. The spoken Russian obviously changed from the 10th Century to present, in fact Catherin II “invited” Ukrainian scholar to help with the Russian language and grammar. The Church Slavonic was not to teach the people a language, it was used to preach Christianity to them. The spoken language in Kievan-Rus was much closer to current Ukrainian language than Russian ever will be. Ukraine was under Russian occupation for about 350 years and that had less effect on Ukrainian language than prior being associated with Poland for 100 years? During Stalin’s times Ukrainian grammar was changed to resemble Russian and additional changes of Ukrainian dictionaries. Russians are famous for exaggeration, yes, they invaded Warsaw and conquered some Prussian lands, but they could not hold onto that. They did poorly in the Crimean War and not much better during WWI. The Narva battles are considered by many historians a fabricated fable. You stick with your opinion and I will stick with mime. Thank you.

        • Mykola Banderachuk

          Russian is a dialect, quaint but irrelevant on the world stage

  • Oknemfrod

    >Russia … can … survive only as a center” of something much larger<

    Very well, then. Given the current realities, the only logical conclusion is that it will NOT survive. Though such an outcome escapes the Russian chauvinist's mindset, the extent and the walloping rate at which the Russian economy and its populace has been degrading (quantitatively but, more importantly, qualitatively) leaves no other possibility. Good riddance.

    • Fortranz

      Aleksandr Khaldey seems to be just trying to find justification for the failed leadership of Putin, [Such whining to the West, however, will not “stop the machine of history.”??]: there is no such thing as a “machine of history” and Putin’s Russia is hardly in control of it or controlled by it [if there is one]. Khaldey should be committed to an insane asylum for such delusions.

      • Oknemfrod

        The well-known tradition of the Soviet psychiatry, now back in full swing in Russia, is that the only people who are locked in the insane asylums are the sanest put there by insane. It should be no surprise, then, that to an outside observer, the whole country, from the actions of its government in its domestic and foreign policies (e.g. the reverse “sanctions”) down to the actions of individual people (e.g. fully supporting these policies), appears totally insane. The only method to the madness appears to be “Look, I’m crazy, so you’d better do what I want, or else I’ll nuke you”.

      • Turtler

        Call it Dialectics. In my limited experience is seems like they’ve been bitten by Hegel’s pseudohistory by way of Marx. And while few people are stupid enough to openly wish for the lock, stock, and barrel full Communist experience it seems like the desire to think in dialectics or that there is a “Machine of history” guiding things scientifically along a narrative remains.

        it’s utterly stupid.

        • Fortranz

          Yep, But what really gets me is why so many still want to believe Hegel’s or Marx’s ideas in this day and age. Must be some kind of nostalgia cult, if you ask me.

          • Turtler

            Pretty much. It is hard to go back and reject your previous work. And regarding Hegel’s Dialectic I do think it has the benefit of being a novel thing and a half-decent visualization of how some ideas and compromises in ideas work.

            But trying to turn it into an ironcast law of history is beyond stupid, and that is Marx for you in a nutshell.

    • Turtler

      And on top of that he’s being freaking stupid as well. Russian prehistory- as well as that of the land of the Rus in general- survived quite well even after the Mongol invasions as a decentralized quasi-feudal mess with dozens of principalities and minor states feuding between this and that aristocrat.

      But Russia’s imperial EGO can only survive as a center of something bigger, a center around which the world turns. Unfortunately for the Kremlin, the chances of that ever happening are slim.

  • Fortranz

    “- “stop the machine of history.” -”

    Hmm.. I wonder if Aleksandr Khaldey has learned that historical dialectical materialism is a dead philosophy yet? Doesn’t seem like it.

    • Forewarned

      Sounds like Marxism amirite?

    • Oknemfrod

      I had met my share of dialectical/historical materialism acolytes in the first half of my life. Quite a few were downright fanatical, and dissuading them of a single Marxist dogma would be an exercise in futility – not to mention dangerous, for they met a slightest doubt in the moronic Lenin’s tenet “Marx’s teaching is omnipotent because it’s right” with outright hostility and would report the doubter to the KGB in a blink of an eye. Upon the disintegration of the USSR many of them, formerly employed as Marxist brain-washers in the educational system, needed to find new jobs and without a moment of hesitation turned into Russian chauvinists and adepts of the “russkiy mir” despite the fact that leninism formally hadn’t tolerated chauvinism of any sort. Likewise, they conveniently forgot what their idol Marx used to write about Russia. In particular:

      ” The cradle of Russia lies not in the austere glory of the Norman epoch but in the bloody swamp of Muscovite slavery. … The politics of Ivan III and that of Moscow empire now aren’t merely alike but identical. Russia was born and raised in the ugly and humiliating school of Mongol slavery. It’s become strong only because at mastering slavery, it’s turned out to be without peer. … Even after Russia became independent, it remained a country of slaves. Peter I combined the slyness of a Mongol slave with the power of a Mongol ruler … The Russian methods and tactics have been changing and will be, however the guiding star of Russian politics – to conquer the world and rule it – is and will remain unaltered. Moscow Panslavism is merely of the forms of Russian land-grabbing”.

      It’s quite possible that Khaldey is one of those Marxist-turned-Russianist types.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        More likely that he’s been drinking Boyaryshnik and the methanol has damaged the few brain cells he had, or he’s found a cache of LSD……
        Either way, he’s watching pink elephants flying around his head.

        • Oknemfrod

          I’d agree that the scenario you’re describing is more probable … and also add steklomoy and krokodil to the list.

    • Turtler

      Considering people still quote Freud as if there’s no tomorrow, I doubt he has.

  • Vik Khan

    Where is all the ruSSian fascist trolls to comment on this?

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      They are celebrating New Year, hopefully with Boyaryshnik……..

  • Turtler

    Firstly: is this guy of any import whatsoever, or is he one of the Black Hundreds on keyboards squatting in somebody’s basement? I know Putin would LOVE to try this, but it would be useful to know if this douche has any official connections.

    And secondly and more importantly: I’d like to see them try. It took about 300 years of Muscovite strength and the weakening or collapse of competition around it (Poland-Lithuania, Georgia, Turkey, Persia, Sweden, etc) for the Tsar to subdue Moldavia, the Baltics, and the Commonwealth.

    It took the bloodiest war in human history and a massive, battle hardened force fueled by the totalitarian megalomania of Lenin and Stalin, the budding demographics of the USSR, and the industrial might of a slave system to subdue Central and Eastern Europe again. Along with access to a bunch of slave systems like Ukraine.

    Now?

    Russia’s demographics are collapsing. The industry went out of bushiness years ago. The Petro economy has collapsed and with US energy on the rise and competition from everybody else it is unlikely to rise enough to break the decline.

    If this scumbag wants Russia’s neighbors to be protectorates, I have to say: “You and What Army?”

    Sure as heck isn’t the armies that actually accomplished it.

    • Oknemfrod

      What you said!

      • Turtler

        Thank you kindly.

        • Oknemfrod

          Pleasure’s all mine.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      It should also be pointed out that Stalin was only able to beat Adolf because of the Grand “Alliance” with the US, the UK, Canada and the smaller western allies. One on one, Adolf would eventually have beaten Stalin, though at a huge cost.

      • Turtler

        Indeed, and well. The Reds like to claim exclusive credit for winning WWII, but they could never have survived fighting the Axis alone.

        Especially if the Japanese also joined in from the other side.

  • Czech Mate

    “Russia must work to restore itself as “one of the global civilizational centers…”

    He he he, and that is the problem here, to “work” ruSSki Ivan needs others for that because the lazy muzhik ain’t no good at that.

    I can feel it guys, 2017 is the the year when Putleristan goes to shieeett.