Russia has been transformed by the war in Ukraine, with some calling this a restoration of the past and others a new turn to “Russianness,” but Aleksey Shiropayev argues that what is taking place is in fact the imposition of a fascist system “at a galloping pace.’
On Rufabula.com today, the commentator and leader of Russia’s National Democratic Alliance says that Putin’s war in Ukraine has thrown Russia back from its moves toward democracy and Europe and created the conditions for “an extremely dark Russian future.”
Indeed, he says, in the course of the conflict with Ukraine, “Russian fascism has become a FACT,” something underscored by the Kremlin’s own behavior. When its propagandists speak of “the Kyiv fascist junta, they are behaving just like when an everyday thief shouts out ‘Catch the thief’” in order to escape justice.
“Putin and his KGB clique,” Shiropayev says, “have decided to base their actions on everything that is most reactionary in [Russia’s] historical inheritance, on everything that during the Yeltsin era, the country was not able to escape.” Indeed, “the chief historical failure of Yeltsinism is that he did not create a NEW European Russia.”
The hatred towards Ukraine now in evidence “has absolutely changed Russia for the worse,” he continues. “It has become clear that mass Russian consciousness remains absolutely imperialist and chauvinist” and that “Russia is prepared to consider Ukraine only as its colony or as scorched earth.”
Indeed, he concludes, “the current hatred to the Slav Ukrainians has eclipsed even the hatred to the Chechens during the periods of the first and second Chechen wars.”
The atmosphere in Russia has “terribly changed,” and the country is now afflicted with a kind of “mass insanity” ranging from the near universal wearing of Georgian colors to the formation of “anti-Maidan militias” which are “the analogue of the ‘Black Hundreds’ of the beginning of the last century.”
The Russian majority has “ACCEPTED fascization and is ready to agree to political repressions, even massive ones against those who think differently, and the complete suppression of the small remaining segments of freedom” in their country. In such a situation, “the development of democracy and civil society becomes impossible and even more unnecessary for SUCH a people.”
What that kind of people needs is “a leader, terror and militarism.” It needs “hoary myths which stimulate mass hatred and mass pride,” Shiropayev says.
What exists in Russia now is a dictatorship with “clearly marked tendencies toward totalitarianism.” Fear has returned “as a factor of social-political life,” putting those who disagree “with the anti-Ukrainian and neo-imperial policy of the Kremlin” at risk of becoming victims of “moral and political terror.”
One result of this is that “the relationship of Russia and Ukraine will NEVER be as it was. Ukraine will never forget” the war Russia has unleashed against it. “Ukraine is lost for Russia as an empire FOREVER. From now on,” the two countries will be divided by the blood that has been shed.
According to the Moscow commentator, “the war with Ukraine represents not so much a direct continuation of the disintegration of the USSR as the apotheosis of the agony of imperial Russia in general, an agony which beginning in 1917 has been dragging on for an entire century.”
But another result of this war is that “Russians themselves will never be what they were. Each new day of the war with Ukraine injures Russia above all,” increasing the levels of “aggression and coarseness in society” and leaving Russia less the country of Putin alone but a nation of Putin clones and one that supports “Putin’s fascism.”
Curing Russia from this “fascist infection will be very difficult,” Shiropayev says, because it is “always simpler to become infected than to be cured” and because “in order to get better, Russia will need to LOSE this war in a shameful fashion.”
But that could itself entail “an enormous danger,” he continues, because “the Russia of the Putins could become transformed into the country of the Rogozins and the Barkashovs,” people who think that Putin himself is “insufficiently consistent and decisive.”
Putin has become “a hostage of his own policy” even as he has made Russia a hostage to it, and “already he cannot turn back, he is simply forced to go further along the path of more escalation, because at his back are breathing the Dugins and Strelkovs, the legion of those” who want to drown Ukraine in blood.
Thanks to Putin’s policies and the Russian population’s response, Russia has “thrown itself out of European civilization, out of the circle of civilized countries, and from now on will move closer to others, above all China.” But China is “a stronger player” and Russia will find itself in a dependent position as a result, one that will recall the Mongol yoke in which it will be “a new historical variant of the ‘Muscovite ulus.’”
But there is an even larger consequence. “Over the last six months, the world has sharply changed and something evil has clearly come into it,” Shiropayev says. “The war of Russian against Ukraine is an obvious prelude to the Third World War,” a conflict that will be “the last war in the history of humanity” and one that Russia will have triggered.
Many will dismiss this as improbable alarmism, he notes, but a year ago, they would have dismissed as impossible things that have happened thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And Shiropayev says his own conclusions deserve attention because he predicted as early as August 24, 2008 that Putin would invade Ukraine.[hr]Source: Window on Eurasia (with permission)