Why don’t Russia and the other former Soviet republics have an special institute to produce specialists who know how to “enslave other countries,” having organized pro-Moscow revolutions in them, seized power via coups, and exported “pro-Russian ideology” to them?
That outrageous question is posed today by Erlan Esenaliyev and Ermek Taichibekov, two ethnic Kazakh journalists who proudly identify themselves as Russian imperialists and argue that it is high time Russia created just such a training center so that it won’t be at a loss in knowing how to export its revolutions.
What is important about this article is not that it is much of an indication of what Moscow is about to do – although some would say it has already taken many steps in this direction – but rather as an indication of the radical expansion in recent months of what people in that Russian world think it is entirely reasonable to say.
A year or even six months ago, not even the most fevered Russian imperialist would have asked the question that Esenaliyev and Taichibekov do, and consequently, just as the dangerous ideas of Aleksandr Dugin and his ilk have spread into the mainstream so thoughts like those of these two may do as well.
And just as Vladimir Putin has pursued a policy in Ukraine of two steps forward and one back, to suggest to some in the West that he is reasonable, the appearance of such articles may make it possible that many in Russia and then in the West may find other slightly less outrageous ideas more acceptable than they would have had the more outrageous ones not been said.[quote style=”boxed” float=”left”]Russia together with the member states of the Eurasian Union, Esenaliyev and Taichibekov say, need a special institute where they can prepare “systematically and at a high professional level” specialists who will know how to “extend” the borders of Russia, enter “any corner of the world in a short time with minimum costs,” and “replace any political regime” that Moscow doesn’t like.[/quote]
In their article, Esenaliyev and Taichibekov say that the events in Ukraine over the past year show that [Russians] do not have any well-developed technologies for seizing entire states” and thus have not been as able as they might be to come to the aid of pro-Moscow forces, who thus fell victim to “small numbers of Ukrainian Nazis and Russophobes.”
Thinking that Russia can get by with ideas that worked a century or more ago, like an atamanshchina,* is a mistake, the two says. “The 21st century requires completely new approaches, more contemporary ones, more advanced, and more certain to produce the necessary results.”
Russia together with the member states of the Eurasian Union, Esenaliyev and Taichibekov say, need a special institute where they can prepare “systematically and at a high professional level” specialists who will know how to “extend” the borders of Russia, enter “any corner of the world in a short time with minimum costs,” and “replace any political regime” that Moscow doesn’t like.
If such an institute were to be created and if it were to work “on a conveyor system,” then, they say, “ten years from now, the borders of Russia could be extended to an enormous extent. And again people throughout the world would begin to speak about Russians as a great nation, and Russia would become again as before a world super power.”
Basing troops in former Soviet republics simply isn’t enough, they say, because these troops “sit in their barracks and do not have increase pro-Russian attitudes among the populations there.” It would be far more effective to send “a thousand specialists on expanding the borders of Russian influence” there and elsewhere – including into the US and the EU.
According to these two writers, the US and Britain have been doing this for a long time. “We see how they take over markets, lands, trading points, influence for their goods and services. [They] are occupied with this enslavement system for centuries,” with “the result we know.” Russia, the two say, can do no less.
“Many of the recent misfortunes of Russia and the CIS,” they write, reflect not just the actions of foreign enemies and corruption. They are the product, the two insist, “in the first instance of the lack of systemic institutions for enslavement and the broadening of spheres of influence.”
Russia must move in this direction now, Esenaliyev and Taichibekov say, because if it doesn’t, it will find itself feeding others rather than feeding off them.
* Atamanshchina – revolutionary warlordism, a predominantly peasant movement, which represented a dynamic and innovative effort of the Ukrainian countryside to fill in the power vacuum during the Civil War that accompanied the collapse of the Russian monarchy and imperial civil society after the 1917 revolution.