Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

For Russia’s rulers, war now a defining ‘principle of reality,’ Pavlovsky says

Putin, the Russian defence minister Sergey Shoygu (R) and chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov at the Zapad 2021 military exercises. Belarus, 13 September, 2021. (Photo:
Putin, the Russian defense minister Sergey Shoygu (R) and chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov at the Zapad 2021 military exercise in Belarus, 13 September, 2021. (Photo:
For Russia’s rulers, war now a defining ‘principle of reality,’ Pavlovsky says
Edited by: A. N.

For the 30 years of the existence of the Russian Federation, the Kremlin has increasingly gotten involved in unnecessary wars because such conflicts distract attention from its failures elsewhere and obscure the low quality of the government’s management generally, Gleb Pavlovsky says.

The Russian commentator points out that with increasing regularity, the Kremlin creates a crisis that it believes requires military action in order to achieve those political goals, something that doesn’t mean a world war is necessarily ahead but rather the world now live in “a war era” in which war is the new world order.

Because there is always the possibility of miscalculations on one or the other side, such an approach, one that resembles Russian roulette, could lead to a worldwide conflagration. But even if it doesn’t, the current situation represents “a deadly trap” for a country with problems like those Russia has.

That is because “the greatest evil is a war which leads a country to liquidation,” Pavlovsky says. “Russia doesn’t need a war with Ukraine,” and it hasn’t even managed to come up with “a national military machine, even though the Kremlin rules us [Russians] with methods resembling military strategy.”

This approach did not begin with Putin but emerged immediately after the disintegration of the USSR, with Moscow focusing on hotspots within the Russian Federation but especially in what it chose to call “the near abroad” of former Soviet republics. The attack on its own parliament in October 1993 and the wars in Chechnya accelerated this militarization of political thought.

Chechnya also showed the ways in which war bled back into Russian life, with the militiamen sent to that North Caucasus republic from across the country then returning home transformed into a very different force than they had been before, one far more brutal and militaristic.

This militarization of political calculations was given a powerful boost by the response of the US to the September 11 attacks. Before George W. Bush responded with wars of his own, it would never have come into Putin’s head that he could do something similar in Georgia and then in Ukraine. But of course, “the pupil went further than the teacher.”

“Today,” Pavlovsky says, “Russia fights in every place where it touches,” shifting from one to another in a game of Russian roulette that it has so far won but that inevitably will come back to destroy it. That is inevitable now that for the Russian leadership and the system they have created, “war is the principle of reality.”

That doesn’t mean that Russia is going to precipitate a major war; but it does mean that with each case, the odds of that happening increase, to the detriment of the world and to Russia itself, the commentator concludes.

Read More:

Edited by: A. N.
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Will the West continue to support Ukraine?
    • Know what moves the world.
    • Stay informed with Kompreno.
    • Get quality journalism from across Europe.
    Special discount
    for Euromaidan Press readers
    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts