A Ukrainian town razed by bombardment of invading Russian troops. March 2022. The Russo-Ukrainian War (2014-present). (Photo: Maks Levin)

A Ukrainian town razed by bombardment of invading Russian troops. March 2022. (Photo: Maks Levin) 

Opinion, Russia

Edited by: A. N.

It is impossible to imagine that Soviet leaders would ever have used the language the Putin regime is using now about Ukraine or to have done so with such a lack of shame, Aleksandr Skobov says. And as a result one must conclude that the ideological gap between Russia and the West is far greater today than it was before 1991.

Aleksandr Skobov (Image: kasparov.ru)

Aleksandr Skobov
(Image: kasparov.ru)

The Putinist ideological vision is like feudalism, the Russian commentator says. For it, “there is no land without a lord, no man without a master, and no country with out a master. And that master is not her people or even a foreign one. The owner of any country is ‘the ruling elite’ which the people overthrow.”

Related: Putinism is the post-industrial form of fascism, Skobov says

Given that vision, Skobov continues, “there is not and cannot be any equality of peoples and there is not and cannot be any freedom for peoples to choose their allies” abroad or their elites at home. Such suggestions are completely at odds with the Yalta Declaration and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN in 1948.

The Putinist vision is feudal; the other bourgeois, he argues. “The first is traditionalist; the other modernized. One is conservative; the other liberal.” And this means that “we must recognize that the conflict [between Putin and the West] bears a systemic character and has an ideological form.”

And it means something else: the ideological gulf separating Putin’s Russia and the West is far wider and deeper than the one which divided the Soviet Union and the West during the Cold War, Skobov says.

During that conflict, he continues, the two sides remained ideological “relatives.” That is, both based their approach on the values of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. “Both fought for freedom and equality,” however much they differed on what that meant. But they were fighting over the same things, rather than one side rejecting in toto the position of the other.

Related: Putinism is a genuinely new threat and not simply a revival of earlier ones, Yakovenko says

One can debate tactics about how to oppose what Putin is promoting, Skobov concludes; but it is essential that “the leaders of the Free World recognize their strategic tasks.” They must recognize that what they stand for and what Putin does means that “the Putin regime is their existential enemy with whom compromise is impossible.”

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Edited by: A. N.

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