Putin is Aiming to Restore the Empire of Russia

Both the Western countries and Russia are responsible for the crisis in Ukraine, as Russian President Putin had been preparing the invasion for more than a decade, and the West had been aware of it: Putin’s policy means return to the Russian Empire.

Slavoj Žižek addressed a congress of the opposition Left in Maribor, Slovenia on 5th March, as he recalled the period of the Russian Empire, in which the Ukrainian national identity was prohibited. It is alleged that it was only in the first decade of the Soviet Union that Ukrainians fully developed their national identity, got dictionaries and their own literature. But according to Žižek, Putin’s policy means a return to the Russian Empire.

Putin is not only a conservative nationalist, even worse, he elevated Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin, a political theologian who advocated a basic version of fascism of his own a hundred years ago, to his national philosopher. Ilyin imagines democracy as “people voting only to confirm support for our leader”. Thus is how democracy has worked in Russia for the past decade, and it is no wonder that Putin has become popular among modern-day populist politicians, especially in the US.

When Putin talks about denazification, we must remember that this is the same Putin who for years supported Marine Le Pen in France, Lega and Salvini in Italy, Alternative for Germany, and even Orban in Hungary, who has shown remarkable understanding for Putin.

He also noted that Russia today was not returning to the Cold War with a set of clear rules that both sides are supposed to respect, but that something much crazier is happening, as an era of warm peace has begun.

We are in a period when peace means a constant hybrid war, where armed operations are declared as peaceful humanitarian missions against genocide. How many times have we heard this phrase from the western forces?

The West taking a critical look at itself is the only successful way to oppose Putin, as it was the West who had pushed Russia into fascism, noting that it was economic proposals from the United States that destroyed the Russian economy in the 1990s under Boris Yeltsin and paved the way for Putin. Agreeing that Putin is a war criminal, he wonders how this has been noticed only now. “Wasn’t he already a war criminal when the Russian air force bombed the city of Aleppo in Syria, much more brutally than Kyiv is bombed now?

Remember that Ukraine is the poorest of all post-Soviet countries,” Žižek said, adding that even if they won the war, they would have to accept the bitter truth that the western liberal democracy is in a deep crisis itself.

He also wondered what kind of Europe can actually be saved: “If Europe that does not tolerate non-white refugees and excludes the uncivilized wins, then we do not need Russia to destroy us, we have already done it ourselves” he concluded.

Text taken from a fringe online website, and edited by myself.

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