Wednesday, December 3, 2014

At the Heart of the Kremlin's Ukrainian Policy (or the Lack of It) is (Still) the (Un)Deniable Act of Late-Soviet Betrayal and Rip-off

History and experience teaches that liberalism is either fascism's banker and sympathizer or fascism's rather poor and half-hearted opponent. And Russia is today primarily oligarchic and liberal, though in its own way.

One of the root problems that beset the approach of the Russian government and elite toward the rise of Nazi oligarchy in Ukraine came out despite Putin's best efforts, from his recent interview given to the Russian News Agency Tass on November 13.

I am not sure how many other people noticed the glaring contradiction, but I have not seen it noted. Since, however, as I said, this contradiction touches on the very root of the problem in how the Kremlin has handled the crisis in Ukraine, the contradiction deserves to be brought up.

At first, Putin confirmed the presence of a very deep and fundamental problem, which cannot be simply done away with or wished away:

"I believe [corruption] is one of very serious problems, which we have inherited from the past when the administration at any level thought it had the right to do everything and no one could have the right to encroach on its powers and control it somehow. But then something else was added to this, which made the situation even worse. I mean the non-transparent privatization. This was awful and this was a big mistake. ... Incidentally, [some] told us that we should not listen to American experts. But we went along this road. The non-transparent privatization made people think:  well, if they let them steal billions from the state, then why can’t we take away something less expensive? Why are they allowed and we are not. But, mentally, all this has remained in people’s minds."

Then having called the greatest rip-off and robbery in history, which was combined with its impunity, "a big and awful mistake," Putin then declared this "stealing of billions from the state" perfectly legal and went so far as to even deny that oligarchs and oligarchy exist in Russia. Putin went on:

"I believe, we have to a great degree put an end to the so-called oligarchy. What is this? This is money having influence over power. Today, I can definitely say that we have no such situation in Russia. We have no oligarchic structures, which substitute state power or influence upon state decisions in their interests. This fully refers to those people whom you have mentioned. All of them are rich and they made their fortunes a long time ago… mainly a long time ago, and absolutely within the law."

I do believe that the previous admission fully contradicts the feeble assurance about the supposed or formal legality, denial of oligarchy, and the assurance that all this happened "a long time ago."

What happened in the 1990s set the basis for the Maidan, the comeback of Banderism, and today's Nazi junta and Nazification of Ukraine. Putin does also know clearly that "all this has remained [deeply] in people's minds." Novorossiya and the people in Donbass, moreover, also rose not only against the spirit and politics of the betrayal which destroyed the USSR, they also rose against all this thieving, anti-national oligarchy, the existence of which Putin tries to deny ... at least as Russia and the Russian elite is concerned.

However, it was this anti-oligarchic spirit of the revolution spontaneously rising in Novorossiya, which the Kremlin's Ukrainian policies have been objectively suppressing and eliminating instead of the rising threat of Ukraine's Nazi mobilization.

Putin's contradictory statements on this score also match Moscow's contradictory policies toward Novorossiya and Ukraine, the obvious result of which is not only nonexistence of any preventive measures towards Ukraine and absence of alternatives to narrow relying on Ukrainian oligarchs for the last 25 years as the sole substitute for missing strategy toward Ukraine (and Eastern Europe as a whole).

The result of these deep, class contradictions (and lack of political sincerity even at the analytic and decision-making level) is also the loss of the certain window of opportunity for Russsia's missing deterrence or resolute action, which existed till late May or so. Instead, Moscow put much of its efforts, capital, authority, and legitimacy into trying to consolidate--together with the US and the West as a whole--Poroshenko's elections and authority, and thus the legitimacy and authority of the junta, Ukraine's pro-Nazi oligarchy, and hence positions of its own sworn enemy.

These fundamental political contradictions existing at the heart of Moscow and the resulting policies or the lack of these policies also helped to turn the war and crisis in Ukraine into a very long, protracted conflict, and that also means that these factors are also making the conflict not only significantly more costly and lethal, but they are also increasing the threat of a world war.

However, to prevail, that is, to save itself, Moscow needs the people. But that means not merely to have the people on its side (while suppressing the people's cry and demand for social justice, dignity,and respect), but to place itself on the side of the people--principally, on the side of the people's just demands for social justice and honor in the spirit of the best legacy of the Soviet times, which the "Soviet" "leadership" itself grossly and deliberately betrayed in order to carry out its transformation into liberal (and/or even Nazi, as now in Ukraine) oligarchy and steal all the wealth.

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