According to Lavrov and other officials, Moscow did not anticipate the surge of radicalism and Nazism in Ukraine (see my earlier post).
A question in a similar vein, which strongly poses itself, is whether Moscow did not or does not (still) anticipate the resurgence of the idea of a people's republic or narodovlastie (people's power), which has been from the very beginning the idea behind Novorossiya and the aspirations. The idea of such narodovlastie is anti-fascist and also anti-oligarchic. Part of it has also been defense of monuments to Lenin. The clock on the Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin needs to be moved together with the changed times.
In this regard, as there are different kinds of nationalism and also patriotism, there are also different kinds of anti-communisms or rejection of socialist and leftist ideas. Here, to quote or rather paraphrase one unnamed militiaman from Lugansk, Orthodox cossacks fighting for Novorossiya are more "on the left" than any of the so-called or self-identified lefties one can meet elsewhere. I would extend the validity of this statement, for example, to Strelkov and others. (And, in between us, an anti-oligarchic right is an oxymoron).
The fact remains that the people of Donbass spoke and they spoke clearly and loudly against a wholesale repudiation of the Soviets, understanding very well that they would be thus denigrating and debasing themselves and the work and struggle of their grandparents and parents. This does not mean to espouse an uncritical attitude toward serious problems and issues that existed. Far from it.
Notably, Strelkov himself, one of the first leaders of Novorossiya and one who is and never was any communist, is standing firmly on the position (which, for example, Vladislav Surkov, a very different anti-communist, denies) that the demise of the Soviet Union by the act of the few leaders on top was an act of state treason.
Another kind of anticommunism was, for example, Solzhenitsyn's. Solzhenitsyn was no ideologue. He was and remains one of the greatest writers who ever lived. If anti-communism is an ideology and program of capitalist oligarchy (thus liberalism, which would be anti-oligarchic, is a self-contradiction), Solzhenitsyn was never either part of it or a supporter of it. Much the opposite. He was a genuine humanist with a keen eye for the dark side of the Soviet system. For the West, though, anti-communism went hand in hand with its Drang nach Osten--with the desire to destroy Russia as a geopolitical entity and civilization. Here Solzhenitsyn, like Strelkov and today's cossacks, stand up in defense of Russia, her civilization and the motherland. And I would dare to include here Dugin too.
While Solovyev's teaching about Anti-Christ deserves attention, Putin's attraction to Ivan Ilyin, a rabid anti-Soviet anticommunist and elitist (in contrast to Solzhenitsyn) thinker, is, however, not a plus, but a liability. While the liberal, mainstream West loves to hate Alexander Dugin, Ilyin's anti-Soviet anticommunism is certainly in its eyes a big plus, though never a big enough or ever sufficient enough, not matter how many times Putin can quote Ilyin or ask the bureaucrats to revere him, to make the West and the liberals abandon today's Drang nach Osten and to treat Putin truly and really as one of them.
As long as "communism" was and remained anti-oligarchic, it was also aspiring toward narodovlastie. Once it started creating and feeding its own oligarchy, which ultimately carried out the big inversion called perestroika or liberalization, it turned into its own opposite--into a new oligarchy. The historical irony is that, while Western oligarchic anti-communism has never had an issue with oligarchy per se or with the transformation of Soviet socialism into capitalist oligarchy, other anti-communists and even communists were making nearly identical criticism and nearly for the same reasons. Today, many of the former and the latter are fighting side by side for Novorossiya.