„The problem is: what should Russia be that we would rather see? with what, to put it simply, would be easier for us to live with; whose existence would enable the establishment of a more stable international order in the world; which would be both desirable and feasible for us? „
These are the words of the article by the famous American diplomat, historian George Kennan (1904-2005), first published in Foreign Affairs magazine in 1951 under the title„America and the Russian Future“. In it he also warned that there was no point in counting on the future Russia as „a capitalist, liberal-democratic state whose structure is similar to our republic“.
It is true that in old age, like so many in the West, he has found himself in a state of euphoria in connection with the beginning of perestroika in the Soviet Union. „Today it is almost impossible to return the country in Brezhnev’s time,“ he said. „Even less likely to return to the Stalin era.“ In general, Gorbachev set in motion a process that would begin sooner or later. It should have started much earlier. I think it can be described as the removal of the last remnants of Stalinism… „.
The echo of this euphoria and in yesterday’s statement by British Prime Minister Theresa May about the poisoning of former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter on his country’s territory sounded like this:
„Many of us have seen post-Soviet Russia with hope. We want better relationships. Tragically, President Putin decided to do so… We have no quarrel with the Russian people, who have achieved many great successes in the course of their history…“.
The essence of the present moment is that the Western community today faces the need to carry out a revolution in its awareness of the following:
- Recognise the inaccuracy of expert assessments that Western politicians have been guided by over the past 30 years.
- Acknowledge that the West has not won the Cold War, and Russia has not lost. Russia only withdrew tactically in order to „regroup“ and appear in the new modernized quality.
- Recognize that political science discipline called „transitology“ has failed in relation to Russia, Russia, which was in support of the transition from totalitarianism / authoritarianism to democracy. This hope for change has been stuck in Russia since 2014.
- Recognize that modern Russia is not „sovereign / controlled / electoral democracy„, but a modernized Stalinist regime in the person of Vladimir Putin and his entourage.
- Understand, it is not only President Putin and his „kleptocratic / Mafia state“. The reason is stuck in Russia itself, as a special civilization that has created the Brave Re-Stalinized World.
- Understand that today’s civilisation conflict looks like this:„Modernised Stalinism vs. Western Civilization“.
- Recognise that Russia’s problem has repeatedly become more complicated because of its openness to the world after 1991, because in an open and globalised world there should be no obstacles such as the Kremlin’s agents.
- Recognise that the option of an armed overthrow of those who„lay down the rules for the Russian people“, which Kennan considers in Article 1951, is excluded today because Russia in its present form will not tolerate armed intervention in internal affairs, it is able to react, it is ready to use nuclear weapons, only after that it is ready to enter into negotiations for a solution.
Irina Pavlova, Historikerin, Doctor in Science of History, Publicist