Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The Russian Bear (Somewhat) Demystified
I would like to begin this post with a deep apology about continuing to ramble on about Ukraine even after I made a few posts explicitly denouncing the violent and immoral divisiveness the very idea of politics inherently contains.
But -in a contradiction typical of my people- I found this article by a Russian ultra-nationalist that I though I should share.
The one thing that the average Western observer of the crisis in Ukraine doesn't want to deal with is history. History is messy and boring and tedious. But to people in the old world, especially in Eastern Europe in the aftermath of the Soviet collapse, history is EVERYTHING.
History defines each country, defines the views of its people, it brings them closer to "democracy" or yanks them away from its cherished ideals. History is not dead in Ukraine, it bleeds, it convulses and -if history is neglected- it can even plead for innocent blood to scribble down new tumultuous chapters.
One actor in the history of Ukraine and in the current events there is my ancestral home, the country of my birth- Russia. I carry a Russian's stereotypical name, I believe I still have Russian soul after now living most of my life in America. I have an ambivalent (if tender) relationship to the motherland that I won't get into now.
What I want to do for you is to demystify the importance of Ukraine to Russians and especially Russian nationalists whose voices are rising in Moscow as Vladimir Putin continues his reign.
The letter below was written by Alexander Dugin a radical Russian nationalist.
As liberal who voted for Barack Obama and even waited to hear him speak inside a huge barn in Ohio, I don't agree with everything in this letter and I don't and CANNOT agree with Dugin's mystical and bitter view of the world, but his letter's first part (after he explains his unique anti-Americanism) is one of the best explanations of the crisis in Ukraine from the Russian historical perspective that I have ever seen in my internet wanderings.
I don't sing off on this letter, I don't endorse it, I don't worship or even agree with Dugin.
But I do believe that it is much more useful in understanding Russia and her current actions than some body-language analysis of Putin you might see on CNN or another pundit who couldn't find Ukraine on a map talking about what the "loss of Crimea" means to America and EU.
Letter to the American People on Ukraine