Putinism is the Highest Stage of Colonialism
Putinism is the Highest Stage of Colonialism
The world “colonialism” no longer applies to any place in the world the way it applies to Russia. It is colonialism in the crudest and most primitive sense. It is forbidden for a country to neighbor Russia and be free at the same time. To be safe while neighboring Russia, sovereignty must be given up, and major decisions must be left to Moscow rather than a national parliament- if there is one. It is thus forbidden for the state in question to neighbor Russia and be a democracy that respects the will of its people and works to realize that will.
Below is a quick overview of the situation in countries neighboring Russia and the conditions they have found and continue to find themselves in because it applies the principle of “charity starts at home.” On Russia’s western borders, that is, the borders of democrophobia, there are three countries stretching from Georgia in the south to Belarus in the north, with Ukraine between them.
* Georgia (population of 4 million) had war waged against it in 2008, the first of the twenty-first century’s “European wars.” The pretext was the expulsion of four Russians accused of spying for their country. Moscow also took advantage of the separatist movements in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, using them to tighten its chokehold on the Georgian authorities and their decision-making. However, the real reason for the conflict and war is that then-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was elected for two terms (2004-2013), was keen on joining NATO. Georgians are forbidden from doing so. To this day, a fifth of their country remains occupied.
* Ukraine (45 million) had a war waged against it in 2014. Its pretext was determining the final status of Crimea and parts of the Donbas, both of which are internationally recognized as Ukrainian territory. The Russians annexed Crimea by force and then, through Ukraine’s Russian minority, cut the Donbas off from Ukraine. The war was in fact launched in response to the Ukrainian revolution that overthrew the country’s pro-Russian dictator Viktor Yanukovych, who ended up a refugee in Russia. The majority of Ukraine’s population, as it is demonstrating through its elected representatives, is eager to join NATO. Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers were recently massed on the border with Ukraine, which could precipitate one of our contemporary world’s gravest crises.
* Belarus (10 million) saw a popular uprising erupt after Alexander Lukashenko was “elected” president for the sixth time in 2020. A former Soviet border guardsman, Lukashenko has boasted of being “Europe’s last dictator.” Half of the world, including democratic countries, does not recognize his presidency. Some have imposed sanctions on his country because he rigged the elections. Among the countries that recognize his presidency are: Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela.
Before the uprising, Lukashenko’s relationship with Vladimir Putin had deteriorated because the former sought “more respect” from the latter. The uprising put that relationship back in order, eliminating the misunderstandings and abuses that had contaminated it: Lukashenko became concerned with survival, not respect, while his cost to Putin decreased sharply. Moscow rushed to save him financially and militarily: troops were massed on the border the two countries share, and Russian workers replaced those who had been striking.
The sensitivity of the western borders does not obliterate that of the others: Recently, Kazakhstan (20 million), a country to Russia’s southeast and the largest in Central Asia, has seen tensions. The uprising was sparked by a rise in fuel prices, but it swiftly became politicized, forcefully putting forward demands regarding the regime and its despotism. That is because its actual ruler, Nursultan Nazarbayev, went from leading the Communist Party during the Soviet era to heading the government after independence in 1990. In 2019, he put his puppet on the throne, and the latter, Qasim-Jomart Tokayev, immediately asked Russia and Belarus to send troops and “restore stability” after being confronted with the uprising.
Putin’s insights, then, are on how to support tyranny, hinder people from being liberated, and make it impossible for them to decide their fate- that is, how to widen the distance separating these peoples and countries from democracy and progress. As for the reason, it is this security obsession and chronic fear of a blockade that had been seen during the Tsarist and Communist eras before it resurfaced with Putin. All three regimes set themselves tasks that their country lacks the real requisites and foundations for. And so, the outcome was a kind of madness and grandiosity that forced others not to advance or democratize. Putin surprises us, time and again, when he defends everything about Russia’s past and every one of its regimes, with no concern for whether they were capitalist or communist. What is important, in the end, is the perpetuation of that formula: attaining strength without having its prerequisites and weakening others infinitely.
That is how Russia was when it “supported the Arabs” against Israel during the Soviet era, and that is how it is in Putin’s era, when it kills Arabs in Syria and shares certain roles with Israel.
Nonetheless, it remains surprising that Arabs are not touchy about Russia and are always ready to consider it a loyal friend. This astonishment is only dissipated by the fact that hostility to the West and the US has turned into a religion, with the military and security regimes in our parts investing in this false religion, from which they too benefit copiously.