Russia is confident that it will not be defeated in Ukraine.. Why?


Sergey Karaganov – Center for Arab-Eurasian Studies 

The New York Times interviewed a member of the Russian Foreign and Defense Policy Council, Professor Sergey Karaganov, in which he stated the following:

In your articles and interviews, you adopted the same view of President Putin, that the conflict with Ukraine has existential significance for Russia; Why?! Bearing in mind that in February 2022, there was no talk of Ukraine joining NATO, there was no economic threat to Russia, the United States was more concerned about China and the Middle East. So what existential threat would it take to launch an operation of this magnitude?

When the military conflict began, we saw how deep the relationship between Ukraine and NATO was: “a lot of weapons, training and joint coordination.” Ukraine has turned into a spear aimed at the heart of Russia. As we saw the West’s economic, moral, and political collapse after its rise in the 1990s, this fall has been particularly painful. Problems in the West, and throughout the world, remained unresolved, and the classic pre-war situation developed since the late 2000s, as hostility toward Russia grew rapidly, and conflict seemed more and more inevitable. Perhaps Moscow decided to act proactively so that it could dictate its terms. Also, this is an existential struggle for many modern Western elites who have now failed, lost their citizens’ confidence, and seek to distract themselves. They need an enemy, but many Western countries – and not the elites that rule them – will survive and thrive well even after the demise of this liberal imperialism. imposed on it since the late 1980s.

We should stress that Ukraine is not the main cause of the conflict; Rather, its citizens are used as cannon fodder in war to maintain the crumbling hegemony of Western elites. As for Russia, this is a struggle not only for the preservation of elites; But also for the country itself. It cannot afford to lose the war; That is why Russia will win, I hope, without having to resort to a higher level of violence, but people are already dying, and I have been anticipating this struggle for a quarter of a century, and I could not prevent it, and here I must admit that it is a personal failure of mine.

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I recently said that Russia must respond to the West’s attempts to “destroy” it, but the tragic irony is that it is self-destructive through this conflict; Western countries condemn the violence in Ukraine, Sweden and Finland are joining NATO, Russia will become a rogue state, and will be treated as a serious threat for a long time.. Is all this not a Russian miscalculation?

Relations between Russia and the West have already deteriorated fifteen years ago. Simply put, there was nothing to lose when they implemented all these sanctions in recent months. Now Moscow can – without a doubt – rein in the West. We will wait to see how the situation develops in this direction.

Given the political, economic and moral direction of the development of the West, the further away from it, the better for us. At least the next ten to twenty years, let’s hope that the West recovers after that, that the elites partly change, and then we will be able to improve relations. We will not isolate ourselves from the rest of the world, which is developing in the right direction, expanding and becoming freer, while the West is rapidly shrinking. Only history will judge whether it is right to engage in an open confrontation or not. Perhaps the decision should have been taken earlier, but due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, it had to be postponed.

Putin often used the image of Great Russia, vilified by the West, which he used to justify the military operation on the territory of the sovereign state of Ukraine. However, if we talk about the greatness of the country, I, like many immigrants of Russian origin, fear Putin will destroy it. Many Russian intellectuals are fleeing the country, Russian culture has been stifled by repressive laws that label anyone with international relations as a foreign agent, international relations have been severed, and Russian athletes and artists are isolated. What is good or good for Russia in all of this?

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If Russia wants to develop and continue to be a proud, sovereign country, it must fight for its place and its place in the future world order. It is a struggle for a just and stable world, but there is no victory without loss. I regret that tens of thousands of IT professionals have decided to leave the country in search of a better life, but I know, and you, too, that many intelligent and dignified Russian immigrants are unhappy with the West’s behavior towards Russia. I hope some will come back. The problem of canceling Russian culture, and in general everything related to Russia in the West, is the problem of the West itself, similar to the attempts to cancel its history, culture, and Christian moral values.

With regard to public liberties in Russia, yes, the confrontation has narrowed the space for political freedom, and this worries me. I emphasize in many writings and in my lectures that we must preserve freedom of thought and intellectual debate. But so far, we are better at this than many other countries. We do not have a culture of abolition, nor do we lay siege to ideas and stifle them in the name of “political correctness.”

I repeat, I worry about what will happen to freedom of thought in Russia in the future, but what worries me most is the increased possibility of a global nuclear conflict ending humanity. We live in a crisis more difficult and dangerous than the Caribbean crisis. Nor do I see people of the caliber of Kennedy and his entourage on the other side. I don’t know if we have responsible interlocutors, but we are looking for them, and we hope they are.

I sympathize with my compatriots who now – due to Western sanctions – have less opportunity to continue their usual way of life. The restrictions are intended to inflict as much pain as possible on ordinary Russians in order to induce them to revolt. As expected, the effect was the opposite, but there is a bright spot in this sad image; The hard-line politics of the West cleanses our society and elites of the remnants of the pro-Western comprador class, or what might be called “useful fools”, and we are of course not closed off to European culture, so that I suspect that with the culture of abolition spreading in the West, we will be one of the few places that have kept On the treasures of European and Western culture and their spiritual values.

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In a recent interview, you mentioned that many members of the Russian elite are calling for the criterion of “victory.” How can it be described or defined from your point of view?

It is a moving target. At a minimum, the liberation of the entire Donbas region from the Kyiv regime, which is happening now, then the liberation of the southern and eastern parts of Ukraine, then perhaps Russia’s next goal should be the complete neutralization and demilitarization of the territories remaining under Kyiv’s control. Ukraine is an important, but small, part in the battle to dismantle the old world order, which was dominated by the global liberal imperialism imposed by the United States, and the direction after its dismantling towards a more just and free, multipolar, and diverse world of civilizations and cultures. One of the centers of this world is being established in Eurasia, and there is a revival of the great civilizations that were suppressed hundreds of years ago. In this direction, Russia will play its natural role of “civilization of civilizations”.

We must become the balance of the north in this system. I hope we can handle both roles. We are the proud heirs of the great culture of Pushkin, Tolstoy and Gogol, the latter of whom came from the lands of modern Ukraine, instilling in us love. We are the heirs of indomitable warriors, such as Alexander Suvorov, Marshals Georgy Zhukov, and Konstantin Rokossovsky. The new world order has not yet taken hold and become a reality, but it is we in Russia who are working to accelerate and achieve this process.

1. Why is Russia confident that it cannot be defeated in the conflict in Ukraine? – SERGEY KARAGANOV – Russia in Global Affairs – 08/03/2022,  https://globalaffairs.ru/articles/pochemu-rossiya-uverena/

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

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