Unlike, for example, Georgia or the Baltic States, history has proved it impossible for Ukraine to exist as a nation-state, and any attempts to “build” such a nation-state naturally lead to Nazism. Ukrainism is an artificial anti-Russian construct that has no civilizational substance of its own, a subordinate element of an extraneous and alien civilization.
What should Russia do with Ukraine? [Translation of a propaganda article by a Russian publication]
Disclaimer: What you are about to read is a direct translation of an article written by a russian propagandist. This is what real #Russia wants. Please read and share. This text will soon be translated into other languages so that everyone in the world can read about Russia’s crimes.
This is the article that was published by the Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti (Russian: РИА Новости). This media through the years was one of the main voices of Russian propaganda and fake news.
RIA Novosti is known for its systematic support of the Kremlin, violation of journalistic standards and works according to so-called “temnik” (directives and agendas from the government). The position in this article corresponds to the position of Russia.
This particular article is an indication of the Russian main narrative right now. RIA Novosti is trying to hide Russian crimes and spread cynical lies about the Ukrainian army, but also to provide media support for a full-scale program of destroying independent Ukraine.
How does it work? Russians state the facts about cities that were destroyed and civilians that were tortured and murdered. They are talking about Mariupol (a city as big as Edinburgh, Florence, or Lyon) that was almost wiped out, as well as Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Kharkiv — cities under bombardment. They mention the horrors of Bucha, where hundreds of people were murdered and tortured to death. They are talking about 161 children that died in Ukraine during these 40 days. However, they claim that it was the Ukrainian army that committed all these war crimes.
The author, a Russian political technologist, also has the audacity to talk about the Soviet occupation of Ukraine. He is trying to support Putin’s narrative about Ukraine as an artificial country. Instead, the world should remember that the Soviet Union terrorized Ukraine for almost a century with forced collectivization, Great Purge, Terror-Famine (Holodomor), forced deportation, etc.
In this article, the author is describing ways how Russians want to wipe out Ukraine in the same way the Soviet regime did it.
It’s important to spread this article. The Russian war should be stopped now. It was supposed to be stopped 8 years ago when it only began. 71% of Russians feel proud about this war. 75.5% of Russians approve of the idea of a military invasion of the next country and believe that it should be Poland. According to respondents, this is a logical continuation of the so-called “military special operation of the Russian Federation”.
The world should be aware of Russian methods, crimes, and plans. Putin will not stop until he is stopped.
What should Russia do with Ukraine?
We wrote about the inevitability of Ukraine’s denazification as early as last April. We do not need a Nazi, Banderite Ukraine, the enemy of Russia and a tool of the West used to destroy Russia. Today, the denazification issue has taken a practical turn.
Denazification is necessary when a considerable number of population (very likely most of it) has been subjected to the Nazi regime and engaged into its agenda. That is, when the “good people — bad government” hypothesis does not apply. Recognizing this fact forms the backbone of the denazification policy and all its measures, while the fact itself constitutes its subject.
This is the situation Ukraine has found itself in. The fact that the Ukrainian voter was choosing between the “Poroshenko peace” and the “Zelenskyy peace” must not deceive you: Ukrainians were quite happy with the shortest way to peace via a blitzkrieg, which was strongly alluded to by the last two Ukrainian presidents when they were elected. This was the method used to “pacify” home antifascists in Odesa, Kharkiv, Dnipro[the RU original uses the city’s former name “Dnipropetrovsk”], Mariupol, and other Russian cities — the method of total terror. And ordinary Ukrainians were fine with it. Denazification is a set of actions aimed at the nazified bulk of the population, who technically cannot be directly punished as war criminals.
Those Nazis who took up arms must be destroyed on the battlefield, as many of them as possible. No significant distinction should be made between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the so-called “nationalist battalions,” as well as the Territorial Defense, who have joined the two other types of military units. They are all equally complicit in the horrendous violence towards civilians, equally complicit in the genocide of the Russian people, and they don’t comply with the laws and customs of war. War criminals and active Nazis must be punished in such a way as to provide an example and a demonstration. A total lustration must be conducted. All organizations involved in Nazi actions must be eliminated and prohibited. However, besides the highest ranks, a significant number of common people are also guilty of being passive Nazis and Nazi accomplices. They supported the Nazi authorities and pandered to them. A just punishment for this part of the population can only be possible through bearing the inevitable hardships of a just war against the Nazi system, waged as carefully and sparingly as possible relates civilians. The further denazification of this bulk of the population will take the form of re-education through ideological repressions (suppression) of Nazi paradigms and a harsh censorship not only in the political sphere but also in the spheres of culture and education. It was through culture and education that the pervasive large-scale Nazification of the population was conducted, ensured by the guarantees of dividends from the Nazi regime victory over Russia, by the Nazi propaganda, internal violence and terror, and the 8-year-long war against the people of Donbas, who have rebelled against the Ukrainian Nazism.
Denazification can only be conducted by the winner, which means (1) their unconditional control over the denazification process and (2) the authority that can ensure such control. For this purpose, a country that is being denazified cannot possess sovereignty. The denazifier state, Russia, cannot take a liberal approach towards denazification. The denazifier ideology cannot be challenged by the guilty party that is being denazified. When Russia admits that Ukraine needs to be denazified, it essentially admits that the Crimea scenario cannot be applied to the whole Ukraine. In all fairness, this scenario was also not possible in the insurgent Donbas in 2014. Only the 8-year-long rebellion against the Nazi violence and terror managed to result in an internal unification and deliberate, explicit, broad-scale refusal of retaining any association with or relation to Ukraine, who has identified itself as a Nazi community.
The period of denazification can take no less than one generation that has to be born, brought upm and mature under the conditions of denazification. The nazification of Ukraine has been going on for more than 30 years — starting from as early as 1989, when Ukrainian nationalism was given legal and legitimate forms of political self-expression and led the movement for “independence”, setting a course for Nazism.
The current nazified Ukraine is characterized by its formlessness and ambivalence, which allow it to disguise Nazism as the aspiration to “independence” and the “European” (Western, pro-American) path of “development” (in reality, to degradation) and claim that “there is no Nazism” in Ukraine, “only few sporadic incidents.” Indeed, there isn’t a main Nazi party, no Führer, no full-fledged racial laws (only a cutdown version in the form of repressions against the Russian language). As a result — no opposition or resistance against the regime.
However, all listed above doesn’t make Ukrainian Nazism a “light version” of the German Nazism of the first half of the 20th century. Quite the opposite: since Ukrainian Nazism is free from such “genre” norms and limitations (which are essentially a product of political technologies), it can spread freely just like a basis for any Nazism — both European and, in its most developed form, the American racism. That’s why there can be no compromise during denazification, as in the case of the “no to NATO, yes to EU” formula. The collective West is in itself the architect, source, and sponsor of Ukrainian Nazism, while the Banderite supporters from Western Ukraine and their “historical memory” is just one of the tools of the nazification of Ukraine. Ukronazism poses a much bigger threat to the world and Russia than the Hitler version of German Nazism.
Apparently, the name “Ukraine” cannot be kept as a title of any fully denazified state entity on the territory liberated from the Nazi regime. The people’s republics, newly created on the territories free from Nazism, must and will develop on the basis of practices of economic self-government and social security, restoration and modernization of systems of essential services for the population.
Their political direction cannot be neutral in practice: the redemption of their guilt before Russia for treating it like an enemy can be manifested only by relying on Russia in the processes of restoration, revival, and development. No “Marshall Plans” can be allowed to happen on these territories. No “neutrality” in the ideological and practical sense that is compatible with denazification can be possible. Individuals and organizations who are to become tools of denazification in the new denazified republics cannot but rely on the direct organizational and force support from Russia.
Denazification will inevitably include de-ukrainization — the rejection of the large-scale artificial inflation of the ethnic component in the self-identification of the population of the historical Malorossiya and Novorossiya territories, which was started by the Soviet authorities. Being a tool of the Communist superpower, this artificial ethnocentrism was not left unclaimed after its fall. It was transferred in its subservient role to a different superpower (the power above states) — the superpower of the West. It needs to be brought back within its natural boundaries and stripped of political functionality.
Unlike, for example, Georgia or the Baltic States, history has proved it impossible for Ukraine to exist as a nation-state, and any attempts to “build” such a nation-state naturally lead to Nazism. Ukrainism is an artificial anti-Russian construct that has no civilizational substance of its own, a subordinate element of an extraneous and alien civilization. Debanderization alone will not be enough for denazification: the Banderite element is only a hand and a screen, a disguise for the European project of the Nazi Ukraine, which is why the denazification of Ukraine means its inevitable de-europeanization.
The Banderite elites must be eliminated; their re-education is impossible. The social “bog,” which has actively and passively supported them through action and inaction, must go through the hardships of war and internalize the lived experience as a historical lesson and the redemption of its guilt. Those who didn’t support the Nazi regime and suffered from it and the war it started in Donbas must be consolidated and organized, must become the backbone of the new authorities, their vertical and horizontal framework. History has shown that the tragedies and dramas of the war time benefit the peoples who were tempted and carried away by their role as the enemy of Russia.
Denazification as a goal of the special military operation within the limits of the operation itself means a military victory over the Kyiv regime, the liberation of the territories from the armed supporters of nazification, the elimination of hard-line Nazis, the imprisonment of war criminals, and the creating of systemic conditions for further denazification in peacetime.
The latter, in its turn, must begin with the establishment of local governments, militia, and defense institutions, cleansed of Nazi elements, the launching on their basis of constituent processes to create a new republican statehood, the integration of this statehood into the close cooperation with the Russian agency on Ukraine denazification (newly established or reorganized on the basis of, for example, Rossotrudnichestvo), the adoption of the republican regulatory framework (legislation) on denazification under Russian control, the definition of boundaries and frameworks for the direct application of Russian law and Russian jurisdiction in the liberated territory in regard to denazification, the establishment of a tribunal for crimes against humanity in the former Ukraine. In this regard, Russia should act as the guardian of the Nuremberg Trials.
All of the above means that in order to achieve the denazification goals, the support of the population is necessary, as well as its transition to the Russian side after its liberation from the terror, violence, and ideological pressure of the Kyiv regime, and after their withdrawal from informational isolation. Of course, it will take some time for people to recover from the shock of military hostilities, to be convinced of Russia’s long-term intentions, meaning “they will not be abandoned.” It’s impossible to foresee exactly in which territories such a mass of the population will constitute a critically needed majority. The “Catholic province” (Western Ukraine, made up of five oblasts) is unlikely to become part of the pro-Russian territories. The exclusion line, however, will be found experimentally. Behind the line, a forcibly neutral and demilitarized Ukraine will remain, with the formally banned Nazism and hostile to Russia. This is where the haters of Russia will go. The threat of an immediate continuation of the military operation in case of non-compliance with the listed requirements must become a guarantee of the preservation of this obsolete Ukraine in a neutral state. Perhaps this will require a permanent Russian military presence on its territory. From the exclusion line to the Russian border, there will be a territory of potential integration into the Russian civilization, which is inherently anti-fascist.
The operation to denazify Ukraine, which began with a military phase, will follow the same logic of stages in peacetime as during the military operation. At each stage, it will be necessary to achieve irreversible changes, which will become the results of the corresponding stage. In this case, the necessary initial steps of denazification can be defined as follows:
— The elimination of armed Nazi formations (which means any armed formations of Ukraine, including the Armed Forces of Ukraine), as well as the military, informational, and educational infrastructure that ensures their activity;
— The establishment of people’s self-government institutions and militia (defense and law enforcement) of the liberated territories to protect the population from the terror of underground Nazi groups;
— The installation of the Russian information space;
— The seizure of educational materials and the prohibition of educational programs at all levels that contain Nazi ideological guidelines;
— Mass investigations aimed to establish personal responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity, the spread of Nazi ideology, and support for the Nazi regime;
— Lustration, making the names of accomplices of the Nazi regime public, involving them in forced labor to restore the destroyed infrastructure as punishment for Nazi activities (from among those who have not become subject to the death penalty or imprisonment);
— The adoption at the local level, under the supervision of Russia, of primary normative acts of denazification “from below,” a ban on all types and forms of the revival of Nazi ideology;
— The establishment of memorials, commemorative signs, monuments to the victims of Ukrainian Nazism, perpetuating the memory of the heroes of the struggle against it;
— The inclusion of a set of anti-fascist and denazification norms in the constitutions of the new people’s republics;
— The establishment of permanent denazification institutions for a period of 25 years.
Russia will have no allies in the denazification of Ukraine. Because this is a purely Russian business. And also because it is not just the Bandera version of Nazi Ukraine that will be eradicated. The process will also, and above all, affect Western totalitarianism, the imposed programs of civilizational degradation and disintegration, the mechanisms of subjugation under the superpower of the West and the United States.
In order to put the Ukraine denazification plan into practice, Russia itself will have to finally part with pro-European and pro-Western illusions, acknowledge itself as the last authority in protecting and preserving those values of historical Europe (the Old World) that deserve to preserve and that the West ultimately abandoned, losing the fight for itself. This struggle continued throughout the 20th century and found its expression in the world war and the Russian revolution, which were inextricably linked with each other.
Russia did everything possible to save the West in the 20th century. It implemented the main Western project that constituted an alternative to capitalism, which defeated the nation-states — the Socialist red project. It crushed German Nazism, a monstrous offspring of the crisis of Western civilization. The last act of Russian altruism was its outstretched hand of friendship, for which it received a monstrous blow in the 1990s.
Everything that Russia has done for the West, it has done at its own expense, by making the greatest sacrifices. The West ultimately rejected all these sacrifices, devalued Russia’s contribution to resolving the Western crisis, and decided to take revenge on Russia for the help that it had selflessly provided. From now on, Russia will follow its own way, not worrying about the fate of the West, relying on another part of its heritage — the leadership in the global process of decolonization.
As part of this process, Russia has a high potential for partnerships and alliances with countries that the West has oppressed for centuries and which are not going to put on its yoke again. Without Russian sacrifice and struggle, these countries would not have been liberated. The denazification of Ukraine is at the same time its decolonization, which the population of Ukraine will have to understand as it begins to free itself from the intoxication, temptation, and dependence of the so-called European choice.
* An extremist organization banned in Russia.
Translation: Ukrainian volunteers
Ukraine war gives Alexander Dugin’s Eurasianist ideology new force
Disinfo Matters is a weekly newsletter that looks beyond fake news to examine how manipulation of narratives, rewriting of history and altering our memories is reshaping our world. We are currently tracking the war in Ukraine. Also in this edition: Putin’s Utopia; beyond the blue and yellow bubble and why Ukraine vanished off your TikTok
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While the world was busy discussing Will Smith’s Oscars slap and the mayor of Mariupul pleaded for his destroyed city to be evacuated, Russian Duma deputies came up with new legislation. It did not make headlines outside of Russia, even though it could potentially affect tens of millions of people around the world.
The bill, which is currently only a draft (link in Russian), proposes for all global native Russians speakers to be considered compatriots. This is a terrifying thing to hear for anyone living in Russia’s backyard, where Moscow has long used the notion of belonging as an excuse to invade.
“This is why I don’t teach Russian to my kids,” a Georgian friend told me when she heard the news. “I don’t want them to be protected.”
Russia’s early military campaign in Ukraine in 2014 was built around the idea of defending not only ethnic Russians, but also Russian-speaking Ukrainians from new laws that gave priority to the Ukrainian language.
Similar logic and tactics were used in Georgia’s separatist provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and Moldova’s Transnistria, where Moscow has long had a policy of promoting the language, as well as giving out Russian passports to residents of separatist territories and then using all of that as an excuse to meddle militarily.
In Kazakhstan, authorities have been trying to revive and promote the Kazakh language as part of the country’s post-Soviet, post-nomadic identity but without upsetting Russia, its strategic geopolitical partner.
It is a difficult balancing act. When in January, the government of Kazakhstan asked Putin for help in restoring order after massive protests shook the country, Margarita Simonyan, one of the Kremlin’s chief propagandists, jumped on Twitter to announce to her half a million followers that Russia should help but on the condition that Kazakhstan returns to the Cyrillic alphabet (they switched to Latin in 2017), anoint Russian as its second official language and “leave Russian schools alone.” Kazakhs were outraged (video in Russian).
Moscow sent in troops to help the Kazakhstan government anyway, but the comment is indicative of just how sensitive and important the issue is for the Kremlin. When Ukraine and Russia met and finally made some progress at the peace talks in Istanbul, one of the things discussed was an agreement on a document of mutual respect towards each other’s language and culture, reports the Bell.
Language is a key part of Putin’s most ambitious non-military project: the Eurasian Union. In the run-up to its launch in 2015, Vladimir Putin called it “epoch-making.” It was designed as an economic engine for Putin’s geopolitical vision, an alternative to the European Union not only economically but also ideologically. But it quickly turned out to be a flop. Only Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan joined, and even they grumbled about Russia being too big and too much of a bully to build a EU-style partnership.
“Russia is an empire in a sense, which is all absorbing. It is not based on ethnicity, on nationality, but on a sense of belonging to the Russian civilization,” argued the controversial philosopher Alexander Dugin just this week on the pages of a Russian tabloid Moskovskiy Komsomolets. Dugin is one of the best known ideologists of Eurasianism.
The long, meandering interview in the Russian tabloid paints Putin as a messiah, sent to the earth to “reunify” the Russian civilization and argues that the siege of Kyiv is a necessary step in this reunification. It will not be complete, Dugin said, until “we have united all Eastern Slavs and all Eurasian brothers into a common big space.”
Many Russia-watchers have long dismissed Dugin as a marginal figure, too crazy to be taken seriously. But the argument about whether or not Putin personally reads Dugin is somewhat irrelevant because Dugin is plenty relevant to the leaders of the Luhansk and Donetsk separatist movements, who consider him a teacher. The ideas Dugin promoted for years came across loud and clear both in Putin’s pre-invasion speeches as well as in the draft legislation that proposes that all Russian speakers should be considered “compatriots.”
Isolated and cornered, Putin is trying to maneuver his way out of this crisis using whatever limited tools he has and the ideology of Eurasianism, however murky, is one of them. Some have speculated that the Eurasian Union could also help the Kremlin to evade sanctions via the union’s non-sanctioned partners, but here is a good piece that explains why its economic use is very limited.
BEYOND THE BUBBLE
Like my bubble, yours too is probably yellow and blue: Zelensky is a PR genius and Putin is on the backfoot. But in the rest of the world, the picture looks very different, reports Coda’s Isobel Cockerell in a piece that explains why the West is not the target of Russian disinformation.
Across the African continent and in places like India, the Russian narrative of the war seems to be gaining traction. Disinformation researcher Carl Miller has shared with us some of his findings about networks springing up around #IstandwithPutin hashtag on Twitter. It recently began to trend on Twitter, after thousands of accounts, many of them fake, who normally tweet in support of other leaders like India’s Narendra Modi, Pakistan’s Imran Khan and former South African President Jacob Zuma, suddenly started using the hashtag to cheer Putin’s invasion.
While there is nothing authentic about the coordinated behavior of thousands of trolls on social media, there are human and legitimate reasons why Russia’s narrative is more acceptable to many countries outside the West.
“All communication around the war and Ukraine in the Middle East is going through the prism of comparison,” said Ayman Mhanna, the executive director of media freedom watchdog the Samir Kassir Foundation.
“It’s not about whataboutism, it is about trying to see what would happen if the conflict happened in the Middle East and people resent the rhetoric of the Western media on Ukraine because they know from experience that their plight was covered differently.”
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Russian state media networks, especially RT and Sputnik, have spent years forging local partnerships and building robust non-English language networks. The war has prompted the EU to sanction both RT and Sputnik, and Britain’s regulator has also now banned RT. But the network’s footprint in the English-language market was always insignificant, so small in fact that the channel often did not even register on British ratings. In Spanish and Arabic, the picture is very different.
In Lebanon, Sputnik Arabic is broadcast on the largest FM frequency in the country. The station, called Voice of all Lebanon, also rents its airtime to the BBC’s and Deutsche Welle’s Arabic news programs for profit. But there is, Mhanna argues, something more compelling about Sputnik because “it sounds more local, more in tune with the people. When the BBC comes on, people just turn off,” he said.
RT has also been inventive in its distribution. Mhanna says that in Lebanon, RT had few actual viewers, but it actively re-packaged its content for WhatsApp and other messaging platforms. “People would receive and share content from RT without realizing that it was coming from Russia,” Mhanna told me. This is similar to the networks the Kremlin media built in Spanish which we covered here.
TRENDS WE ARE WATCHING:
SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP: Having blocked Western social media platforms, the Russian government is now busy streamlining its narrative on the homegrown ones. This week, censorship on VK, the Russian equivalent of Facebook reached new levels: posts that mention the war in Ukraine are immediately taken down and groups that deviate from the Kremlin’s message have been deleted.
ALGORITHMIC CENSORSHIP: But Russia is not the only one doing the censoring. In the West too, Ukraine is disappearing from people’s social media feeds. “Is the war over?” my 14-year-old nephew in Britain asked me this week. It has apparently vanished from his TikTok feed. But it’s not the war, it’s our attention span. As the novelty of it all wears off, as we find ourselves less surprised to the resilience of Ukrainians or less shocked by the images of bombed out cities and fleeing refugees, we spend fewer nano seconds hovering over the Ukraine news. Algorithms take notice and serve up something else. It is a harrowing thought: Ukraine’s survival may depend on the ability of the collective West to stay focused and yet the algorithms written in the Silicon Valley are already telling us to move on. Since changing the algorithms is not in our hands, the only solution is to play by their rules and engage by watching, liking or sharing images that we hate seeing.