Ukraine opens fire across entire Donbass front, targets Donetsk water system

From Fort Russ

February 23, 2017

Novorossiya – translated by J. Arnoldski –
Since the early morning of February 23rd, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been particularly active across the entire Donbass front. Grassroots sources such as “Updates from the Novorossiya Militia,” “Burning Hearts of Donbass”, and the “GO Alert Group of Novorossiya” have been reporting the situation on social media. 
War correspondents have reported: “Since 06:35, the Dzerzhinsky front has been active, and the enemy has been unusually active on the Svetlodarsk front.”
According to the Donbass militia and local residents, UAF shells have hit the village of Zaytsevo north of Gorlovka. “Gorlovka is loud in the north and northeast. There are reports of incoming shells hitting the Zaytsevo area,” a report reads.
The Donetsk front is also restless. In the Petrovka district firefights broke out this morning and the UAF fired off small arms, mortars, and artillery.
Local residents have confirmed incoming reports.
It has also been reported that this morning Ukrainian troops shelled the Donetsk filtration station. As a result, the Donbass Water Company has confirmed, the water filters have been damaged.
In addition, the UAF has opened fire on the Mayorsk checkpoint near Gorlovka. Fortunately, no shells hit the checkpoint directly.
War correspondents have urged civilians not to lose vigilance. 
At 10:00 this morning, the Ukrainian troop activity was also recorded by the Lugansk People’s Republic. Citizen reports have warned people to be careful and stay away from the Bakhmutka highway. 

Izmailov: Zakharchenko will beat Poroshenko with words, one “direct line” at a time; Tyutchev on unity

From Fort Russ

June 3, 2016 –
Oleg Izmailov, PolitNavigator – 
Translated by J. Arnoldski
It is difficult to imagine a more powerful and effective weapon in the fight against the Kiev Nazis than the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic conversing with Russian people, as planned and realized throughout a huge arc stretching from Kharkov to Odessa.
Talking is necessarily interactive and, as the experience of the “direct lines” with three Novorossiyan regions (Kharkov, Odessa, Kherson) showed, these direct lines have been more open, lively, sincere, and useful than official events organized under the auspices of state and business structures.
The first and second assertions confirm that Zakharchenko and his entourage are right, and they are armed with the truth. Common truth and honesty. After all, people perfectly understand whether and when they talk “for show” and report and where they give the maximum information which citizens are deprived of in the fascist state.
Thus, the leader of Donbass, in his “direct lines,” is faced with so much pressure and, let’s not be afraid of this word, passion from both sides. Alexander Zakharchenko and the countrymen of Novorossiya hold an interesting conversation, sometimes argue, and sometimes ask for something. Most of all they ask to be liberated from the fascist yoke in which the crumbling country of Poroshenko and company is harnessed.
I myself had to answer phone calls from countrymen from my hometown of Krasny Liman concerning the DPR head’s “direct line” with residents of cities which have been snatched away from the republic…
I asked my friends: what would you ask Zakharchenko? Their answers were unpretentious and predictable: “We have only one question for him: ‘When will you return and liberate us from this plague?’ Our children are being actively brainwashed and recruits are being taken into the army fight against their brothers. This can’t last long.’”
Undoubtedly, this upcoming “direct line” on June 2nd will surpass the popularity, attendance, quantity, and quality all the three before. I think that the people of Donetsk on the occupied territories detached from the DPR and LPR by the terrorist group of the Poroshenko regime will get direct and honest answers from Alexander Zakharchenko. 
As we can see, the so far small yet similar communications of the head of the DPR with Novorossiyans are making him not only into a regional, but a common national leader – the head of not only smaller Novorossiya, but within the boundaries of the large, geopolitically delineated arch stretching from Kharkov to Odessa.
And you know what, I would not be surprised if people in the Malorossiyan regions of Great Rus – Chernigov, Poltava, Vinitsa, Zhitomyr, and Cherkasy – will also wait for Zakharchenko’s voice tomorrow. Undoubtedly, of course, in ancient Kiev as well, which was appointed by history “to be the mother of all Russian cities.” 
The inviolable bookshelves of Russian history, truth, faith, and love stand behind Zakharchenko, behind us, and behind Donbass and the whole Russian world from Brest to Kamchatka and from Kiev to Tashkent and Kushka. 
We have always lived and will continue to live according to the words of Fedor Tyutchev:
“’Unity’, announced the oracle of our days,
‘Can be welded out of blood and iron
But we will try to weld it with love
And we will see that is durable…’”
This fragment is from the famous poem “Two Unities” written in September of 1870 just when the Welshman John Hughes landed in Taganrog to build the factory “of Novorossiyan society”, around which Donetsk grew for 150 years, where I am currently writing these lines. 
Editor: An English translation of the full poem can be found in The Complete Poems of Tyutchev in an English Translation by F. Jude — Poem 360 “Two Unities”
I would re-write the first paragraph for these days thus:
Blood is pouring over the brim of the cup
Filled to overflowing by the wrath of the West
And the world is drowning in it.
Your blood is being taken, is being spilled, is being thrown away, my friends, my brothers, my sisters!
Slavonic world, pull together, pull close together!
[From Tyutchev translated by Jude]
“Unity”, an oracle of our century has said,
“can only be welded by iron and blood.”
Well, we’ll try welding it with love.
Let’s see which lasts the longer.

Pyatt praises Mariupol tragedy: “This is the city where the Novorossiya project was stopped dead”


Geoffrey Pyatt: “But I will say to you, I think Mariupol is already the most important symbol of resilience and unity of Ukrainian governments.

I think history will record that this is the city where the Novorossiya project was stopped dead.

And it should also be the city which shows to all the people of Donbass the advantages that come with peace, unity, and stability.”

From Fort Russ

April 30, 2016 –
Semen Doroshenko, PolitNavigator
Translated by J. Arnoldski
“US Ambassador praises shooting of people in Mariupol: ‘It was then that the ‘Novorossiya’ project died’”
The events in Mariupol, Donetsk region (when Nazi Azov fighters shot at a peaceful demonstration of residents on May 9, 2014), have become an example of the struggle against the “Russian world” for all of Donbass. This was stated by the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, during his visit to Mariupol today, where he held a meeting with representatives of the local government.
“I think that it was Mariupol that showed the people of Donbass that the future depends on peace and stability,” Pyatt is quoted as saying by the press-service of the US Embassy.
[Editor: That was not the quote. It was a naked threat by Pyatt. Either the US Embassy press service doesn’t speak English or this is just the latest published lie.]

U.S. war moves in Ukraine; U.S. military trains murderous Ukrainian National Guard

Lviv is a hotbed of Ukrainian ultra-nationalism.

By Greg Butterfield
March 16, 2015
International Action Center

As activists, students and workers gather in Washington, D.C., for the “Spring Rising” anti-war mobilization March 18-21, many are probably unaware that 300 U.S. troops arrived in Ukraine this month, with another 300 expected to join them shortly.

The U.S. soldiers are stationed at the Yavoriv Training Area in Lviv, near the Polish border in western Ukraine. Their mission, according to the Pentagon, is to train divisions of the Ukrainian National Guard.

 But their presence also establishes a provocative U.S. military “footprint” in this key agricultural and industrial country on the Russian Federation’s western border.

 The first open and public U.S. military presence on Ukrainian soil comes amid a civil war raging in former southeastern Ukraine, now the independent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, also called Novorossiya. It’s accompanied by unprecedented NATO war games and military buildup threatening Russia.

 All this despite a ceasefire agreement, negotiated by Russia, Germany and France, which went into effect Feb. 15. As happened during previous ceasefires, the U.S.-backed government in Kiev routinely violates the terms and is using the “breathing spell” to rebuild its military forces to assault the embattled Donbass mining region.

 “Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion minus … to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place,” the U.S.’s 173rd Airborne Brigade commander, Michael Foster, told a meeting of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington on March 3. (Global Research, March 3)

 U.S. forces are scheduled to stay six months. But discussions are underway about “how to increase the duration and the scope of the training mission,” Foster said, echoing remarks made in January by former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Derek Chollet.

 Meanwhile, in London, Prime Minister David Cameron told a House of Commons committee on Feb. 24 that up to 75 British soldiers would be sent to Ukraine to develop “an infantry training program with Ukraine to improve the durability of their forces,” the BBC reported.

 “Today’s announcement builds upon the work that we have already undertaken through NATO and bilaterally,” added British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. (Sputnik, Feb. 24)

 Poland, too, plans to send military instructors to train Ukrainian soldiers, Boguslaw Pacek, advisor to the country’s defense minister, told Reuters on Feb. 26.

 What is the Ukrainian National Guard?

When most people in the U.S. hear the term “National Guard,” they think of the recruiting commercials touting “one weekend a month, two weeks a year” of training to “serve your country.” The Pentagon is playing on this association to make their mission sound benign.

Of course, the National Guard in the U.S. has a long history of being employed to put down rebellions and strikes in the U.S., often with the most brutal methods. And in the last 15 years, since the start of Washington’s “war on terror,” many National Guard soldiers have been required to serve long stretches in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the Ukrainian National Guard is something else altogether. The brainchild of far-right Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, it came into being one year ago, shortly after the U.S.-backed coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected president.

The National Guard is based on neo-Nazi street-gangs and fascist political organizations that formed the power base of the Euromaidan protest movement which carried out the February 2014 coup in Kiev. It answers to Avakov, not the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which the coup makers considered unreliable, and which has continued to disintegrate during the war in the southeast.

The National Guard, in fact, has been the backbone of Kiev’s brutal “Anti-Terrorist Operation” against Novorossiya. This operation has targeted civilians throughout the Donbass mining region since April 2014. It is nearly as ruthless as the “volunteer” fascist battalions affiliated with the openly fascist Right Sector.

While the Ukrainian Armed Forces today are a meat grinder for workers, unemployed people and youth forcibly drafted, and who frequently desert at the first opportunity, the National Guard comprise the forces most loyal to the junta of oligarchs, neoliberal politicians and fascists in Kiev.

This is the force the U.S. wants to train and strengthen.

NATO provocations

But there’s much more to the story.

Throughout Europe, the Baltic and Central Asian states bordering Russia, and even on U.S. soil, an unprecedented volume of provocative war games are underway, all clearly threatening Moscow.

Why? Because the real aim of the U.S. power play in Ukraine is to establish NATO military power on Russia’s border, with the aim of fomenting regime change aimed at breaking up the Russian Federation into pliable, profitable pieces that can be easily dominated by Wall Street and its European junior partners.

That’s why since day one of the Ukrainian crisis, Democrats, Republicans and the corporate media have united to turn reality on its head by portraying Russia as the aggressor — a Big Lie to cover up their own role.

Here’s a sampling of the provocative moves in the past month, culled from U.S. military sources, Ukrainian and Russian media, as well as anti-war sites like and Global Research:

  • On Feb. 10 — as ceasefire talks were underway in Minsk, Belarus — the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to authorize $1 billion for training, equipping and providing “lethal aid” to Kiev through September 2017.
  • On Feb. 24, U.S. military vehicles took part in a NATO parade in the Estonian town of Narva, just 300 meters from the Russian border. It included 140 armored vehicles and nearly 1,500 troops, including U.S. soldiers.
  • The same day, in Alaska, paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team performed the largest U.S. airborne mission north of the Arctic Circle in more than a decade as part of Exercise Spartan Pegasus. “This exercise demonstrated their unique ability to rapidly mass power on an objective in extremely cold and austere environments,” said an Army press release.
  • U.S. Marines and soldiers from the Republic of Georgia staged a “pre-deployment training” during Mission Rehearsal Exercise in Hohenfels, Germany, on Feb. 27.
  • NATO Supreme Commander in Europe and Chief of the U.S. European Command Philip Breedlove told the Senate Armed Forces Committee on March 3 that it is “essential” for Washington to provide “military support” to “U.S. partners Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine [which] face a different security challenge from Russia than those facing NATO allies.”
  • On March 6, U.S. and Canadian soldiers carried out drills “in winter conditions” with their Latvian counterparts, while live-fire training exercises were conducted at Drawsko Pomorskie in northern Poland.
  • Some 450 U.S. soldiers and 25 Black Hawk helicopters will be deployed to Illesheim, Germany, in March “in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a multinational training mission to reassure Poland and the Baltic countries of NATO’s commitment in the face of Russia’s aggressive moves in Ukraine.” The deployment is to last nine months.
  • The European Union needs its own army to confront Russia, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a German newspaper on March 8.
  • Latvia received more than 120 armored units, including tanks, from the U.S. on March 9. U.S. Army Gen. John O’Connor, who witnessed the tanks’ arrival, declared that “Freedom must be fought for, freedom must be defended.”
  • A major NATO naval force is amassing in the Black Sea, including U.S., Canadian, German, Italian, Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian warships.

Washington’s unreal ‘debate’ over arming Ukraine

“Watch what they do, not what they say” — the old adage is always good advice when dealing with U.S. imperialism. And nowhere is that more apparent than in Washington’s current “debate” over arming Ukraine.

The media depict a dispute over whether the U.S. should provide “lethal weapons,” heavy weapons and offensive weapons to Ukraine for its war against “pro-Russian separatists,” as the anti-fascist resistance in Donbass is usually labeled.

For example, on March 6, leading congressional Republicans and Democrats, headed by John Boehner, urged President Obama to provide “lethal defensive weapons” to Kiev due to Russia’s “grotesque violation of international law.”

The White House states that it is still “considering” whether to provide so-called lethal aid. However, top administration officials, from Secretary of State John Kerry on down, have voiced their support.

All of this amounts to smokescreen and posturing for political gain. In fact, the Obama administration and Congress have colluded all along to arm the fascist junta, which they collaborated with in bringing to power. In December, Congress overwhelmingly approved and Obama signed the “Ukrainian Freedom Support Act,” in fact authorizing “lethal aid.”

Airfields in eastern Ukraine immediately shut down as U.S. military cargo planes flew in massive amounts of old and new NATO weaponry. Much of this war materiel was captured and put on public display by the Novorossiyan people’s militias following the defeat of Ukraine’s January 2015 military offensive.

In February, Ukrainian President Peter Poroshenko inked an arms agreement with the United Arab Emirates, a U.S. client state that frequently serves as a hub to funnel advanced weaponry to right-wing regimes and counterrevolutionary movements supported by Washington.

On March 11, Obama approved $75 million in additional “nonlethal” military aid to Ukraine, including secure communications equipment, drones, counter-mortar radars, night-vision goggles and military ambulances, to be delivered in the next six to nine months. He also approved the provision of 30 armored and 200 unarmored Humvees, Sputnik reported.

The same day, the U.S.-dominated International Monetary Fund approved a new $17.5 billion financial aid package for Ukraine in exchange for additional painful austerity measures. (, March 11)  This is meant to ensure that Kiev will remain solvent enough to continue its proxy war in the coming months, despite its collapsing economy.

Whether or not the U.S. openly arms Ukraine with offensive weapons, or continues to do so covertly and through third countries, is far less significant that the blatant war moves of U.S. and NATO forces in the region.

Every day, it grows more urgent for the anti-war forces in the U.S. to stand up and demand: Stop the weapons, stop sanctions, stop provocations against Russia! Stand with the people of Donetsk and Lugansk resisting austerity and genocide!

Ukraine declares resumption of war against Donbass

By  Eric Zuesse
Posted on, March 18, 2015

On Wednesday, March 18th, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine — who was selected for that post by Victoria Nuland of the U.S. State Department on 4 February 2014, 18 days before the U.S. coup that installed him into this office — told his cabinet meeting, “Our goal is to regain control of Donetsk and Lugansk.” Those are the two districts comprising Donbass, the self-proclaimed independent region of Ukraine, which now calls itself “The People’s Republic“ and sometimes “Novorossiya,” and which rejects the coup and its coup-imposed Government.

That Government of Ukraine is run by Yatsenyuk and the people whom he selected. Ukraine also has a President, who is elected by voters in the northwest of Ukraine, where the coup-government is accepted; but, since the coup, the Government has actually been run by Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, who is entirely dependent upon the United States Government and its subordinates (such as the IMF and NATO, in both of which the U.S. has veto-power) in order to obtain the financial and military support necessary to keep him in office

Yatsenyuk announced there: “Adequate financial resources are available,” to retake Donbass. Those “resources” came largely from the IMF, and from the United States, all with loans to the bankrupt Ukrainian Government. So that the investors will be paid the principal plus the extremely high interest on these junk-loans that are backed by their governments, Western taxpayers will ultimately be, basically, donating to Franklin Templeton, and to George Soros, and to the other financiers who are buying the Ukrainian Government bonds that purchase those weapons and military trainers to conquer the residents of Donbass. The Ukrainian Government officially calls these residents ‘Terrorists,’ and the military operation to conquer them they call the ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ or “ATO” for short. They call their troops who are doing the killing there, “punishers,” which the residents of northwestern Ukraine take to mean punishers of terrorists. The residents in northwestern Ukraine see only television that is broadcast on stations that are owned by Ukrainian, European, and American, oligarchs. For example, one of these stations is Hromadske TV, which was founded with money from the Dutch Government, the U.S. Government, and George Soros’s International Renaissance Foundation. It has, on occasion, presented ‘experts’ who call for exterminating at least 1.5 million of the residents in Donbass. So, this is how the support of the residents in Ukraine’s northwest for the “ATO” is being maintained. The residents in Donbass have also been called “subhumans” by Yatsenyuk himself.

At this cabinet meeting, Yatsenyuk additionally announced that resumption of the war would be rushed: “We need to move the funding for the purchase of new equipment and weapons from the third and fourth quarter to the first and second quarter,” he told his cabinet.

At this same cabinet meeting, the Minister of Defense, Stepan Poltorak, announced that, to date, 100 contracts for military equipment have been signed, and soon there will be 160. He also said: “Just in the last week alone, factories brought in about a thousand pieces of equipment for repair.”

Yatsenyuk told his cabinet that, “We will fight using all methods and techniques for the resumption of peace and regaining control of Donetsk and Luhansk region.” By ‘resumption of peace,’ he meant resumption of control over Donbass. “Peace” is the term he uses to mean control. In other words: until the Yatsenyuk Government wins, there will continue to be war in Donbass, “using all methods and techniques” to achieve his (that is, America’s) victory in subduing the residents there. This subduing means exterminating some, and driving the others out; so that, in either case, they won’t become voters in future Ukrainian elections. The last time that these people voted in a Ukrainian election was 2010, when they voted 90% for Viktor Yanukovych, the man whom Obama overthrew. Without that 90% vote, Yanukovych wouldn’t have been elected. Obama consequently doesn’t want them voting in any future Ukrainian election. That’s the reason why they’re being bombed — to get rid of them.

On March 17th, Ukraine’s parliament, the Rada, voted to declare Donbass to be “temporarily occupied territory,” until the residents there are conquered. The day before that, the figurehead President of Ukraine had presented to the Rada a draft resolution proposing to solve the problem of the resistant Donbass with a resolution he published on his website on March 14th saying that the region has “special status,” and temporary self-government, but this proposal wasn’t the one the Rada passed. The President nonetheless declared that his terminology was somehow law from the moment it had been published on his website.

U.S. President Obama wants the war resumed as quickly as possible, but Angela Merkel and other European leaders have urged that it not be resumed at all. Consequently, there is a split in the Western alliance about this matter. Apparently, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk has determined that he now has enough weapons and loans to be able to resume the war very soon, until final victory.

Obama, evidently, is determined to finish the job that he started with his coup. It was bloody, but the follow-through will need to be far more so. And he has the full support of the U.S. Congress, and of the major think tanks, to continue this until victory. EU nations that don’t like it — well, Obama’s agent controlling Ukraine said famously, on 4 February 2014, “F—k the EU.”

Many European leaders don’t want to be involved in a war against Russia. However, on March 12th, Yatsenyuk said “Ukraine is in a state of war with … the Russian Federation.” That is the service he is providing to Barack Obama, and to the 98%+ of the members of the U.S. Congress who likewise want this war: Ukraine has become the proxy state for America’s war against Russia.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.


Russian civilization is at stake in Novorossia

This provocative article and its vision are in stark contrast to the narrow, ethnically cleansed goals promoted by leaders for a Social Nationalist Ukraine.

The article about Ramzan Kadyrov
is an example of the broad homeland that is Russia.

By Rostislav ISCHENKO (Ukraine), September 17, 2014
Posted on Oriental Review

After the army of Novorossia launched a major offensive and began rapidly expanding the area under its control, it became clear to even the most skeptical observers that it was only a matter of time until the militia would inflict a decisive military victory over Kiev. But after Novorossia’s military victory in Ukraine, we will very quickly see the next (and this time, the definitive) Russian geopolitical victory in its confrontation with the combined forces of the West (the United States and the EU’s pro-American lobby).

America’s inability to defend Mikhail Saakashvili’s regime in 2008 raised some eyebrows among its allies, but in general the affair was viewed as nothing more than an unfortunate setback (which could happen to anyone). But when the stakes were twice as high, the US failure in Syria, where Russia has been able to keep Bashar al-Assad in power, undermined Washington’s credibility in the Middle East and stripped the “Arab Spring” of its significance. Nevertheless, the EU remains a dependable US ally, and once there is a victory in Ukraine, after the stakes are doubled yet again, all lost ground should be recovered and Russia will be removed from the concert of the great powers. But an extremely risky operation, which will be disastrous should it end in defeat, will be required for any significant victory.

Each time the US has lost as much as it has wanted to win from Russia. The current defeat will result in a sharp curtailment of the role of Washington (and with it, the role of the combined forces of the West) in global politics. The US, NATO, and the EU are being transformed into large, important, and yet regional organizations, which can influence the fate of the world only by coordinating their positions and finding a compromise with the Rest.

Both China and the West offer the world a universalist, imperial ideology. In China this consists of the traditional Han culture, and in the West – the American “melting pot” that turns Germans, Irish, English, Italians, Hispanics, African Americans, and former Russians into red-blooded Americans. The difference is that Chinese culture is more static, while Western culture is more malleable. In the US, the traditional Anglo-Saxon, Protestant culture has been almost entirely replaced by an African-American/Hispanic, pagan/Christian/Muslim symbiosis that is making dogged inroads even in the Old World (classical Europe). But despite this shift, the culture and ideology of the West have lost neither their universalist character, nor their aggressive messianism.

Thus, Russia is faced with the challenge of providing the world with a universalist ideology rooted in an analogous cultural foundation. And such an ideology exists. It is the ideology of the Russian World.

A historical joint creation

Some opponents of the Russian World argue that such an ideology does not exist as a formalized system of beliefs. Others see it as the ideology of aggressive Russian nationalism, which is attempting to rebuild its empire within the old Soviet borders and to ensure stability through a coerced Russification of its perimeter.

Neither side has any idea what it is talking about.

First of all, an imperialist, universalist ideology cannot be nationalistic. An empire cannot use bloodlines as a criterion, but must be based on the principle of citizenship and of legal equality.

Second, cultural unity in an empire is not achieved by suppressing other cultures, but through cultural convergence – when different cultures make contact, mingle, and ultimately complement one another. An empire is always multicultural. Even China, which is officially mono-national, has absorbed the cultures of all the peoples that have been assimilated and diffused into that Han sea. Borrowings from the cultures of the Tibetans, Mongolians, Manchus, Uyghurs, and Miao and Yao tribes so shape the image of Han culture today that China would be unrecognizable without them.

Third, one cannot fight for an abstraction. And a war is underway in Novorossia for the Russian World. Shall we try to analyze the basis of the cultural and ideological system of the Russian World and why mankind is attracted by what it has to offer, so that the decline of American hegemony, followed by the inevitable economic and military/political costs (and in some cases – such as in Ukraine – disasters) have not been perceived as the apocalypse?

Not only does the Russian World not fit within the boundaries of a national state consisting of Russians, it even precludes the very construction of such a state. Today, it is not only Russians who are battling for the Russian World in Novorossia, but also Serbs, French, Ossetians, Chechens, and representatives of other nations, many of whom are indifferent to Russian-ness, Slavdom, Orthodoxy, and even Christianity. But all these people not only represent the Russian World, they are dying for it. And we should not be surprised that, despite their dissimilarities, they feel at ease within the Russian World. After all, it originally arose as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious community.

From its inception to the present day, Russia as a political state has been the fruit of the creative efforts of many ethnic groups, not only Russians. Of course, their role in forming that state can neither be denied nor minimized, but without the freely given, creative input of other nations and tribes, the Russian people could have created nothing. First of all, the Russian nation itself (which encompasses far more than merely its Eastern Slavic roots) would never have been established, and if the Russians had been as nationally and religiously insular as the Jews, for example, then (assuming they had survived) they would ultimately have inhabited a territory not much larger than Israel.

The Russian World is also unique in that the Russians within it can consist of people without a drop of Russian blood. The Russian World is a cultural, ideological, and political choice – one does not make one’s way there via citizenship or right of birth.

And in the Russian world the Russian Orthodox Church holds the same position as do the Russian people: each is accorded a place of honor but does not hold sway. Even during the centuries when Orthodoxy was the state religion of the Russian Empire, its subjects who held other faiths (not only Muslims, but also Catholics, Protestants, and even Jews) were permitted the unrestricted right to their own beliefs. Conversion to Orthodoxy facilitated a career in public service, but overall the state remained low-key, not only in regard to other religions, but even toward heresies within the state church itself. In particular, the maltreatment of the Old Believers never reached the scale or brutality of the persecution of heretics in Europe. Orthodoxy peacefully coexists with other religions, carrying out its mission of sharing the teachings of Christ, not by fire and sword, but by example and admonition.

In general, the Russian World is Russian and Orthodox only to the extent that the nations within its purview recognize the central role of the Russian Orthodox people and of Russian culture in the formation of such a comfortable communal setting, in which even the smallest ethnic groups and most primitive cultures have a chance to survive and develop, enriched by the achievements of their neighbors and sharing their own achievements.

An ideological, supranational structure

In essence, the Russian World is grounded in the long-established precept of uniting nations, cultures, and religions in accordance with rules that are consistent, understandable, and acceptable to all. It differs from the American “melting pot” and the Chinese “heavenly mandate” in that the Russian World does not assimilate the surrounding cultures, turning everyone into Han Chinese, for example (yet borrowing from many of the achievements of the peoples being assimilated). And the Russian World does not impose a “single democratic standard,” as does the American model. The Russian World creates a setting in which all can flourish. The watchword of the Russian World is “non-interference.” Freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, freedom of speech – all these freedoms are fully exercised, but only to the extent that one freedom does not conflict with another. But for all its diversity, this world is unified by common interests (security, economics, and culture), as well as a common understanding of the crucial, cementing role played by the Russian Orthodox people in the provision of the very existence of not only the Russian World, but also its member nations.

As such, the Russian world is really a universal ideology that is well suited to either Russians, Americans, the French, or the Japanese, because it does not infringe upon anyone’s cultural distinctions, proclaiming not a competition, but a convergence of cultures.

Within this context, the Russian World can exist only because its scope today encompasses much more than merely the Russian state. As previously mentioned, Novorossia is fighting for the Russian World, and it is not yet clear whether Novorossia will ultimately become part of Russia or retain its political independence. Serbia envisions itself within the Russian World, and similar sentiments are growing in Bulgaria. But not all who envision themselves in the Russian World also envision themselves in the Russian state. This should not necessarily be seen as a weakness. Herein lies the strength of the Russian world as an ideology that is capable of transcending borders. It is important to remember that the United States can be found not only in those places where it has transgressed its own borders, or even where it has military bases, but also everywhere there is a McDonald’s. The Russian World, however, unites people around a premise that is more trustworthy, more elevated, and more acceptable to all nations than the vapid American urge to consume. The Russian World ensures a respect for tradition as well as the promise that any necessary changes will be carried out in the most conservative manner possible, in order to avoid the revolutionary turmoil that can sever the ties between generations.

The Russian World will never create a Russian Russia. That would be the death of the Russian World, as well as of Russia and of Russians. The concept of a Russian Russia is no different from the concept of a Ukrainian Ukraine and, if pursued, would lead to the same catastrophic and immutable consequences. The Russian World is not a state consisting of one nation, but states (in the plural) of an idea – a sort of confederation of justice that provides equal rights and opportunities for all its member nations. This ideological, supranational structure ensures that all its members accept the same moral and ethical standards. And the question of political integration is a matter for a future time, should the acknowledged necessity arise over the course of this experiment in coexistence.

Rostislav Ischenko is the President of Centre for System Analysis and Forecasting (Kiev).

Source in Russian: Expert

Original text adapted and translated by ORIENTAL REVIEW.

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