By Nauman Sadiq for VT Islamabad
In a long-overdue decision, Russian President Putin after consulting with the National Security Council officially recognized the two breakaway republics of Ukraine, Donetsk, and Luhansk. Subsequently, the Russian parliament unanimously approved the decision and authorized the deployment of Russian peace-keeping forces in the Donbas region.
Putin could have recognized the sovereignty of the breakaway republics as soon as Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. But being a pacifist, he kept waiting for eight years in the futile hope that better sense would ultimately prevail in Kiev.
After it became evident, however, that Volodymyr Zelensky and his predecessor Petro Poroshenko have struck an irrevocable Faustian pact with the NATO devil, he was left with no other choice than to protect Russia’s paramount security interests at any cost, specifically from the existential threat emanating along Russia’s western borders after the deployment of the NATO troops, strategic armaments, nuclear-capable missiles, and air force squadrons in the Eastern Europe aimed at Russia, and the NATO forces alongside its regional clients provocatively exercising so-called “freedom of navigation” right in the Black Sea and conducting joint military exercises and naval drills.
Although being dubbed “an invasion” by the corporate media, the majority population of the breakaway Donbas region speaks Russian and cheered the deployment of peace-keeping forces in the hope of restoring peace and stability following the turmoil and violence claiming 14,000 lives during the eight-year conflict.
Nevertheless, the Ukraine crisis is only a sequel to the most momentous event of the twentieth century: the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, rebellions in Eastern Europe, and the subsequent break-up and massacres in the former Yugoslavia. Therefore, a succinct description of the nefarious plot to destabilize the Cold War rival by the NATO powers wouldn’t be out of place.
Many erudite Eurasian historiographers I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with were under the misconception that the alleged economic collapse in the former Soviet Republics in the late eighties due to presumed intrinsic flaws in the Marxist-Leninist ideology precipitated the dissolution of the Soviet Union in Dec. 1991. Nothing could be more asinine than favoring exploitative capitalism with its supposed intrinsic strengths over egalitarian communism in the backdrop of the Soviet dissolution debacle.
The Soviet Union, with vast natural resources, territorial possessions spanning almost the entire northern landmass of Eurasia, and a technologically innovative workforce, stood its ground despite waging the over 70-year Cold War from 1917 to 1991 against the neocolonial powers.
With the vast oil and gas reserves, Russia and several former constituent republics of the Soviet Union, including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, are the top exporters of energy to the industrialized world alongside the Gulf States. Without the Russian natural gas, European would freeze to death in harsh winters, or as Putin facetiously quipped: “They’d soon be gathering firewood to keep themselves warm.”
Even if Russia dismantled its cutting-edge industrial sector on a whim and stopped producing value-added goods, the exportable raw materials produced in the Eurasian behemoth would be enough to sustain the population for many centuries. Recently announced economic sanctions on Russia and halting the certification of Nord Stream 2 is going to hurt Washington’s European allies more than have any marked effect on Russia’s thriving economy.
Any external force, no matter how resourceful, could never have unraveled the superpower of the era, but it succumbed to subversive internal threats, first due to destabilizing force of ostensibly popular and democratic rebellions in the Baltic and East European states in the late eighties, then due to falling of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent reunification of Germany in Oct. 1990, effectively placing the East German communists under the neocolonial tutelage of capitalist exploiters, and the last nail in the coffin was struck after Boris Yeltsin was elected the president of the constituent Russian Republic in the June 1991 elections, precipitating a power struggle between communist leadership at the center and nationalist leadership in the republic.
In the ensuing cataclysmic events, on August 19, 1991, a cabal of Soviet apparatchik, including Mikhail Gorbachev’s vice president, prime minister, defense minister, and KGB chief, organized a coup plot and placed Gorbachev under house arrest. The coup organizers expected some popular support but the public sympathy in large metropolitan cities was against them.
The coup attempt was thwarted after three days and Gorbachev returned as the president of the Soviet Union. But not only the power of the presidency was compromised but also the vulnerability of the central leadership was exposed in the eyes of the public following the foiled coup plot. That was the point of no return. It became obvious the status quo could not be sustained in the crumbling Soviet Union.
The Glasnost and Perestroika liberalizing policies initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev were especially significant because they shine a light on the impact of new technology on the social and political life of a country. The late-eighties was the era of the advent of satellite television in the developing world and it coincided with the political developments in the Soviet Union.
The Soviet masses, which until then were acquainted with news and information only from national media, we’re exposed to the pernicious influence of imperialist media. The foreign-funded corporate media, including CNN, VOA, BBC, and host of other television channels, radio stations, and print media, capitalized on the opportunity to sow the seeds of discontentment among viewers, specifically among non-Russian ethnicities of the former Soviet Republics, by insidiously depicting contrasting lifestyles among the extravagant Western bourgeoisie and the frugality and egalitarianism typically favored in socialist communities.
As with the leadership of the rest of Baltic and East European states conniving with NATO powers and stabbing the former patron in the back, the imperialist stooges, Volodymyr Zelensky and his equally treacherous predecessor Petro Poroshenko, elected presidents through the sham electoral process in the bourgeois democracy called Ukraine, represent nobody but the avaricious and exploitative entrepreneurial oligarchs wanting to expand business empires and attract foreign investments by pandering to the corporate interests of Western Europe and North America.
Centralized governments across the world are run by behemoth state bureaucracies. Politicians are merely showpieces meant to lend legitimacy to supposedly “elected governments” and to cater to the interests of business elites which they really represent.
Disenfranchised masses are least bothered whether the government is being run by autocrats or by “elected representatives” of the bourgeoisie, though the political and business elites often get restless and mobilize their support base to demand a share in the power pie.
The national security and defense policies of modern nation-states are formulated by civil-military bureaucracy, dubbed as the deep state. Whereas trade and economic policies are determined by corporate interests and business cartels within the framework of neocolonial economic order imposed on the post-colonial world by corporate America following the signing of the Bretton Woods Accords at the end of the Second World War in 1945.
Purportedly democratic governments, elected through the heavily manipulated electoral process, are reduced to performing ceremonial gimmicks and are meant only to serve as showpieces to legitimize militarist and capitalist exploitation.
Not only the disenfranchised masses of Ukraine but underprivileged proletariats of all the former Soviet constituent republics and allied states in Eastern Europe share historical, political, and cultural bonds with Russia. Ensuring the collective security of Eurasian nations is Russia’s responsibility as a successor to the former Soviet Union.
Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, the East European states didn’t become democracies overnight as projected in the parallel reality of media narratives constructed by spin-doctors, instead they became capitalist oligarchies ruled by ultra-rich business elites having stakes in the global economy and depositing lucrative profits from flourishing business enterprises into Western financial institutions.
The worst thing capitalist exploitation and neoliberal developmentalism do to organic societies is that they breed parasitic consumerist classes of filthy rich bourgeois hungry for foreign investment, particularly from the deep pockets of the multinational corporations based in the financial districts of North America and Western Europe, and wanting to expand their business empires at any cost, even if they have to sell their nations out to highest bidder for personal ambitions.
Such comprador bourgeois erodes nations from within. They are wary of egalitarian socialist ideologies emphasizing equitable distribution of wealth, hence undermining the financial stakes of oligarchs. In order to scuttle political ideologies favoring the interests of disenfranchised masses, they generously provide funds to pernicious media organizations and political forces insidiously promoting so-called economic liberalization, free trade, and globalization, even if entire nations have to bear the cost of such market fundamentalism.
It was not a coincidence that the Soviet Union was dissolved in December 1991 and the Maastricht Treaty that consolidated the European Community and laid the groundwork for the European Union was signed in February 1992. The basic purpose of the EU has been nothing more than to entice the former communist states of Eastern Europe into the folds of the Western capitalist bloc by offering financial incentives and inducements.
Even the Ukraine crisis was stoked by oligarchs in November 2013 by staging Euromaidan protests against the incumbent government after Viktor Yanukovych suspended the preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union and threatened to take Ukraine back into the folds of the Russian sphere of influence by accepting billions of dollars loan package offered by Vladimir Putin.
All the grandstanding and moral posturing of unity and equality aside, the hopelessly neoliberal institution, the EU, in effect, is nothing more than the civilian counterpart of the trans-Atlantic military alliance against the former Soviet Union, the NATO, that employs a much more subtle and insidious tactic of economic warfare to win over political allies and to isolate adversaries that dare to sidestep from the global trade and economic policies as laid down by the Western capitalist bloc.
About the author: Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based geopolitical and national security analyst focused on geostrategic affairs and hybrid warfare in the Af-Pak and the Middle East regions. His domains of expertise include neocolonialism, the military-industrial complex, and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor of diligently researched investigative reports to alternative news media.