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As the proxy war winds down and all players begin preparing for the post-conflict future, whenever it comes to pass, it’s worthwhile to once again share this fact in order to reduce the chances that any of his people fall for the West’s plot to turn them and Ukrainians into irredeemable enemies.
President Putin said during a meeting last week with servicemen at a military hospital in Moscow that the Western elite, not Ukraine, are their Russia’s true enemies. This is an important clarification since it’s easy for folks to lose sight of the conflict’s larger dynamics after over 22 months of fighting despite repeated reminders from the Kremlin about what’s really driving the violence. The undisguised bloodlust of the Kiev regime and their supporters also distracts from the Western elite’s puppet master role.
The Russian leader published a treatise in summer 2021 “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”, where he also not only reaffirmed his recognition of Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent state, but also endorsed it. In his words, “You want to establish a state of your own: you are welcome! But on what terms?” Simply put, he made peace with the fact that Ukrainians nowadays regard themselves as separate from Russians, but he wants their states to respect each other’s interests.
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Therein lies the roots of the current conflict since post-“Maidan” policymakers have consistently done the West’s bidding at Russia’s expense because they owe their power and wealth to the former. That New Cold War bloc envisaged threatening Russia through multidimensional means from Ukraine in order to coerce it into becoming their vassal. If it wasn’t for this grand strategic goal, then everything that led up to Russia’s special operation over the past decade wouldn’t have happened.
Regrettably, Ukraine’s role as the West’s “anti-Russia” was eventually embraced by a growing number of its people, whose identity was reshaped around World War II-era fascist nostalgia as a result of their post-“Maidan” regime’s socio-cultural policies and the past three decades of Western “NGO” work. Reversing this radical revision of Ukrainian identity from its pre-World War I and Soviet-era roots to today’s neo-fascist form is what Russia is referring to when it says that it wants to denazify Ukraine.
These changes in how Ukrainians view themselves were brought about through the abovementioned artificial means, but their consequences have been very real for everyone as evidenced by recent events. This observation doesn’t absolve those who nowadays embrace these views of their personal responsibility for them, especially for the crimes that they commit under the influence of this ideology, but it crucially places the past ten years’ processes into their appropriate context.
Accordingly, those Ukrainians who remain committed to their country’s Western-cultivated neo-fascist identity are Western Hybrid War pawns against Russia, while those who haven’t fallen under the influence of this ideological scourge and retain their original identity aren’t deemed a threat. The real threat all along has been the Western elite, specifically its liberal–globalist faction that’s responsible for reshaping Ukrainian identity in order to geostrategically exploit that country as explained.
Even if the real enemy finally decided to comply with Russia’s requested goals of demilitarizing Ukraine, denazifying it, and restoring that country’s constitutional neutrality in exchange for a Korean-like “land-for-peace” armistice deal, then the second of them will be the most difficult to implement. Removing the post-“Maidan” regime and banning all public glorification of fascism (books, chants, flags, insignia, monuments, museums, etc.) would be a good first step but more would have to be done.
The problem is that a sizable share of the population either actively or passively supports their country’s Western-cultivated neo-fascist identity after being falsely convinced that it’s the only “true” one. They can therefore become sleeper cells for sabotaging their country and its ties with Russia after the conflict finally ends on the latter’s three requested terms of demilitarization, denazification, and neutrality. In a sense, their role would be similar to Al Qaeda’s after the end of the Soviet-Afghan War.
Those fighters were also indoctrinated by the Western elite, albeit into believing that the only “true” Muslim identity is a violent jihadist one. Once they were no longer needed by the West, they either stayed in Afghanistan, returned to their homelands, or went further afield. In all three cases, they advanced their cause wherever they went. Some also remained in contact with their handlers, others stayed within their sphere of influence, while some genuinely went rogue.
The same dynamics are expected when it comes to post-conflict Ukraine’s neo-fascists, and unfortunately there’s little that Russia or anyone else can do to prevent that from happening. Just like jihadist veterans of the Soviet-Afghan War went on to commit atrocious crimes against fellow Muslims, so too will Ukraine’s neo-fascist veterans likely do the same against their own people as well whether at the West’s behest, under its influence, or as lone wolves. Almost nothing can be done to prevent this.
Instead, all that can be done is for everyone to remember that those who commit such crimes only represent a radical Western-cultivated version of Ukrainian identity, which turned them into Hybrid War proxies by weaponizing certain historical experiences and perceptions thereof via information warfare. Although some demagogues might be inclined to associate them with all Ukrainians, they’re just as extreme in that national community as Al Qaeda’s jihadists are in the international Muslim one.
Both have their share of folks in society who passively support them, which is problematic, but it’s wrong to assume that all Ukrainians and Muslims are neo-fascists and jihadists respectively. Those in foreign societies who treat them that way, particularly in Russia’s and the West’s as a result of the latest conflict and 9/11 correspondingly, inadvertently fuel radical recruitment efforts. That’s why it’s so important to raise maximum awareness among the public that neither Ukrainians nor Muslims are enemies.
President Putin is a far-sighted leader with a keen understanding of global dynamics, which explains the timing with which he reminded Russians that it’s the Western elite that are their true enemies, not Ukrainians. As the proxy war winds down and all players begin preparing for the post-conflict future, whenever it comes to pass, it’s worthwhile to once again share this fact in order to reduce the chances that any of his people fall for the West’s plot to turn them and Ukrainians into irredeemable enemies.