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The Specter of Tsarist Russia 2024-02-14 16:09:16

Otto von Bismarck famously played up Ostpolitik (Eastern Policy). His chief objective was to prevent Russia from allying with France. The price for Germany was its tacit consent to the dominance of Russia in Eastern Europe. It worked until it didn't when Russia woke up to a post-Bismarck expansionist German Empire.


Today's Russia would never feel safe. Moscow perceives NATO as an expanding, encroaching nemesis. Perception is reality. Putin doesn't know how to defend his empire except by re-dominating Eastern Europe. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel hoped that economic concessions would satisfy and pacify Putin. Her successor found out this ugly truth: there's no new Russia. Old Russia is alive and kicking and it is kicking harder and harder. No money could or can stop it.

Putin is hellbent on Making Russia Great Again (MRGA).

Unsurprisingly, during his very recent interview with Tucker Carlson, Putin denied Ukraine its right to national existence by referring to a dubious ancient Russian map as his proof.

Well, one of my favorite Russian novelists is Nikolai V. Gogol who was of Ukrainian origin. In his 1835 epic "Taras Bulba," Gogol depicted a Ukrainian Cossack hero fighting Poles. From the 1842 edition, however, Gogol had to remove any hint that might allude to Ukraine as a distinctly non-Russian country, thanks to Tsarist censorship.


In my view, to de-nationalize Ukrainians is to de-humanize humans.

Only hardcore cynics don't care about Ukraine, Israel or Taiwan. But then, cynicism is always the most reliable ally of slavery.


Author: renqiulan


 

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