The Anti-Utopia of Klaus Schwab

The ideas proposed by the Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, in his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) have already been criticized quite a lot for a variety of reasons. Yet to other people who do not identify themselves as supporters of globalization, these ideas seem quite appealing. After all, Schwab argues that digital innovation will change people’s lives, work, and leisure time for the better. Technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics, quantum cloud computing and blockchain are already part of everyday life. We use cell phones and apps, smart technology and the Internet of Things. And compared to previous industrial revolutions, he argues, 4IR is evolving at an exponential rate, reorganizing production, management and governance systems in unprecedented ways.

However, an objective analysis of Klaus Schwab’s ideas shows that he is partly mistaken and that his position is generally driven by the interests of exercising control over society and managing capital that is acquiring new properties.

Critics of the 4IR concept include Nanjala Nyabola, who in her book Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics analyzes the narrative by which Schwab has shaped his ideology.

She argues that 4IR is used by global elites to divert attention away from the drivers of inequality and to facilitate ongoing processes of expropriation, exploitation, and exclusion. Nyabola astutely notes that “the real appeal of this idea is that it is apolitical. We can talk about development and progress without resorting to power struggles.”

Schwab

“Embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution has become a defining factor for competitiveness,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The rejoinder from Africa, where Nyabola lives, is not accidental, since this region, together with Asia and Latin America, is seen by globalists as favorable for new interventions, under the guise of technological assistance and 4IR. After all, evidence suggests that the spread of digital technology has been highly uneven, driven by older technological innovations, and used to reproduce rather than transform social inequalities.

Historian Ian Moll goes further and asks the question whether the current digital technological innovation represents the 4IR as such.

He notes that there is a hegemonic interpretation of 4IR that portrays rapid technological development as a bold new industrial revolution. However, there is no evidence of any such revolution in the totality of social, political, cultural and economic institutions, both locally and globally; hence attention must be paid to how this ideological structure functions to advance the interests of social and economic elites around the world.

Ian Moll argues that the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” frame bolsters the contingent neoliberalism of the post-Washington consensus period, and therefore serves to obscure the continuing decline of the globalized world order with a “brave new world” narrative. Schwab has simply made a kind of ideological coup, with a set of metaphors narrating an imagined revolution.

Allison Gillwald calls it “one the most successful lobbying and policy influence instruments of our time… Mobilising around the elite annual gathering in Davos, the WEF policy blueprints on the 4IR fill a vacuum for many countries that haven’t publicly invested in what they want their own futures to look like… With visions of global prosperity, packaged with futurist conviction and fantastical economic forecasts of exponential growth and job creation, they appear to provide a ready roadmap in an uncertain future. But caution is required. Even a cursory glance at earlier industrial revolutions will show that they have not been associated with the interests of the working or underclasses. This is despite the broader benefits to society from the introduction of steam, electricity and digitisation. Rather, they are associated with the advancement of capitalism, through the ‘big tech of the day.”

Industrial revolutions, from steam power to cyber physical systems, automation and internet of things.

Moll writes that the 4IR concept seems compelling because it acts as a kind of formula:

  1. List 7 to 15 technologies, mostly digital, that seem smart, make us feel obsolete, and inspire awe of the future. Even if they are not twenty-first century innovations, declare them as such.
  2. Declare that there is an amazing, unprecedented convergence between these technologies.
  3. Assume that they will lead to changes that will disrupt and transform every part of our lives.
  4. Appeal to each of the previous industrial revolutions as a model for the present one.
  5. Name one or two major technologies or energy sources in previous industrial revolutions. Proven suggestions are the steam engine for 1IR; the internal combustion engine and/or electricity for 2IR; computers and/or nuclear power for 3IR (you would have mentioned the Internet in point I, so avoid it here).

Thus, Schwab unobtrusively instills the correctness of the overall concept. In doing so, “Schwab successfully exploits our internal technological rationality. He proclaims the unprecedented speed, size, and scope of 4IR. The rate of change, he says, is exponential rather than linear; the integration of multiple technologies is broader and deeper than ever before; and the systemic impact is now total, encompassing all of society and the global economy. Thus he argues that “disruption and innovation […] are occurring faster than ever before.”

At the same time, Schwab rejects much of our historical experience on this issue. He writes that he is “well aware that some scholars and professionals view the events I am looking at simply as part of the third industrial revolution.”

But Moll offers to look at some of the expert knowledge he ignores. Here are two examples. The Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells has pointed out that the critical role of networked information and communication technologies is a “double-edged sword”: some countries are accelerating economic growth by adopting digital economic systems, while those that fail are becoming increasingly marginalized; “their lag is becoming cumulative.” Castells writes extensively about what he calls “the other side of the information age: inequality, poverty, poverty, and social exclusion,” all of which are now the growing legacies of the globalized information economy.

Unlike Schwab, Castells does not attempt to ideologize or politicize sociological data. And his empirical research does not suggest a fundamental digital transformation of society in the modern era.

Another expert Schwab ignores is Jeremy Rifkin. In 2016, when Schwab proposed his 4IR concept, Rifkin was already researching workplaces where robotics had taken over strategic and managerial roles in economic production. There is a noticeable divide between the authors. Rifkin does not believe that the dramatic changes associated with ICTs constitute a 4IR.

In 2016, Rifkin argued that the WEF “misfired” with its intervention under the guise of 4IR. He challenged Schwab’s claim that the fusion of physical systems, biological processes, and digital technologies is a qualitatively new phenomenon:

“The very nature of digitalization – which characterizes the Third Industrial Revolution – is its ability to reduce communications, visual, auditory, physical, and biological systems, to pure information that can then be reorganized into vast interactive networks that operate much like complex ecosystems. In other words, it is the interconnected nature of digitalization technology that allows us to penetrate borders and ‘blur the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.’ Digitalization’s modus operandi is ‘interconnectivity and network building.’ That’s what digitalization has been doing, with increasing sophistication, for several decades. This is what defines the very architecture of the Third Industrial Revolution. All of which raises the question, why then, a Fourth Industrial Revolution?”

A study of the “technologies” often heralded as key convergent innovations of the 4IR—artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and the Internet of Things—shows that they do not live up to the claim of a modern technological “revolution.”.

Moll concludes that Schwab’s 4IR is nothing more than a myth. The social context of the world is still the same as in 3IR, and little change is expected. There is nothing like another industrial revolution occurring after the third. Schwab’s brave new world simply does not exist.

After all, revolutions are not just characterized by technological change. Rather, they are driven by transformations in the labor process, fundamental changes in workplace attitudes, shifts in social relations, and global socioeconomic restructuring.

Of course, technological innovations can be good for workers and society as a whole. They can reduce the need to do hard work, improve conditions, and free up more time for people to engage in other meaningful activities.

But the problem is that the fruits of technological innovation are monopolized by a globalized capitalist class. The same digital labor platforms are financed mostly by venture capital funds in the global North, while enterprises are created in the global South, without the funds investing in assets, hiring employees, or paying taxes to the public treasury. This is just another attempt to capture markets with a new technology, taking advantage of the transparency of borders, to make a profit, and to have no accountability.

So the 4IR narrative is more aspiration than reality. These are the aspirations of a wealthy class that anticipates the crisis of the Western economic system and wants to find a safe haven in other regions. This is why, given the historical experience of Western-style capitalism, the rest of the world sees the 4IR as an undesirable anti-utopia.


Leonid Savin, is Editor-in-Chief of the Geopolitika.ru Analytical Center, General Director of the Cultural and Territorial Spaces Monitoring and Forecasting Foundation and Head of the International Eurasia Movement Administration. This article appears through the kind courtesy of the Oriental Review.


Featured: “Klaus Schwab,” by Maria Petroff; painted in 2021.

Reality and the Notion of the Just War

Any conflicts that have been fought between nations and states have always raised the basic question—on whose side is justice? In some cases, such as Nazi Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union, it is quite obvious that justice was on the side of the USSR, although there are still revisionists and falsifiers who try to find fault with the actions of the Soviet Union. But there have been controversial moments in history, where a succession of historical events has made the positions of opposing sides less clear. As well, an important topic has always been—can offensive hostilities be a just war? Or, does it refer only to defensive actions? For example, according to UN documents, only defensive warfare is just, although there are a number of reservations, from peacekeeping forces to special resolutions that essentially give carte blanche to wage war. Such an example is UN Security Council Resolution 1973 of March 17, 2011 on Libya. The document regulated the creation of a no-fly zone, but effectively freed NATO’s hands for strikes on Libyan territory and support for terrorists. In general, the UN has long lost credibility as the organization of last resort in international law, and precedents for this were laid by Western countries (NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999 and the occupation of Iraq by US forces in 2003).

In this context, a special military operation in Ukraine is especially relevant, especially because Western politicians constantly try to accuse Russia not only of “aggression” and “global hybrid warfare,” but also often consider the denazification of Ukraine as a prologue to further wars in Europe. Although if one follows US and EU case law, there should be no questions about Russia at all, neither on Crimea, nor on the special military operation launched on February 24, 2022.

Of course, notions of justice may be different in the West and in other parts of the world, just as the values under which the EU now presents a policy of imposing same-sex marriage and similar perversions. Nevertheless, for the subject of justice there is a certain criterion that has universal properties: that of Roman law. The same Hugo Grotius, when he derived the concept of just war, relied primarily on Roman law. But before him, the same views were expressed by Augustine, who appealed to a Christian worldview. However, if the question of just war is considered in a longer historical retrospective, we encounter an older Roman custom, a prototype of ius ad bellum and ius in bello, namely, the fetial law, ius fetiale, which regulated the conduct of wars. According to Cicero, the ius fetiale was a set of religious and legal norms characteristic of the Roman community which regulated relations between Romans and foreigners whom the ancient Quirites (citizens of Rome) regarded as enemies (hostes).

The feudalists were members of a college of twenty patricians charged with applying the ius fetiale, which was the cornerstone of international relations of the period—they were in charge of declaring war, making peace and treaties, as well as of asserting claims and settling such claims. They acted as parliamentarians, going to the other side to demand satisfaction if a treaty had been violated. If they refused, they had the power to declare war. In such a case, the pater patratus (father declared, i.e., head of the college of fetians) would go to the border of the violator’s land and in the presence of witnesses would throw a blood-stained spear on that land, uttering a formula for declaring war. Over time, this practice was transformed. The function of ambassadors was taken over by legates appointed by the Senate. During the Imperial period the role of pater patratus began to be performed by the emperors themselves. According to Pierangelo Catalano the norms and principles of the ius fetiale had legal force also in relation to peoples with whom Rome had no treaty. It was thus a universal practice.

Although the United States tries to position itself as heir to the Roman tradition, both on the aesthetic level (expressed, for example, in the architecture of the Capitol or the symbol of the eagle) and on the legal level (from the format of the Senate to the imitation of imperial traditions), it is clear that in the latter issue we see rather a simulacrum, an imitation of ancient foundations without proper justification with obvious manipulation to the benefit of certain groups. Obviously, without the neoconservatives in power under George W. Bush, there would have been no invasion of Iraq, just as there would have been no invasion of Panama in 1989, had it not been for the political crisis associated with the elections (Washington has since deftly used and even provoked such crises, which have been called “color revolutions”). Earlier, the provocation in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 led to the Vietnam War, which the U.S. lost with shame. And the aggression against Iraq in 2003 was based on false justifications. Although the political rhetoric of U.S. leaders was clearly tinged with God’s choice, at least recall Bush’s words that, supposedly, God told him to strike Iraq. The current statements of the U.S. leadership are based more on human rights and deterrence strategy to protect national interests (where Russia, China, DPRK, and Iran are named as adversaries), although the need to preserve the imperial grandeur of the United States and the unconditional right of Washington to determine which actions are acceptable and which are not are implied.

However, Russia has more right to consider itself the heir to the Roman tradition. Regular appeals to Ukraine by the Russian leadership to stop violence against the inhabitants of the Donbass bear the spirit of ius fetiale quite well. And the signing of agreements with the DNR and LNR on February 23, 2022, legitimized the use of military force against Ukraine, just as in ancient Rome assistance was provided to allies against offenders. Although diplomatic relations were severed between Ukraine and Russia on the eve of the special military operation, we know that ius fetiale also applies to parties with whom there were no treaties. Thus, a number of speeches made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the days before the start of the operation became a metaphorical spear dipped in blood, which pater patratus threw into the territory of Ukraine. As we can see, they were treated without due attention both in Ukraine and in the West, just as the warnings in December 2021 that NATO expansion would be responded to appropriately (Moscow’s proposals to the United States to negotiate the creation of a new European security architecture were ignored). Incidentally, the Moscow-Third Rome formula thus acquires an additional dimension. After all, the ius fetiale is quite applicable to other hostes, which we have now defined as unfriendly countries.


Leonid Savin, is Editor-in-Chief of the Geopolitika.ru Analytical Center, General Director of the Cultural and Territorial Spaces Monitoring and Forecasting Foundation and Head of the International Eurasia Movement Administration. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitika.


Featured: Folio 188 of the Roman Vergil, ca. 5th century AD.

Martin Heidegger, Russia and Political Philosophy

Martin Heidegger’s writings have recently attracted a great deal of interest in various countries. Interpretations of his texts differ. But what is interesting is the constant criticism of his legacy by liberals, no matter where it occurs, no matter what the object of this criticism is (whether his work as a university professor, his interest in ancient Greek philosophy and related interpretations concerning modernity, or his position on the German political regime before and after 1945). One gets the impression that liberals want to deliberately demonize Heidegger and his writings—the depth of thought of the German philosopher does not give them peace of mind. And it is clear why—his work contains a message to create a counter-liberal project that can be implemented in many different forms.

Dasein and the Political

This will be discussed in more detail below, but for now it is necessary to make a brief excursus into the history of the study of Martin Heidegger’s ideas in Russia.

In the Soviet Union, Martin Heidegger’s ideas were not known to the general public. First, because his activities peaked in the period when the Nazis were in power in Germany. Heidegger himself, like many ideologues of the conservative revolution in Germany, criticized many aspects of National Socialism, but in the Soviet era all philosophy that did not follow the Marxist tradition was considered bourgeois, false and harmful. The only exception is perhaps the work of Vladimir Bibikhin; but his translations of Being and Time and On Time and Being were published in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. In addition, these translations were repeatedly criticized for their simplistic approach, misinterpretation of terms, linguistic errors, etc. And the lecture courses on early Heidegger at Moscow State University were given by Bibikhin in 1990-1992—the time of late perestroika, when much was allowed in the USSR. Nevertheless, it can be noted that in Moscow, in the late 1980s, a circle of followers of Heidegger’s ideas formed in the scientific community. There was a similar situation in St. Petersburg, which was later reflected in translation and publishing activities.

Since the late 1990s other works of the German thinker have been translated and published. The quality of the translation has improved considerably (other authors have been doing this), and Heidegger’s legacy began to be taught at various universities in the country. For philosophy departments, Heidegger’s basic concepts have become compulsory for students to know. However, the study of philosophical ideas does not mean that students will become philosophers or that they will refer to certain concepts in relation to political processes. Plato and Aristotle are studied in high school—but who now seriously uses the various ideas of these philosophers of ancient Greece when discussing socio-political issues?

Interest in Heidegger’s ideas, in the context of Russian politics, was stimulated by articles and speeches by the Russian philosopher and geopolitician Alexander Dugin in the mid-2000s; and later these ideas were systematized and presented in voluminous texts.

In 2010, Dugin’s book, Martin Heidegger: The Philosophy of Another Beginning, was published by the Academic Project; and the following year its logical sequel, Martin Heidegger: The Possibility of Russian Philosophy, was published. In 2014, the same publisher published both books in a combined volume entitled, Martin Heidegger. The Last God.

Dugin’s interpretation of Heidegger’s ideas is also linked to the history of Russian ideas, Orthodox Christianity, and the particular path of state development (including the theory of Eurasianism).

Of course, it makes no sense to retell Heidegger’s philosophical teachings in a journal publication. About a hundred volumes have been published in Germany, including entire works, lectures and diaries. Let us dwell only on a few points which, in our view, are applicable to the political context.

First, Heidegger has many neologisms that he introduced to describe the unfolding of time and being. The key concept is Dasein, often translated as “Here-Being.” The French philosopher Henri Corbin translated the term as “human reality.” But to fully understand many terms, it is better not to translate, but to try to fathom in the original by finding something similar in the native language. For example, das Man expresses the inauthentic Dasein, which has fallen into the everyday. And in authentic existentialism, Dasein has the property of being to death, Sein zum Tode, which represents essential horror. Terror is the opposite of fear, which fills the world with external things and the inner world with empty experiences.

Interestingly, modern Western politics and liberalism as such are built on fear. This tendency goes back centuries and is directly linked to the formation of Western (European) philosophy.

Let us add that one of the properties of Dasein is spatiality, since space depends on Dasein. But on the other hand, it is not a function of time. Conditionally Dasein is between the external and the internal, the past and the present; it is borderline and instantaneous.

And Dasein has existential capacities—being-in-the-world (In-der-Welt-Sein), being-in (In-sein), being-with (Mitsein), care (die Sorge), abandonment (Geworfenheit), disposedness (Befindlichkeit), fear (Furcht), understanding (Verstehen), discourse/telling (Rede), mood (Stimmung).

Another important element of Heidegger’s philosophy is the theme of the fourfold (Geviert), which is Heaven, Gods, Earth and People. They are depicted in this way: Heaven at the top left; Gods (immortal) at the top right; People (mortal) at the bottom left’ and Earth at the bottom right. There is an axis between the humans and the gods, as well as between Heaven and Earth. The bosom of the quadruped is the most authentic modus vivendi of Dasein existence.

It should also be noted that Heidegger separates the former from the past, the present from what is now, and the future from what is to come. Dasein, according to Heidegger, must make a fundamental choice—between the coming and the future, i.e., the choice of authentic existentialism and questioning of Beyng (Seyn) directly. Then the coming will become the future. If it chooses non-authentic existentialism, then the future will only be the future, and therefore it will not exist.

Describing all these elements of Heidegger’s philosophy in detail, Alexander Dugin asks the question—Can we speak of a specifically Russian Dasein? What are its existential potentialities? How does it differ from the European Dasein? He comes to the conclusion that a specific Russian Dasein exists. And not only Russian. At the basis of every civilization there is a special “thinking presence,” Dasein, which predetermines the structure of the Logos of that civilization. Consequently, each nation (civilization) has its own special set of existentials.

It is telling that in 2016 Heidegger’s diaries Ponderings II-VI, known as the Black Notebooks, 1931-1938, were published in Russia, and were issued by the Gaidar Institute, a liberal organization that in conservative circles in Russia is considered an agent of Western influence in the country (Yegor Gaidar was the author of liberal economic reforms in Russia under President Yeltsin. He was the Minister of Finance in 1992, and also served as Acting Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation and Acting Minister of Economy of Russia in 1993-1994. Because of his reforms, inflation started in the country, the process of privatization was launched, and many sectors of the economy were destroyed).

It is considered Heidegger’s most politicized work, since in his diaries he speaks not only of the philosophical categories that troubled him, but also of the role of the Germans in history, upbringing and education, and the political project of National Socialism.

The Gaidar Institute was probably aiming at yet another attempt to discredit Heidegger’s teaching; but it worked the other way around. The publication of the diaries was received with great interest.

It is also paradoxical that it was in this book that Heidegger criticized liberalism, noting that the “liberal” sees “connectedness” in his own way. He sees only “He sees only ‘dependencies’—’influences,’ but he never understands that there can be an influencing which is of service to the genuine basic stream of all flowing and provides a path and a direction” (45, 106, p. 28).

Here are a few more quotations from this work, which, in our opinion, are interesting in the framework of the topic under consideration:

“The metaphysics of Dasein must become deeper in accord with the innermost structure of that metaphysics and must expand into the metapolitics “of” the historical people” (22, 54, p. 91).

“The worthiness for power out of the greatness of Dasein—and Dasein out of the truth of its mission” (7, 22, p. 83).

“Education—the effective and binding realization of the power of the state, taking that power as the will of a people to itself” (17, 45, p. 89).

“At issue is a leap into specifically historical Da-sein. This leap can be carried out only as the liberation of what is given as endowment into what is given as task” (35, 98, p. 173).

As Dugin points out, while early Heidegger assumed that Dasein is something given, later Heidegger concluded that Dasein is something that must be found, justified and constituted. And in order to do this, a serious thought process must first be undertaken (see, Heidegger’s What is Called Thinking).

It is important to understand that although Heidegger’s ideas are considered a kind of completion of European philosophy (which began with the ancient Greeks—and this is symbolic, since Heidegger built his hypotheses on an analysis of the texts of ancient Greek philosophers), he was often classified as a thinker who overcame Eurocentrism. For this reason, many of Heidegger’s concepts were positively received during his lifetime in regions where a critical direction of philosophy was developing in relation to the European heritage as a whole.

In the twentieth century, for example, there was great interest in Heidegger’s work in Latin America. In Brazil, Vicente Fereira da Silva, in Argentina Carlos Astrada, Vicente Fantone, Henrique Dussel and Francisco Romero, in Venezuela Juan David García Bacca, and in Colombia Rubén Xierra Mejía turned to Heidegger’s work.

The Iranian philosopher Ahmad Fardid’s words that Heidegger can be perceived as a figure of world significance, and not just as a representative of European thought, also confirm this.

Since Fardid himself was a consistent critic of Western philosophy (his concept of Gharbzadegi— intoxication with the West—is well known), which he said contributed to the emergence of nihilism; this admission is quite revealing.

Not only in Iran, but also in other Asian countries, Heidegger had followers. In Japan, his student Nishida Kitaro founded the Kyoto School of Philosophy in the 1930s, although Heidegger himself was recognized in this country as a carrier of the European spirit (after the Meiji reforms in Japan, there was an excessive fascination with everything European, especially German culture and philosophy). However, it is interesting that the concept of “existence” applied by Heidegger was reinterpreted in Japan in the Buddhist spirit as “actual being” (genjitsu sonzai), and the Nothing was interpreted as “emptiness” (shunya). That is, the Japanese took Martin Heidegger’s basic concepts as they understood them and often mixed his terms with those of European existentialists, such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Gabriel Marcel. Another Japanese philosopher, Nishitani Keiji, also adapted Heidegger’s ideas to traditional Eastern models, as was often done in the East.

Parallels between Eastern traditional philosophy and Martin Heidegger’s analysis have also been drawn in Korea (Hwa Yol Jung).

In this respect, Russia and the study of Martin Heidegger’s legacy is a kind of bridge between Europe and the East, between the rigid rationalism that began to consume European consciousness from the Middle Ages and the abstract contemplative thinking characteristic of Asian peoples.

To be blunt—Eurasianism and Heideggerianism are, in a sense, interrelated and spiritually close trends among contemporary ideological currents in Russia.

There can only be a profound understanding of the one when the other is understood; although separately the two schools can also be seen as independent philosophical teachings (which is often done by secular scholars and opportunistic political scientists).


Leonid Savin, is Editor-in-Chief of the Geopolitika.ru Analytical Center, General Director of the Cultural and Territorial Spaces Monitoring and Forecasting Foundation and Head of the International Eurasia Movement Administration. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitika.


Featured image: “Heidegger,” by Fabrizio Cassetta; painted in 2012.

Geopolitical Procrastination

Carl von Clausewitz’s formula that war is the continuation of politics by other means is reinforced in the 21st century by geoeconomics, where supply chains, promising technologies and control over financial and other assets simply compel decisions to be made quickly and to consider the cascading effects that can arise in a complex situation. The special operation in the Ukraine is a good proof of this thesis. If Russia had not launched this operation, Ukrainian troops, supported by NATO, would have launched a massive attack on the Donbass and even the Crimean Peninsula in the very near future. Conflict could not have been avoided, but Russia was ahead of Ukraine and its Western sponsors.

All the while that this situation was brewing, some of Russia’s assets continued to be held in the West. Now they are frozen and will probably be confiscated. It was possible to start withdrawing them back into Russia in December, when proposals on reformatting the European security architecture were sent from the Russian side to the United States and NATO. However, this was not done. It is difficult to imagine the collective West would have approved the Russian operation in Ukraine; or at the least stayed away. Signals of support for Kiev (and, consequently, indirect threats against Moscow) had been coming from Washington and Brussels for the past eight years. Russia’s armed forces were quite prepared; but it must be admitted that on some issues Russia was too late. And now it has to make up for lost time, which is much more difficult in the current circumstances.

Such procrastination is not unique to Russia. Many states, both in the West and in other parts of the world, often suffer from inflated expectations, unfulfilled promises from partners, and unfulfilled hopes of the cargo-cult that someone on the outside will solve their problems and make them happy in the very near future. Some political powers rely on their natural resources, which can be valuable and attractive. Others rely on technology, such as El Salvador, which has even converted some of its national reserves into cryptocurrency. Others rely on an exceptional geopolitical position, as in the case of Panama. And the fourth, like many Western countries, on the endless status quo of their own hegemony, which is now rapidly eroding.

The current crisis highlights numerous nuances and allows us to see how other actors act on the basis of their interests and capabilities. India has decided to sharply increase the purchase of Russian oil, taking advantage of huge discounts, which indicates independence in the choice of decisions with a clear political connotation. Some Arab countries are active, reacting flexibly to economic changes, but not taking sides definitively. In ASEAN, they are pragmatically calculating moves, perfectly aware of the growing power of China.

The U.S. is trying to maintain solidarity in NATO and even to extend politico-military mechanisms into the Asian region, closer to the Celestial Empire. The EU countries are floundering, rationally calculating future losses but afraid to take sovereign decisions contrary to U.S. guidelines and the assertions of the Brussels bureaucracy. Britain, it seems, is counting on a long-term confrontation with Russia; so, it is already taking measures for its energy supply. It has decided to abandon the construction of wind turbines, which were planned as a transition to green energy. Instead, new nuclear power plants will be built. It is assumed that up to a quarter of all electricity by 2050 will be produced in nuclear power plants. This decision is logical, since gas supplies from Russia may stop.

But we cannot say that the lack of a visible response is geopolitical procrastination. There is also the factor of strategic culture, as in the case of China. Although analysts and observers in the West have made hasty conclusions about China’s role and function in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine (supported by the West), necessarily pointing to Taiwan as some kind of parallel, this case is much more complex and interesting than it might seem at first glance. The stratagems of Sun Tzu and Wu Tzu are uncomplicated, but they refer to certain historical events, and so in the Chinese mind they are associated with the past. When Western authors tie these or other Chinese stratagems to some current events they make the typical mistake of misperception of Eastern culture, superimposed on their own pride. Chinese strategy is much more multilayered, and the political leaders there are more patient. But their agility is the envy of even the nimblest countries.

The Solomon Islands is a case in point. In 2019, the islands’ leaders severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Ties were soon established with China. Parallel to the diplomatic tensions on the islands, the old inter-ethnic conflict flared up again. Since no help was forthcoming from neighboring Australia and New Zealand to fight the insurgency (and the prime minister did appeal to these states), China was chosen as the future protector. The planned treaty between China and the Solomon Islands allowed Chinese ships to call at ports and make logistical replenishments. Australia and New Zealand immediately threw a tantrum, accusing China of establishing a military base near them, although there is no such provision in the draft treaty.

But if we are talking about the confrontation between Russia and the West, what is urgent now is to completely cut off deliveries to unfriendly countries of those products that are critical to their industries or are involved in production chains. Why go into geopolitical procrastination and wait until they themselves find an alternative solution and arrogantly impose new sanctions on these products? It is better to be proactive. Russia is not as consumer-centric as the West; so temporary restrictions will not pose a threat to Russian statehood. On the contrary, it will help to mobilize and consolidate the people and the authorities in the face of external challenges.


Leonid Savin, is Editor-in-Chief of the Geopolitika.ru Analytical Center, General Director of the Cultural and Territorial Spaces Monitoring and Forecasting Foundation and Head of the International Eurasia Movement Administration. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitika.


Featured image: “Procrastination,” by Yana Chenya.

Sweden in NATO

Unlike Finland, Sweden does not share a border with Russia, so its membership in the North Atlantic Alliance might not be perceived as problematic. On the other hand, any strengthening of NATO is a challenge, as this bloc itself is a threat to Russia and Belarus (and not only to these two).

Sweden’s neutrality is questionable. To see this, it is enough to look at official statistics of NATO.

Cooperation between them began when Sweden joined the Partnership for Peace program in 1994 and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (a multilateral forum for dialogue that brings together all allies and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic region) in 1997.

Sweden is one of six countries (known as “Partners with Enhanced Capabilities” under the Partnership Interoperability Initiative) that contribute particularly significantly to NATO operations and other Alliance goals. Thus, the country has increased its capacity for dialogue and cooperation with Allies.

There is now regular political dialogue and consultation between NATO and Sweden in the form of sharing information about hybrid warfare, coordinating training and exercises, and raising general situational awareness to address common threats and develop joint actions, if necessary.

Sweden first contributed to a NATO-led operation in 1995, when it sent a battalion to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has further supported the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo since 1999.

Swedish personnel worked alongside NATO forces in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from 2003 until the end of the ISAF mission in 2014. Sweden also supported the follow-on Resolute Support Mission (RSM) to further train, assist and advise Afghan security forces and agencies, until its conclusion in September 2021. Sweden has contributed more than $13 million to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund.

In April 2011, Sweden contributed to Operation Unified Protector (OUP), the NATO military operation in Libya, under UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973. Sweden is also participating in the NATO Mission in Iraq.

In addition, Sweden has signed a memorandum of understanding for host nation support, which, subject to a national decision, allows logistical support to Allied troops on, or transiting through, its territory during exercises or in a crisis.

Sweden also supports a number of NATO Trust Fund projects in other partner countries that focus on areas such as training and assessment of military units, medical rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, explosive ordnance disposal and countering improvised explosive devices, and professional development of security-sector personnel.

Sweden participates in the Planning and Review Process, which helps the country develop its military capabilities and improve the interoperability of Swedish Armed Forces with allies and other partners.

Sweden participates in the NATO Operational Capability Concept, which uses an assessment and feedback program to develop and train partner land, sea, air or special operations forces that strive to meet NATO standards.

Sweden participates in numerous exercises and has also participated in the NATO Cyber Coalition exercise.

Sweden is cooperating with several other countries to develop a multinational rapid reaction force for European Union (EU)-led peacekeeping operations.

Since 2014, as part of the Interoperability Partnership Initiative, Sweden has participated in the Interoperability Platform, which brings together allies with selected partners involved in NATO operations.

Sweden participates in two strategic air transport initiatives: the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) program and the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS).

NATO values Sweden’s role in training the armed forces of other NATO partner countries. The Swedish Armed Forces International Centre (SWEDINT) conducts exercises and training with a focus on humanitarian assistance, rescue services, peacekeeping operations, civil preparedness and democratic control of the armed forces. The Nordic Center for Gender in Military Operations is also located at SWEDINT.

Sweden has close ties with other Nordic countries and participates in the Nordic Defense Cooperation (Nordefco), a regional defense initiative that promotes cooperation between Nordic armed forces.

In other words, Swedish-NATO cooperation is very active and longstanding. And Stockholm has helped NATO in every way possible to carry out military aggression in other countries.

It should be noted that a broad debate about the possibility of Sweden joining NATO began in late December 2012, when Swedish Defense Minister General Sverker Joransson stated in a widely circulated interview that if Sweden were attacked, it could defend itself for only one week before foreign aid was needed.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen later added that although Sweden is NATO’s most active and most capable partner, it cannot count on assistance in case of attack because the security guarantee in Article 5 of the Alliance applies only to members of NATO, an organization Sweden had refused to join.

But Swedish Defense Minister Karin Enström said in a later interview that Sweden can count on EU assistance because the Lisbon Treaty includes a solidarity clause, Article 42.7, obliging EU member states to assist other EU members in case of catastrophic events or attacks.

Naturally, in 2014, after the situation with Crimea, the U.S. began to actively incite Sweden to join NATO, along with actively circulated statements about possible “Moscow’s aggression.” American experts believe that in a NATO conflict with Russia, for example, “during a Russian invasion of the Baltic states, Sweden would be deeply involved.” Since Finland acts as a buffer against Russia, an attack from the land is highly unlikely.

In fact, Sweden would face three defensive tasks: defense against Russian air and missile attacks, defense of its vast territory against Russian infiltration, and defense of the island of Gotland and other key infrastructure so that NATO armed forces can use them to defend the entry of troops into the Baltic states and other places. This requires prepositioning aircraft and air defenses to cover Gotland and a number of positions in Sweden. It would cost U.S. $3.2 billion, and NATO would need to add another $6.4 billion.

The number of supporters of the country joining NATO in Sweden has been growing steadily year-by-year. While 10 years ago, in 2012, polls showed that only 18% thought they should become a member of the alliance and 44% were against it, in 2015, 38% were already in favor and 31% were against it.

It was not only external propagandists and their agents, like Carl Bildt, who worked on NATO’s image. Many Swedish international scholars also contributed to the pro-NATO discourse. They argued that the change in popular support for NATO in Sweden was made possible by appealing to the dominant discourses of “idealism” and “active internationalism.”

Once an integral part of Swedish state identity, the theme of “neutrality” was replaced by justifications for the continued existence and expansion of NATO in the post-Cold War period. The meaning of “solidarity” was also changed to imply that states that care about peace should not act as “stowaways,” but should be willing to act in solidarity with other European and democratic states against tyrants and terrorists.

Even in 2015, active cooperation between NATO, Sweden and Finland was seen in Stockholm as a kind of new norm necessary for security in the Baltic, though previously , in practice, Sweden had effectively used informal bilateral cooperation with the United States and other European states to ensure its security.

Therefore, the myth of the country’s “armed neutrality” policy during the Cold War was not the key obstacle to gaining public support for NATO membership.

As in neighboring Finland, panicked rumors and Russophobic sentiments have been spreading in Sweden of late. Gunilla Gerolf of the Swedish Institute for International Affairs told The National News that “the Russians will not respect Swedish territory. They will make sure that on the first day we can’t use credit cards or have electricity. That’s what people expect and prepare for.”

According to her, Swedes are buying special water tanks, handheld radios, camping stoves and extra food in case of conflict. The Swedish government is also making plans to replenish the large Vattenfall oil reservoir and to use the power plant built during the Cold War.

Gerolf also believes that the island of Gotland, which was militarized again a few years ago, will serve as a support base to “deter the Russians”—or perhaps as provocation and attacks?

Most recently, Sweden took part in cyber maneuvers under NATO auspices, in December 2021. And in March-April of this year, military exercises (VIKING 22) were held on Swedish territory, where representatives of Ukraine were also present. In February 2021, the Swedish Ministry of Defense established the Centre of Special Operations Research, whose leadership included representatives from NATO headquarters and the U.S. Air Force.

As for the defense industry, Sweden’s defense industry possesses “significant advanced technology and combat capability,” having strong industrial alliances with Great Britain, the United States and Germany. This allowed it to develop systems such as the NLAW anti-tank weapon, which was used in Ukraine against Russian forces, in conjunction with Great Britain.

The products of the Swedish military-industrial complex also include the Gripen multi-role warplane, advanced electronic warfare, aerial surveillance, intelligent artillery and counter-battery radars, all of which will be useful for future NATO allies, presumably against Russia. Therefore, the response must represent more than the standard protest notes and/or IKEA store closures.


Leonid Savin, is Editor-in-Chief of the Geopolitika.ru Analytical Center, General Director of the Cultural and Territorial Spaces Monitoring and Forecasting Foundation and Head of the International Eurasia Movement Administration. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitika.


Featured image: “Triumph of Charles X Gustavus over the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth,” anonymous, ca. 1655.

Pakistan: What Lies Ahead?

On April 9, 2022, the majority of Pakistan’s National Assembly voted to dismiss Prime Minister Imran Khan. Although the upper house of parliament had previously been dissolved by President Arif Alvi, the Supreme Court deemed the action unconstitutional, allowing parliamentarians to reconvene for a vote of no confidence. Following the prime minister’s resignation, the country’s attorney general, Khalid Javed Khan, resigned.

The opposition cheered, while Imran Khan’s supporters took to the streets of Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and other major cities. Imran Khan pledged to launch a fight against the coup organized by foreign powers. Armed forces and police were put on high alert, security measures were tightened and airport controllers were instructed not to let officials and politicians leave the country without proper clearance.

On April 10, during a meeting of the National Assembly, the opposition nominated Shahbaz Sharif as the new head of government. Another nominee to head the government from the Justice Movement party was former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureishi. Voting took place in the National Assembly on April 11. However, the Justice Movement party boycotted the choice of Prime Minister. Nevertheless, it won the necessary quorum. This procedure cancels the previously announced snap elections and they will now take place on schedule in 2023.

For a complete picture of the political scenario, further explanation is needed.

The leader of the Muslim League-N, Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were convicted of corruption under Imran Khan, who was particularly zealous in fighting bribery, cronyism and other manifestations of political corruption (although Nawaz Sharif had resigned earlier for this reason, which led to a snap election in which Khan’s Justice Movement party won). While already convicted and serving his sentence (seven years in prison and a large fine) Nawaz Sharif was allowed to go to London for treatment, but he never returned to Pakistan to continue serving his sentence. He himself, like his relatives, represents a large oligarchic clan in the Punjab, which led some media to say that Nawaz’s brother Shahbaz Sharif would become the new prime minister. Like his brother, Shahbaz Sharif has a criminal past and has been under investigation for construction contract corruption and money laundering since 2018.

The money of this clan is held in Britain. Interestingly, one of Imran Khan’s initiatives was an attempt to return the exported funds to Pakistan. An amnesty was even declared, though few of the wealthy demonstrated a spirit of patriotism. And when EU ambassadors tried to press Imran Khan to condemn Russia’s actions, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s emotional rejection was called an insult, worsening relations with Europe, and therefore, he was allegedly told to resign.

Another major opposition force, the People’s Party of Pakistan, which has its base electorate in Sindh, also initially opposed Iran Khan’s reforms and criticized his activities in every possible way. The former president and co-chairman of the party, Asif Ali Zardari, also represents the oligarchy, was accused of corruption in 1990 and spent two years in prison. He studied in Britain and his funds are also in Britain. In addition to corruption, he has been accused of drug trafficking and has mental problems.

The late Benazir Bhutto, his wife and the first female head of state, was actively engaged with the US, and opposed General Musharraf’s power. It was through her that the ideas of undermining the Pakistani military establishment were transmitted and the White House adopted this as it began to put pressure on Islamabad to hold democratic elections.

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (son of the late Benazir Bhutto and Zardari) is now foreign minister in the new government, which is made possible by the party’s family-clan continuity, despite his young age (33).

As for assessments about the reasons for the intervention, these are often stated as the independent position of Imran Khan, as well as ties with China and Russia. Indeed, Imran Khan has shown himself to be an outstanding figure, who immediately after coming to power said that Pakistan would not be a bargaining chip in the games of other countries and would not support the West in their regional wars. He refused to condemn Russia’s actions and was in Moscow on an official visit when the special operation in Ukraine began. But it cannot be said that he took a pro-Russian stance. Of course, under him the issue of Pakistan’s debt, which had been “hanging” since Soviet times and prevented our countries from intensifying trade and economic cooperation, was resolved. The end of this issue allowed the Russian side to enter the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline project, although with certain restrictions due to sanctions. Pakistan, on the other hand, has increased its purchases of grain from Russia and plans to increase the volume in 2022.

As for China, cooperation between the two countries began to strengthen in the early 1970s. It was Pakistan that acted as an intermediary between China and the United States, which led to a visit to Beijing by President Richard Nixon in 1972 and the beginning of active cooperation between the former enemies (Washington set the task of severing China from the influence of the USSR, which in fact, was accomplished). Then China became not only a political partner of Pakistan, but also an economic donor, having financed the key project of its Belt and Road initiative, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which includes Beijing’s management of the deep-water port of Gwadar. Dependence on China is quite extensive. Therefore, it is unlikely that the future government will deteriorate relations with its key donor. As governor of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif made deals directly with China, which enabled the launch of major infrastructure projects, avoiding political clamor. Therefore, for Beijing, his candidacy would be quite acceptable. The Chinese embassy in Pakistan has officially stated that regardless of who is in power, relations between the two countries will remain friendly.

An important issue remains the settlement in Afghanistan. Imran Khan has made significant progress in the integration of Pashtuns in the northwestern border areas, which under him were renamed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. For the same reason, the Taliban (banned in Russia), whose core is made up of Pashtuns, caused some anxiety in Islamabad, which stimulated a series of negotiations and necessary agreements. But it should be borne in mind that the US has almost openly accused Imran Khan’s government of helping the Taliban, which led to the fall of Kabul and the shameful flight of the US military from Afghanistan. According to the American side, Qatar played a good mediating role for them, so they will not need Pakistan’s services. Against the background of frozen assets in Afghanistan and the refusal of the U.S. to continue funding the assistance program to Pakistan, we can assume that Washington will now act with a stick rather than a carrot toward Islamabad.

In general, the current political crisis does hurt Pakistan first and foremost.

The governors of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are likely to resign. Another division of portfolios will lead to a review of current projects and initiatives (for example, Imran Khan has been a strong supporter of environmental initiatives and social programs). The choice of Shahbaz Sharif as prime minister indicates the victory of an oligarchy with foreign ties. Surely his brother Nawaz will be able to return to the country and the charges against him will be dropped, which will raise questions about whose side the law is on in this country.

A columnist for a major Pakistani newspaper, in an article entitled “Masochism as Policy,” seeking to capture the specifics of the currents set in motion, writes that “”Today, we fantasise about who can drop the biggest ‘surprise’, when to further bamboozle our opponents, how next to sacrifice the rule of law at the altar of our own egos.”

There is one “but.” The main political force in Pakistan, despite the facade of democracy, is the military. It is from them that Imran Khan received support in the 2018 elections. It is possible that the military’s tacit approval of Shahbaz Sharif’s candidacy is due to the fact that they have a file on him, so he will not make drastic moves that could harm their interests.

After all, the word “crisis” of Greek origin also reflects the current situation well—it is a fracture or a phase of transition. Pakistan can either choose sovereignty and multipolarity, as it did under Imran Khan, or it can return to being a satellite of Western powers.


Leonid Savin, is Editor-in-Chief of the Geopolitika.ru Analytical Center, General Director of the Cultural and Territorial Spaces Monitoring and Forecasting Foundation and Head of the International Eurasia Movement Administration. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitika.


Featured image: Rural landscape, by Zulfiqar Ali Zulfi.

Russia Enters A New Phase Of Confrontation With The West

The Russian leadership’s decision to recognize the DNR and LNR was a forced and predictable measure. Although almost eight years have passed since the referendums in the former Donetsk and Luhansk regions of the Ukraine, Moscow’s recognition of the republics has generated public support, not only in the already legitimate republics, but also in Russia, Belarus, Serbia, and a number of other countries.

Kiev was guilty not only of the genocide of the Russian people over the years, but also of the glorification of Nazism, as well as its clearly destructive foreign policy, which included militarization with the help of Western countries and active attempts to join NATO.

These factors were fundamental to the decision, although Moscow had hoped until the last moment that the Ukraine would implement the Minsk agreements. This did not happen. So, such a U-turn in regards to the Ukraine was simply necessary—primarily for humanitarian reasons.

One should also pay attention to the strategic situation around the Ukraine. After the 2014 coup, the Belarusian leadership was loyal to the regime of Petro Poroshenko and later Vladimir Zelensky. Only after a similar coup attempt in Belarus itself, Alexander Lukashenko began to pursue a clear pro-Russian policy. And on the eve of the recognition of the DNR and LNR, a joint military exercise with Russia was held on the territory of Belarus. The country’s leadership also announced its intention to purchase a number of Russian-made weapons systems, including combat aircraft and air defense systems.

Therefore, Belarus’ role in the joint peacekeeping operation has become very important. Kiev found itself under an economic blockade, not only by Russia but also by Belarus. One of the avenues for advancing toward Kiev was chosen from this strategic position.

Now it is necessary to look at the procedure of recognition of the DNR and LNR, from the point of view of international law. By February 21, and even earlier, when Western politicians were hysterical about the imminent “invasion of Russia,” representatives of the neoliberal NATO cartel spoke in one voice about the violation of international law. But is it so? And what do they mean by international law?

Suffice to recall that the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 and the recognition of Kosovo’s independence violated the Helsinki Accord on the inviolability of political boundaries in Europe. But the West paid no attention to this. Since the law of precedence applies in the West, these events actually opened the way for further such actions.

But even earlier, in 1994, the U.S. invaded Haiti under trumped-up pretexts, while receiving UN approval. Almost immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was relatively easy to do so, especially considering that during those years Andrei Kozyrev was the head of the Foreign Ministry, who listened to Washington’s instructions in everything. Bill Clinton’s administration justified its decision to occupy Haiti by the need to protect U.S. citizens in that country.

Both cases, and later the bombing of Libya in 2011, are known as the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. This doctrine was developed specifically in the West. Meanwhile, it was implemented in the UN in 2005, at the instigation of Canada, which developed it in 2001. Its essence is that sovereignty is not only a right, but also a duty. And if some governments fail in their duty to respect the rights and freedoms of their citizens, they should be punished.

Another connection is the partition of Sudan. South Sudan gained independence through a referendum in July 2011, which followed an agreement between the government and rebels in the south. The process was directly overseen by high-ranking American politicians, who saw partition as an interest for the United States, including access to oil resources. Tellingly, this concern on the part of Washington did not save South Sudan—in 2013 it plunged into another civil war.

A legitimate question arises: Did the Ukrainian government manage to ensure the rights of the Russian-speaking population in the Ukraine after the coup in February 2014?

First, the government itself can hardly be called legitimate, because after the coup an alliance of neo-Nazis and Westerners began a policy of intimidation and blackmail. And the decisions made by the Ukraine’s parliament after February 22, 2014 cannot be considered legal acts.

Second, when political polarization clearly highlighted the two opposing camps, were there attempts made to resolve differences peacefully through negotiations? No. The Kiev junta sent not only law enforcement and special services units, but also military units into the regions where people spoke out to defend their rights (including speaking their native language). Donetsk and Luhansk were subjected to air raids and artillery fire.

Consequently, the Ukraine as a state has lost its right to sovereignty. And when Russia goes out to defend civilians in a neighboring country whose population is historically, culturally and spiritually bound to it by centuries-old traditions, it has far more right to speak of “Responsibility to Protect” than the United States and NATO countries, which have invaded other countries under far-fetched pretexts.

Finally, neither Yugoslavia, nor Haiti, nor Iraq, nor Libya, posed an existential threat to the United States. But the Ukraine, transformed by the West into an anti-Russia, certainly poses such a threat.

Consequently, we are dealing with double standards. And if we pay attention to the fact that the West refuses to allow Russia to come to its defense (we can recall the reaction to the operation to force Georgia to peace in August 2008), then it suggests a certain form of racism.

After all, it turns out that it is the Russians who are not allowed to come to the aid of their compatriots or other peoples. It’s almost like Orwell, where in his work Animal Farm, the pigs who seized power declared that all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. This is not explicitly stated, but clearly implied.

Moreover, the U.S. denies Russia the right not only to come to its defense, but also to criticize, point out violations and make comparisons—all of which are declared fakes at the instigation of the U.S. State Department; and Washington’s satellites are actively working to brainwash and psychologically manipulate both its own population and the Russian one through foreign agents, social networks and various grant programs through diplomatic missions.

The Western politicians’ backbiting of non-Western countries also clearly falls under the double standard. Take Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, for example, who said Moscow’s decision to recognize the LNR and DNR was unacceptable” “We call on the parties to be guided by common sense and respect international law,” the Turkish president said.

Doesn’t the presence of the Turkish military in Syria and Iraq violate international law? Did they receive an invitation from the authorities of these countries? Of course not. And the situation with Northern Cyprus clearly does not fit into the norms Erdoğan talks about.

By the way, for decades, the Republic of Northern Cyprus has been recognized only by Turkey, for obvious reasons. And the DNR and LNR have already been recognized not only by Russia, but also by the CAR. Syria, which has already supported President Putin’s decision, is the next one to do so. Official recognition will surely follow from Belarus, Venezuela and Nicaragua, whose leaders have supported Moscow’s decision. And also from Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Of course, Erdoğan is concerned about the Kurdish issue, because the Kurdish population of Turkey is growing every year, which will inevitably lead to political imbalances over time. But rather Erdoğan, himself in his country, is pursuing a repressive policy under the guise of fighting terrorism, since the Kurdistan Workers’ Party is regarded there as a terrorist organization.

However, Turkey’s role may turn out to be more destructive for the Ukrainian—where it is already supplying combat drones (Bayraktars), which can be used against residents of Donbass. And behind the Bayraktars, unprincipled fighters, used by Turkey in Idlib in Syria or Libya, may also be transferred. At least, the possibility of such a scenario should be considered. All the more so since there are already reports about recruiting fighters from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Kosovo to send them to the Ukraine.

To summarize, it is clear that Russia is on the right side of history. It will be difficult to break the information blockade and bring the truth to the citizens of other countries, especially those in the Euro-Atlantic community. Although there are adequate media and politicians there as well. It will also be difficult to overcome the new sanctions, which concern Russia’s sovereign debt and the ability to operate in Western markets.

But, on the other hand, this forces us to continue to develop our own global strategy, where there will be no place for Western totalitarianism. Consequently, recognizing the DNR and the LRN is another step toward an emerging multipolarity.


Leonid Savin is a geopolitical analyst, and chief editor of Geopolitica. He is founder and chief editor of the Journal of Eurasian Affairs, and is the author of numerous books on geopolitics, conflicts, international relations and political philosophy issued in Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Serbia and Iran. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.


Featured image: “The Last Chinese Wall.” Puck, April 24, 1901. [A Russian bear with a saber stands in front of Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Great Britain, the United States, Turkey and Spain; behind them sits a laughing China.]