Jacques Baud: “The goal is not to help Ukraine, but to fight Putin”

This interview comes to us through the kind courtesy of the Swiss journal, Zeitgeschehen im Fokus. In it, Jacques Baud brings us up-to-date on the Ukraine situation, while providing us with great insights, in his usual, inimitable way. He is in conversation with Thomas Kaiser. [Note: This English translation of the original German interview has been exclusively updated by Jacques Baud. Translated from the German by N. Dass.]

Thomas Kaiser-Zeitgeschehen im Fokus (TK): You cannot recognize Switzerland in a certain sense. Everything that was of importance to the state is being thrown away, almost hand-over-fist. What’s your view?

Jacques Baud (JB): We are indeed in a state of hysteria; and it is unbelievable how people forget the fundamental principles of the rule of law. This is a fundamental problem—you forget your own foundations, your own identity. Regardless of who is fighting each other, it is not our fight, and it is an advantage not to be involved in the fight, because that creates the opportunity to develop better solutions and help defuse the problem.

TK: A neutral state could make a positive contribution here?

JB: Yes, but that is exactly what Switzerland is not doing. It behaves as if it were a party in this conflict. This prevents Switzerland from finding a balanced, objective and impartial solution. This is a key point, nota bene for the international community as a whole, not only for Switzerland. The difference is only that Switzerland should be neutral.

TK: How is that relevant?

JB: This neutrality could be exploited, not to take sides, but to help solve the problem, regardless of who is guilty or innocent. These are different things. It’s like an arbitrator. He is not supposed to be a party. We have forgotten that. It doesn’t matter what the referee thinks about a participant, whether he finds him sympathetic or not, he must keep the same distance from both participants. Switzerland should be in this situation, but it does take advantage of it. I don’t mean financially, of course, but intellectually, legally and morally. The problem is that Switzerland forgets that it is not a warring party in this conflict.

TK: If you listen to the Swiss government or even to the narrative of some lawmakers, this neutral stance is completely blurred, even if they claim the opposite is repeatedly..

JB: It is also interesting that if one takes some distance to assess the conflict and does not immediately side with Ukraine, one is declared a ” Putin-Empathizer.” This is unbelievable. What I think about Putin has nothing to do with the assessment of the situation. That is the business of the Ukrainians. I have said this several times: if I were Ukrainian, I probably would have taken up arms. But that is not the point. I, as Swiss, will not give up my Swissness. In order to help Ukraine, I don’t have to become a Ukrainian; but I have to look at the big picture I have as Swiss to bring a less passionate but more constructive point of view. The journalists who criticize me are more Russia-haters than Ukraine-lovers.

TK: Where, then, might Switzerland’s role in this conflict lie?

JB: When an onlooker sees an old lady being attacked by a thug on the street, he does not encourage her to fight back, but tries to separate the two. We are in the situation of this onlooker; but our response is to give weapons so that Ukraine fights. For a Ukrainian it is legitimate to want to fight. But for a Swiss or another European, our role is to try to limit the damage. But no one is even attempting to do that in the West. When Zelensky was looking for a mediator, he turned to Turkey, China, and Israel. He did not choose a European Union country or even Switzerland. He understood that Switzerland is no longer an independent partner.

TK: Isn’t that the result of current Swiss foreign policy?

JB: Yes, it shows the nature of the problem. We have to make a difference between what we think about Putin and what we want to achieve politically. These are two different things. In addition, I always ask myself if are we so keen to blame the aggressor. Why didn’t we blame and sanction the U.S., the UK or France when they attacked Middle Eastern or African countries?

TK: Yes, this question really does arise.

JB: Paradoxically, everything we give to Ukraine today only highlights the help and compassion we have not given to those who have been unjustly attacked by the West in the Middle East and elsewhere. This will have consequences in the future. Many have noticed this with the refugees. The “blond, blue-eyed” refugees are gladly helped; the others are not. Maybe we can understand this, even if we cannot approve of it. But what is incomprehensible, remains the fact that we keep silent about one attacker, while another is punished with more than 6 000 sanctions.

TK: Is this not the well-known double standard?

JB: Yes, it is. It also doesn’t mean that you have to be in favor of Russia; that has nothing to do with it. If you look at Justitia, she is blind and holds a scale in her hand. That is exactly what is missing today. Western countries are partial and biased. The same applies to the European Union. A modern state should not be guided by passion, but by reason. These principles were established by Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau in the 18th century. Our “woke” culture has forgotten them. We let our feelings guide us and we follow them. That is the problem.

TK: Does that mean that the principles of the rule of law have disappeared?

JB: The rule of law means that decisions are not based on feelings or intuitions, but on the basis of facts. That is why modern states have intelligence services. This is about supporting decision-making based on facts and not on the basis of divine inspiration. This is a fundamental difference between enlightened governance and despotic obscurantism. Fighting a dictatorship does not entitle us to forget the principles of the rule of law. Since the Balkan War, the West seems to believe that the end justifies the means. It is irrelevant what individual ministers think as persons, they are allowed to hate Putin, that is their right as citizens —but not as ministers. Feelings cannot be the basis of their policy. Here I would like to refer to Henry Kissinger. He said in 2014, “Demonizing Vladimir Putin is not politics; it is an alibi for not having politics.” That’s what Henry Kissinger said; not Putin or Lukashenko. It behaves like a monarch, like Louis XIV who was guided by a divine inspiration.

“It is not about solving the problem of ‘war,’ but about eliminating the problem of ‘Putin.'”

TK: So, the Swiss government’s decision-making is more based on emotions than on reason?

JB: It is not the only one, unfortunately. This “management by Twitter” that has the upper hand in the entire Western world at the moment is absolutely inappropriate. It leads to this situation where you react before you know exactly what has happened.

Obviously, things don’t get better as a result. We close the doors. We do not communicate anymore. Diplomacy has stalled. In reality, it is not about solving the problem of “war,” but about eliminating the problem of “Putin.”

TK: Reacting before you know the details is common practice?

JB: Yes, after the missile attack on civilians at the Kramatorsk train station on April 8, the Swiss minister of Foreign Affairs summoned the Russian ambassador. At that time, however, only few details of the attack were known. Nevertheless, the Russians were accused. Today, factual evidence, such as the serial number of the missile, the direction of the launch, the type of missile and the strategy tend to indicate a Ukrainian responsibility. But without an impartial international investigation, a direct accusation of Russia means an endorsement of a possible war crime by Ukraine. That is not the way to run states. The fact that the political leadership is unable to take distance to the events is extremely disturbing.

TK: Without distance, it is probably extremely difficult to judge a situation adequately?

JB: In most cases, we are not able to distinguish between a war crime and “collateral damage.” In large part, this is because the media dictate an answer to us. What was provocation, what was reaction, what is propaganda? We don’t know. Despite everything, we accuse and sanction Russia. But if you want to condemn something, first you need an international and impartial commission of inquiry to find out what happened. What we are doing tends to exclude any possibility of dialogue, and that prevents the formulation of a crisis management strategy.

TK: So, the citizen and the state cannot have the same approach?

JB: The citizen can believe what he wants. What the ordinary citizen thinks is completely up to him. He can mean what he wants about Putin, about Russia. He can hate people if he wants to. But a state and state media cannot afford that.

TK: Why not?

JB: The role of a state is not to express the emotions of its people, but to represent their interests. Ukraine’s interest is to protect its citizens from an aggression. Switzerland’s interest should not be to support a war, but to support achieving a peaceful solution. Switzerland’s role should not be to blame or condemn. Today, Switzerland decided the second largest number of sanctions against Russia, but it didn’t apply any sanction against the US, the UK or Israel. In other words, we accept crimes when they are committed by some, but not when they are committed by others.

It has been known for a long time that Ukrainian militias commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. Switzerland has not condemned them. Currently, many Ukrainian war crimes are beginning to be denounced by Western witnesses and humanitarian workers. Their revelations are censored, like the revelation of Natalia Usmanova, censored by Reuters and Der Spiegel, which tells that it was Ukrainian militias and not Russians who prevented civilians from escaping through humanitarian corridors. By turning a blind eye to them, Switzerland is supporting practices that are prohibited under the Geneva Conventions, of which it is the depositary state.

“Kiev and the West are waging a media war against Russia and the Donbas republics.”

TK: This means that the West is promoting crises?

JB: Yes. In 2014, a similar mechanism was observed. Western “experts” and media downplayed the Ukrainians’ resistance to regime change. It had to be shown that the Maidan revolution was democratic. So, they built the myth of a Ukrainian army that was victorious against the rebels. After the defeat of the government in Donetsk, the excuse of a Russian intervention had to be invented to justify Western propaganda. This is how the first Minsk agreements came about (September 2014). Immediately after, Kiev broke the signed agreement to launch the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO). This led to a second defeat at Debaltsevo and the second Minsk agreement (February 2015). Once again, the Ukrainian defeat was attributed to Russian intervention. Therefore, Western “experts” continue to claim that these agreements were signed between Ukraine and Russia, which is not true. The Minsk Agreement was signed between Kiev and representatives of the self-proclaimed republics of Lugansk and Donetsk.

TK: What is the current assessment of the war situation?

JB: Today we can see that Kiev and the West are waging a media war against Russia and the Donbas republics. Russia, on the other hand, is waging a war on the battlefield. As a result, Ukrainians and the West are stronger in the information war, but Russia and its allies are stronger on the battlefield. Who will win? We don’t know. But what has been observed in Mariupol and the Donbas since mid-April tends to suggest that Ukrainian troops have been “abandoned” by their leadership. This observation is also made by Western volunteers who have left the battlefield due to the shortcomings of the Ukrainian command and are reporting this in the media.

TK: What does this mean specifically regarding Russian war objectives?

JB: Russia started with a limited objective. After that, the decision was made to go further. It wanted to demilitarize the threat over Donbas. Based on the first success, it wanted to start negotiations on the neutrality of Ukraine. This was a new objective, which was defined later. Putin saw a chance to achieve his goal through negotiations. If Ukraine did not accept it, he would adjust the objective accordingly. The Ukrainians don’t want negotiations; so Russia is proceeding incrementally until Ukraine agrees to a negotiated settlement.

“The Russians understand war from a Clausewitzian perspective: war is the continuation of politics by other means.”

TK: What were the original war aims?

JB: On February 24, Putin clearly stated the two war aims: “demilitarization” and “denazification,” to end the threat against the Russian-speaking population in the Donbas. Moreover, Putin stated that he did not seek to take over all of Ukraine. This is exactly what has been observed.

Russians understand war from a Clausewitzian perspective: war is the continuation of politics by other means. Therefore, they move fluidly from one to the other. The idea is to get the Ukrainian side to enter into a negotiation process.

TK: Has Ukraine seriously engaged in a negotiated settlement?

JB: On February 25th, Zelensky hinted that he was ready to negotiate with Russia. The European Union then showed up on February 27th with a 450-million Euro arms package to spur Ukraine to fight. On March 7th, with the goal of “demilitarization” and “denazification” nearly achieved and Ukraine having made no progress in negotiations, Russia added that Kiev must recognize the return of Crimea to Russia and the independence of the two Donbas republics. It made clear that its position could change if Ukraine did not want to negotiate.

TK: Has Ukraine responded to this?

JB: After the capture of Mariupol, the situation in Ukraine weakened, and on March 21st, Zelensky made an offer that was accommodating to Russia. But as in February, the EU came back two days later with a second package of 500-million Euros for weapons. The UK and the US subsequently put pressure on Zelensky to withdraw his offer. Negotiations in Istanbul subsequently stalled. This was a clear indication that de West didn’t want a negotiated solution.

TK: To what extent has Russia changed its goals?

JB: At the end of March, the goal of “denazification” was achieved with the capture of Mariupol and removed it from Russia’s objectives as part of negotiations.

On April 22nd, the Russians adjusted their goal. The Ministry of Defense announced that the new goal was to take control of the southern part of Ukraine up to Transnistria, where the Russian-speaking never felt being well treated.

As can be seen, the Russian strategy adjusts the goals depending on the military situation. What the Russians are actually doing is to turn their operational successes into a strategic success.

TK: Does this mean that the Russian targets reported by the media never existed?

JB: That’s right. Vladimir Putin never said he wanted to take Kiev. He never said he was going to take the city in two days. He never said he wanted to overthrow President Zelensky. He never said he wanted to take over all of Ukraine. He never said he was aiming for a victory on May 9th. He never said he wanted to declare that victory at the May 9th parade. He never said that he wanted to “declare war” on May 9th, in order to trigger a general mobilization.

So, by setting the objectives, the West can now claim Putin did not achieve them. The narrative that Russia is losing the war against Ukraine is based on these claims.

TK: What should come out of the military action at the end?

JB: Of course, we do not know what is going on in Vladimir Putin’s mind. But obviously there is a logic. The West is not making it easier for the Ukrainians, and the Russians are moving ahead. In the near future, we’ll see the Russian coalition “liberating” more territories. Some provinces have already decided to introduce the ruble as currency. So, things are slowly moving towards the “recreation” of some kind of Novorossiya.

TK: What do you mean by “Novorossiya,” and how should it look territorially?

JB: After the abolition of the official language law in 2014, not only the Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts rose up, but the entire Russian-speaking south of Ukraine. As a result, in October 2014, the Unified Forces of Novorossiya were formed, with units from the self-proclaimed Republics of Odessa, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and, of course, Lugansk and Donetsk. Only Lugansk and Donetsk survived. The other “republics” have been brutally suppressed by the Kiev’s paramilitary forces. Today, the Russians are using the revival of the Novorossiya as an incentive for the Ukrainians to go to the negotiation table. If they don’t want, Russia will increase the pressure.

TK: Does Russia have a chance of success in this way?

JB: Nothing is certain. What can be said, however, is that the popular resistance to Russia in the territories it occupies is much weaker than Western experts estimated. Moreover, it is clear that the Ukrainian conduct of operations has not been effective. It seems that the Ukrainian military has lost confidence in its authorities, as it did in 2014.

TK: How do we know this?

JB: The testimonies of Western volunteer fighters who have returned from Ukraine confirm that the Ukrainian leadership is weak. It seems that the Ukrainian leadership itself is a victim of its own propaganda, which overestimates the performance of Ukrainian Forces. One gets the feeling that the political leadership is more satisfied with the messages conveyed by the West than with the actual results on the battlefield. Of course, the Western media uses the civilian and military casualty figures given by Ukraine to claim Ukraine’s victory and Russian upcoming defeat.

TK: What conclusions can we draw from this whole situation?

JB: Western activities will only prolong this war, while leaving no room for negotiations. This is exactly what the EU and Switzerland are doing. They are more part of the problem than of the solution.

TK: German Chancellor Scholz has said very clearly, “Russia must not win the war.” With that, the war will continue?

JB: That is childish. The operational situation shows that Ukraine is in a very difficult situation. I do not know whether Russia will “win” or “lose” this war. But I do know that Ukraine is no longer in a position to win militarily. On the political level, the situation may be different. This is debatable, and the future will tell. From a Western perspective, it is certainly a political defeat for Russia. However, for the rest of the world, this may not be the case. In fact, the new Eurasian bloc that will emerge from this conflict will be a significantly stronger contender for the West. We are used to see the fate of the world revolving around the West. But Asia will probably be the next “center of the world.” By isolating Russia politically from the West, you push it into the Asian bloc. In the long run, this could give Russia an advantage over Europe and the United States.

TK: You said that Ukraine cannot win the war. Is that because it is too weak militarily?

JB: There is almost no Ukrainian military left, so to speak. Most of the Ukrainian army is encircled in the Donbas and is being incrementally neutralized by the Russian coalition. The Ukrainian government just started moving territorial units from the west of the country to the Donbas. This has increased tensions, especially in the areas of the Hungarian and Romanian minorities, whose people do not appear keen to fight against the Russians. We see demonstrations of mothers and wives in the west of the country and in Kiev.

TK: Obviously, Western countries behave as if they do not want peace. No one urges caution. Before anything is known for sure, conclusions are drawn, condemnations are made, weapons are supplied. The war is kept alive. What do you think of the announced increase in arms deliveries?

JB: Regarding weapons, there are several things to consider. First, feeding a war and thus keeping it alive is not the job of the international community. By international community, I mean primarily organizations like the UN or the EU. Whether a country pursues this policy like the U.S. or Poland, that is their decision. But the purpose of an international organization is not to support international conflicts.

“Weapons disappear before they reach the front lines.”

JB: Second, it is not known where the delivered weapons actually go. Even U.S. intelligence agencies admit they don’t know. However, it is clear that all these weapons disappear before they arrive at the front. There are reports of a rise in crime in Kiev. In fact, Western countries are fueling what the Global Organized Crime Index calls “one of the largest arms trade markets in Europe.”

TK: So, what do the weapons bring to Ukraine?

JB: That’s the third aspect to look at. The weapons don’t help anything. The arms deliveries are based on the myth that Ukraine will win the war and Russia will lose. This idea is the result of the fact that the West has determined the objective of the Russians. Zelensky is demanding additional weapons because the Ukrainian army has already lost hundreds of battle tanks and artillery pieces. The few dozen supplied by the West will not change the situation. As in 2014, the main problem of the Ukrainian armed forces is not the determination of the soldiers, but the incompetence of the staff.

TK: How can Ukraine finance these weapons, or will the supplier states bear the cost out of solidarity?

JB: The weapons are provided to Ukraine on the basis of the “Lend-Lease” Law. This is a form of “leasing” that was introduced at the beginning of World War II to supply weapons to United Kingdom and the USSR. In other words, Ukraine will have to pay back for the weapons it receives. Just to give an idea, Great Britain and Russia ended the payment of their World War II debts to the USA in the year—2006!

Moreover, Ukraine is accumulating huge debts to international financial institutions (such as the IMF and the World Bank). The paradox is that, because of Western rhetoric about a country that is doing well and on the verge of defeating Russia, these institutions are reluctant to cancel its debt.

TK: So, the weapons supplied and the volunteer foreign fighters have no impact on the course of the war?

JB: They have only limited impact. Remember that, in Afghanistan the Taliban were able to prevail against the Western forces even though they were much more powerful. The Afghans had almost no heavy weapons, at most small arms. Neither the number of weapons nor their quality is decisive for victory. The biggest weakness of the Ukrainian armed forces is leadership.

TK: Why is that?

JB: The Ukrainian military leadership is bad because it is not able to integrate all parameters needed for planning and conducting battles. It makes the same mistakes as NATO forces in Afghanistan. This is not surprising, since the latter train the former. Besides, you have to master these weapons to get the most out of them tactically. They were developed for professional soldiers trained for months, not for casual soldiers trained in two weeks. That is completely unrealistic.

“The weapons that are being supplied to Ukraine have no military effect.”

TK: Do I understand you correctly—the efficiency of these delivered weapons is very low and leads to more destruction in Ukraine?

JB: The weapons being delivered, some of which are obsolete, will not affect significantly Russian operations or give an edge to the Ukrainian forces. They will only attract Russian fire to certain areas. For example, Slovakia has supplied Ukraine with the S-300 air defense system, which, as far as I know, has been moved to the vicinity of Nikolaev. Within a very short time it was destroyed by the Russians. The Russians know very well where this equipment is, and where the weapons depots are. In Zaporizhzhia were stored brand new weapons from the West. The Russians destroyed the depot with a missile, with pinpoint accuracy. The weapons delivered to Ukraine have no military impact on the course of the war.

A few howitzers are ineffective because the Russians can destroy them very fast. The Ukrainians, of course, have to get these systems to the front as quickly as possible. They have to do that by rail. The Ukrainians have electric railroads in the western part of the country. The Russians destroyed most of the electric substations of the network and the main railroads. Today, no electric locomotives are running on the network anymore. As a result, they have to bring weapons, such as tanks, to the “frontline” by road, one by one, using transporters. The problem is that these destructions affect not only military logistics, but also the economic life of the country.

TK: How did Russia react to these arms deliveries?

JB: It should be noted that before the Western arms deliveries, the Russians did not attack the railroad network. If the goal is to totally destroy Ukraine, then you have to do exactly what the West is doing now. If that is what we want. Whether it is what the West wants or not, I don’t know. But if this is the goal, this is the way to go.

Also, it is said that Russia currently has the largest inventory of Javelin missiles in the world. I don’t know if that is true, but it suggests that a large part of the weapons supplied by the West are not getting to Ukrainian fighters.

TK: The Gepard tank that the Germans want to supply has been decommissioned in the Bundeswehr. There is also no more ammunition for it in the Bundeswehr stocks. Isn’t that a point you mentioned earlier?

JB: The Gepard is an antiaircraft tank based on the chassis of the Leopard 1 main battle tank. It is a vehicle whose development goes back to the 1970s. It is a good weapon system, but it is no longer suited to modern threats. A weapon system also means logistics, maintenance and special training for the crews and mechanics. Furthermore, to be effective, such a system must be integrated into a command-and-control system. However, all of this cannot be accomplished in a matter of weeks. Basically, these weapon systems only draw Russian fire.

“A British volunteer fighter who returned from Ukraine speaks of the fighters sent to the front as ‘cannon fodder.'”

TK: Do Western countries have any hope that all this will help accomplish something?

JB: One thing is for sure—it doesn’t do anything. The British made a study of the weapons they had supplied to the Ukrainians. The results are extremely weak, and disappointing. They realized their weapons systems are too complicated, and the Ukrainian soldiers cannot operate them because they are not sufficiently trained. As for volunteer fighters, the picture is also disappointing. A British volunteer fighter who returned from Ukraine speaks of “cannon fodder,” of the fighters sent to the front. The British themselves realized that it was a waste of life and resources. That is why Boris Johnson started back-pedaling, after urging young people to fight in Ukraine. So, everything that is being done only serves to continue the war, without bringing a solution, or decisively winning over Russia. It only leads to the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure.

TK: So, it is not a matter of helping the Ukrainian army?

JB: In theory, yes. In practice, no. Ukraine already has enormous logistical problems with its troops in the Donbas. It can hardly supply them with weapons and ammunition. And now they are creating a new problem with weapons that cannot be repaired. The mechanics are not trained to do this, nor are the crews trained to operate the equipment. Moreover, in the systems supplied by the West, the instructions and user manuals are in German, English or French, but not in Ukrainian. This sounds so trivial, but it is a problem.

That is why I say Germany also wants to stoke the crisis. This is the attitude of German politicians like Scholz, Baerbock, etc. They want to fight Putin “to the last Ukrainian.” That makes no sense.

TK: But if it is so obvious, why is the West going this way?

JB: I maintain that the West is using Ukraine against Russia. The goal is not to help Ukraine, but to fight Putin. In the English-language media, many analysts confirm that the West is waging a war against Russia through Ukraine. This is called a “proxy war.” This is the point. We are not helping Ukraine. Everything else is a lie. If I were Ukrainian, I would condemn Putin as much as Ursula von der Leyen or even Ignazio Cassis. Because instead of playing a mediating role, these politicians are satisfying their own ambitions by fueling the war in an unhealthy way.

TK: Guterres has let it be known that the war would stop, if Russia would stop the war.

JB: A war always has two parties, and in our case there are even three. We have Russia, Ukraine, and the so-called international community, that is, the Western world. It is clear that if the war is to be ended, it needs both parties, not just one. To this end, negotiations are underway in Turkey, but they are not really moving forward. Why has Ukraine withdrawn its own proposals? So, it is clear, the solution is not only on the Russian side.

TK: One has the impression that history is repeating itself.

JB: Yes, today we are in a similar situation as in 2014. The West does not want to talk to Putin because he is a dictator, and the West urges Zelensky not to make any concessions. Dialogue is therefore impossible. The problem is that Russia achieves operational success and increases its gains when there are no negotiations. The West hides behind the illusion of a Ukrainian victory. But the likelihood of it occurring is diminishing as time goes on, even though on a strategic and media level Russia appears to have lost.

TK: What should Ukraine have done?

JB: One only has to read the Minsk agreements to understand that their implementation essentially depends on constitutional reforms in Ukraine. These reforms, however, require dialogue with the autonomists. Kiev, however, has never taken these steps, and the West has never tried to get the Ukrainian authorities to do so.

What happened since 2014, happened because of Ukraine’s behavior. These agreements are not implemented, and the situation got worse and worse. That led to today’s situation; and this is a result of the previous history; the things that went on before.

TK: France and Germany were the guarantors of the Minsk agreements. What have they done to ensure that these agreements are implemented?

JB: The failure of the Western states is blatant. Ukrainians themselves have invented a new word. It is called “Macronize.” It means “doing everything to look worried, showing that to everyone, but doing nothing.” This sums up Western behavior.

No, the Western states have not taken up their responsibility in any way. Russia has now reacted to an armed conflict that has been going on since 2014 and started with the abolition of the official language law in February 2014. European states did nothing to bring peace. That is why Putin does not want to talk about war, because the war started in 2014. With the Minsk agreements, a solution was found. That is the situation. Guterres is a politician—and the problem is, we don’t have any space in the UN or in our country for politicians to express a balanced opinion. This is exactly as when George W. Bush said, “Whoever is not with us is against us.” We are exactly in that situation today—and there is no space in between at all; there is only good or evil.

TK: Are these developments intentional?

JB: The whole conflict is the result of a scenario carefully worked out by the West. Its basic components were laid out in 2019 in two papers published by the RAND Corporation, the Pentagon think tank, entitled, Overextending and Unbalancing Russia and Extending Russia. These describe the sequence of events that led to the Russian offensive in February 2022. In addition to that, promises were made to Ukraine that it would become a member of NATO if it instigated a war that led to Russia’s defeat, as Oleksiy Arestovych explained in an interview with a Ukrainian television station in March 2019. In fact, Ukrainians were lied to, as Zelensky noted on CNN on March 21, 2022.

As a matter of fact, the Russians knew for a long time that this confrontation would occur. That is why they prepared for it militarily and economically. This explains why they are withstanding the sanctions and pressure better than expected. This is also the reason why the West is using its imagination to elaborate new sanctions or new methods to impose them, such as abandoning the principle of unanimity in the EU. We have entered a phase of “cockfighting” between the West and Russia. As a result, the problem is that international institutions are no longer fulfilling their role as arbiters, but have become parties to the conflict.

TK: But then the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize a few years ago. Where is the commitment to peace?

JB: Obama got it, too. And Obama was the American president who kept his country at war from the first day of his mandate to the last. He started three wars, and the number of air strikes increased tenfold compared to his predecessor. I don’t think anybody takes the Nobel Prize seriously anymore at this point. It is purely political.

TK: Mr. Baud, thank you for talking to us.

Overcoming Idols: A Conversation with Wayne Cristaudo

In this episode of More Christ, Wayne Cristaudo discusses his criticism of the roles of pride and abstraction in the modern world; how our proclivity to succumb to idolatry is at the root of what he calls ‘idea-ism’ and ideology; the primacy of contingent encounters and the Holy Spirit in his own life; and the thinkers he loves.

More Christ is a channel created by Mark Connolly, which is devoted to dialogue about the world, the cosmos, and how the Christian life and the surprises of the Spirit lead to the flourishing of life. The show’s thematics are Christian, its reach universal.

Featured image: “Phoenix,” Aberdeen Bestiary, 12th century.

A Stepping-Stone out of the Cave: An Interview with Daria Dugin

Here is a fascinating interview with Daria Dugin, the daughter of the philosopher Alexander Dugin. The conversation is wide-ranging and serves to contextualize what is currently happening in the world, namely, the struggle between globalist hegemony and multipolar alliances. This interview is made available through the kind courtesy of Breizh-Info.

Breizh-info (BI): Would you introduce yourself to our readers? Isn’t it difficult for you sometimes to bear the name of Dugin, and thus to be necessarily assimilated to your father?

Daria Dugin (DD): I graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at Moscow State University with a degree in the history of philosophy. My research focused on the political philosophy of late Neoplatonism, a subject of endless interest. The main line of thought in the political philosophy of the late Neoplatonists is the development of the idea of an omology of the soul and the state and the existence of a similar threefold order in both. Just as there are three bases in the soul, so in the state (and the Platonists describe the Indo-European model, later perfectly theorized in the work of Georges Dumézil) there are also three domains—this model manifests itself in antiquity and the Middle Ages. The existential and psychic understanding of politics is in fact lost in many ways today. We are used to seeing politics only as a technique. But Platonism reveals a deep link between political and psychic processes. There is an urgent need today to restore such a comprehensive view of political processes; that is, to examine “existential politics.”

Daria Dugin.

I am honored to be in the same boat as my father (on the same existential ship), being the daughter of a great researcher of the Tradition, author of the 24-volume work Noomachia (“wars of the mind”—an analysis through the three logos of all the cultures of the world). The fact that we are under sanctions from the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom is also a symbol that we, Dugins, are on the path of truth in the fight against globalism. Therefore, I would say that it is an honor to be born in such a family.

BI: Tell us about your current work?

DD: I am a political observer of the International Eurasist Movement and an expert in international relations. My field of activity is the analysis of European politics as well as geopolitics. In this capacity, I appear on Russian, Pakistani, Turkish, Chinese and Indian television channels, presenting a multipolar world-view of political processes.

My areas of interest are both the European civilization space and the Middle East, where a kind of conservative revolution is taking place—from Iran’s constant confrontation with American hegemony or Syria’s struggle against Western imperialism, to Turkey, which is now showing interesting tendencies to move away from NATO and the Anglo-Saxon geopolitical bloc and is trying to build its foreign policy on a multipolar basis, engaging in a dialogue with the Eurasian civilization. I think it is important to follow the processes in the Middle East region; it is one of the stages of the struggle against imperialism.

On the other hand, I am also very interested in African countries; they represent “The Other” for Europe and Russia, from the analysis of which one can better understand his own civilization. Africa has always been an element of dream for Europeans as well as for Russians—remember Arthur Rimbaud’s Journey to Abyssinia and Harrar, or the Russian poet Nikolai Goumilev, who was inspired by Rimbaud (“African Diary”) and a series of poems about Africa, in which he actually reveals Africa as an unexplored civilization, full of meaning, which Western colonialism cruelly tried to undo and destroy. Today, tectonic shifts are occurring on the African continent, and the confrontation of civilizations: Western and authentically African (so different and unique) is extremely interesting.

For me, a particularly important topic is the development of the theory of a multipolar world. It is clear that the globalist moment is over. The end of liberalism is now at hand—the end of liberal history. At the same time, it is extremely important to understand that a new stage full of challenges, provocations and complexities has begun. The process of creating multipolarity, of structuring civilizational blocs and establishing a dialogue between them is the main task of all intellectuals today. Samuel Huntington, as a realist of international relations, has rightly warned against the risks of a clash of civilizations. Fabio Petito, a specialist in international relations, stressed that the construction of a “dialogue of civilizations” is the central task and “the only way forward.”

Thus, in order to consolidate the multipolar world, the border areas (intermediaries) between civilizations must be treated with care. All conflicts take place at the borders (intermediate zones) of civilizations, where attitudes clash. It is therefore essential to develop a “border” (intermediate) mindset, if the multipolar world is to function fully and move from a “clash” to a “dialogue” of civilizations. Without this, there is a risk of a “clash.”

BI: What is your view on the war in Ukraine? And on the reactions in the West and in the world?

DD: The situation in Ukraine is precisely an example of a clash of civilizations; it can be seen as a clash of globalist and Eurasian civilizations. After the “great geopolitical catastrophe” (as the Russian president called the collapse of the USSR), the territories of the once-united country became “frontiers” (intermediate zones)—those spaces to which the attention of neighbors increased, with NATO and especially the United States interested in destabilizing the situation on Russia’s borders.

In the 1990s, consistent work was initiated with the frameworks of the new governments, of the new states. Ukraine is no exception. The 2014 events in Ukraine, the Maidan, supported so fervently by both Nuland and the famous Bernard-Henri Levy (soldier of ultra-globalization), were a turning point; in fact, they opened the door to the establishment of a direct globalist dictate over Ukraine. Moreover, liberal and nationalist elements, which were more or less neutral before 2014, joined a united front with a globalist and pro-American agenda. For eight years in Ukraine, Russophobia was cultivated by various programs and history was rewritten, until the physical massacre of Russians—the same eibght terrible years for the Donbass with daily bombings. The French public can listen to the documentary filmmaker Anne Laure Bonnel, witness of these eight years in Donetsk, who is not afraid to tell the truth in her films and interviews.

The unanimous support of the West for Ukraine in 2022, the supply of weapons on an unthinkable scale—all this looks like agony—the agony of a globalist regime that is beginning to lose ground to multipolarity. For me, the most important pain is that Europe has succumbed to the influence of globalist propaganda, and instead of remaining neutral, has sided with the war. In many ways, this was certainly the plan of the United States, which had so systematically and continuously provoked the entire conflict by pumping weapons into Ukraine. From the U.S. alone (according to Transparency International), over $658 million was invested in aid to Ukraine between 2014 and 2017.

At the same time, we see that Latin American countries, the Middle East, China and India have not adopted a globalist position. Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro said his country “firmly” adheres to Russia’s position. In Cuba, people were seen carrying Russian flags and Z-symbols during a demonstration on May 1, as mentioned by the German channel ZDF. Argentina has accused the West of having double standards. The country’s vice-president, Cristina Kirchner, said the country was in conflict with London over the Falkland Islands. In Brazil, presidential candidate Lula da Silva said in turn that Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky was responsible for what was happening in his country. China spoke out against NATO expansion and U.S. provocations. India tried to maintain its strategic neutrality (in the 1990s, India itself was the target of painful U.S. and Western sanctions for refusing to join the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty)—the country whose oxygen the West sought to cut off and deprive of high technology, then stood its ground (largely through cooperation with Russia, which did not join the sanctions and advocated their abolition).

A number of Middle Eastern countries supported Russia’s special military operation (Syria, a long-time Russian ally, knows the battle against globalism better than anyone). There are growing calls for NATO withdrawal in Turkey, and the president refused to approve the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO.

Many African countries, especially those with strong antiglobalist sentiment, have not supported Western criticism of Russia (Mali, Sudan, CAR, Zimbabwe, Republic of Congo, Eritrea). These reactions indicate the end of the myth of a “single world space.” Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine has accelerated the formation of a multipolar world and catalyzed many geopolitical processes.

BI: Don’t you think that Russia is isolating itself? What do you think will be the consequences of all this?

DD: I think it is the opposite. Russia is finding new partners and the processes of sovereignty (e.g., economic de-dollarization) are starting to accelerate. Russia is trying to be “punished” by Western countries through sanctions. But the effect on the Russian economy is not very noticeable (“International sanctions against Russia do not seem to impact the daily life of Muscovites,” a journalist mentions in a report by BFM TV). The sanction-policy of the West has been a catalyst for the search for new partners and the de-Westernization of our country.

At the same time, these sanctions have hit European countries hard, becoming a kind of “hara-kiri” for many European economies. This is very disturbing news. But apparently that was also part of the American plot to destabilize the European continent. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Budapest does not support the imposition of ill-considered sanctions against Russia. “Sanctions against Russia are like an atomic bomb; they could lead us not only to not being able to feed our population but also to receiving a mass of migrants at the border,” said the Hungarian Prime Minister.

New blocs have emerged. “Developing countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Brazil and others that refused to take sides, following Western sanctions against Russia, should consider ways to strengthen their economic coordination to withstand further shocks from the West. It is important to note that developing countries should seek a solution through financial and trade cooperation,” wrote a reporter for China’s Global Times. These are very interesting geopolitical processes. So, Russia has not been a victim of isolation—it has been the pioneer of a multipolar world order.

BI: How does the Russian population react to this war, which has obviously already caused a lot of losses on the Russian side?

DD: Any military operation always involves losses. It should be noted that the figures provided by Ukrainian sources (and they are the ones that are broadcast in the Western media) are not correct and should be verified. We are facing a situation of information war in which everything from military reports to figures is politicized.

In the Western media, there is unfortunately hardly any alternative view of events. In 2016, Ofpra produced a dossier on Pravy Sektor (“Right Sector”), an ultra-Ukrainian group: “Pravy Sektor is subject to allegations of anti-Semitism and xenophobia, homophobic demonstrations, illegal detentions and other abuses of power. It created an armed militia, the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps, which was involved in the conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass. Tensions between the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps and the authorities continued until the Corps was integrated into the regular armed forces.”

Those who were looked at with suspicion in 2016, have become heroes in 2022. The wives of the fighters of Azov (a group responsible for the cruel murders of Russians in Donbass) meet the Pope in the Vatican. It is very strange that something that seemed forbidden only two years ago has become mainstream in Europe. Or the meeting of BHL with Marchenko, the former head of the Russophobic and xenophobic radical battalion Aydar (a terrorist organization banned in Russia).

Today, liberalism goes hand-in-hand with xenophobia and Nazism. This is a paradox. But it can be explained if we understand the “totalitarian nature” of modern liberalism. This is the subject of manipulation of information and data.

As for the reaction of the Russians, the overwhelming majority supports the special military operation. In their eyes, it is an understandable defense of Russia’s geopolitical interests and a fight against Russophobia, because a regime has formed in Kiev that denies Russians the right to self-determination (language, culture, identity) and existence. Some elements of society immediately left the country after the outbreak of hostilities—they went to the United States, Europe and Israel. Significantly, Anatoly Chubais, former head of the Russian presidential administration and one of the ideologues and leaders of economic reforms in Russia in the 1990s, left the country. In the 1990s, the Patriotic Front called him a “traitor” and responsible for Russia’s economic difficulties. This is symbolic. There are such cases, for sure.

Everyone around me supports the special military operation, not only in words, but also, for many, in deeds, providing humanitarian aid to refugees and the region. Moreover, they have not only been doing so for the last few months, but for many years—over the same eight years that the West knows so little about.

BI: As a journalist, what do you think about the censorship of RT in the European Union, or of Sputnik, and the silence (if not approval) of a majority of European journalists?

DD: This is an unprecedented case of violation of the “freedom of expression.” Freedom of expression implies the possibility of different points of view, sometimes unpalatable to the authorities. RT and Sputnik are not instruments of Russian propaganda, but platforms for discussion. I watched many programs of RT France, and they were interesting because they included experts with an alternative point of view to that of the mainstream media. The fact that journalists in Europe did not react in any way to these blockades shows the “totalitarian” nature of the entire Western media world. This is very sad. Let’s hope that the re-information media will remain active and will hasten the destruction of the disinformation block.

BI: In France, the economic consequences are already being felt (notably the increase in gas prices). How can a vicious circle be avoided?

DD: The anti-Russian sanctions are beginning to drain the European economy. Le Pen, during the debate with Macron, rightly called them “hara-kiri” for the French economy. But let’s think—who needs a weakened Europe? Afflicted after COVID, weakened by anti-Russian sanctions, Europe will have to focus all its forces on the issue of rescuing its own economy. In such a situation the beneficiaries are the USA, which will manage to establish its control over the continent.

An independent Rimland is unacceptable for the Anglo-Saxon civilization. The growing anti-American and anti-NATO sentiment (in France, note, Mélanchon, Le Pen, Zemmour and many other candidates have actively criticized France’s membership in NATO and called for an almost Gaullist scenario of 1966) is a threat to the world domination of the USA. Therefore, the idea of anti-Russian sanctions was implemented with the self-serving aim of weakening the region. The EU elites have acted as intermediaries, proxies of the globalists in this enterprise, and have dealt a blow to the welfare of peoples and European populations.

BI: A final word?

DD: I urge all readers to think critically and question the reports published by the media. If the Western liberal elites insist so much on supporting Kiev and demonizing Moscow, it is because there is a profit logic behind it. Everything must be questioned. This is an important principle that allows us to keep a sober eye.

In a society of spectacle, of propaganda and of the totalitarian nature of Western systems, doubt is a fundamental stepping-stone to get out of the cave.

Featured image: “Plato’s Cave (Study for a Monument),” by Tom Hopkins; painted in 1986.

Antoine Arjakovsky: An Ecumenical Metaphysics

Antoine Arjakovsky directs the Politics and Religion Department at the Collège des Bernardins in Paris. He is also Director Emeritus of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University.

His research focuses in particular on Russian religious philosophy (Bulgakov, Berdyaev, Shestov), as well as on issues of the theology of politics, such as democracy, justice and fraternity (Votez Fraternité ! Trente propositions pour une société plus juste [Vote Fraternity! Thirty Propositions for a more Just Society]). He has just published Éssai de métaphysique œcuménique [Essay on Ecumenical Metaphysics]. in which he analyzes our troubled times and, above all, proposes a new epistemology based on ecumenical science.

This conversation comes through the kind courtesy of PHILITT. [Translated from the French by N. Dass]

PHILITT (PL): In the introduction to your book, you begin by making an observation. Contrary to those who say that our world is going well, and that the impression of the contrary is only a distortion effect, proper to a Western consciousness that has always been haunted by the idea of decadence, you affirm that, on the contrary, our societies are facing a “poly-crisis.”

Antoine Arjakovsky (AA): Yes, but it is not to be a great prophet to note this. You just have to look at the many reports of the United Nations or the IPCC on this subject. For example, the latest Oxfam report published in January 2022 explains that the health pandemic has considerably increased social inequalities in France and in the world. The top five wealthiest people in France have doubled their wealth since the beginning of the pandemic. They by themselves own as much as the poorest 40% in France. Since March 2020, the world counts a new billionaire every 26 hours, while at the same time 160 million people have fallen into poverty.

Antoine ArjakovskyDR.

Everything that formed a coherent whole in the 1990s has disintegrated in less than twenty years. There is, of course, the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis, with the dramatic consequences that we know about, with the coronavirus pandemic. But there is also the crisis of international relations, the rise of social violence, etc. Some consider that these crises have always existed, that there has always been war, violence and injustice. But the truth is that these inequalities and the devastation of forests and oceans have taken on proportions unknown in the past. Add to this the progression, at the speed of a galloping horse, of the postmodern paradigm within most political or media elites—that is to say, of a worldview according to which there is no truth but only interpretations—then you understand why this poly-crisis is deep, long-lasting and, to put it bluntly, quite worrying.

PL: One could use the come-back that this triple economic, ecological and philosophical crisis is purely conjunctural, linked to certain contemporary mutations of the market, of technology and of ways of thinking, and that the system will eventually resolve it.

AA: The current poly-crisis has deep causes, which have to do with the fact that postmodern thinking deprives man of the spiritual energy that would allow him to truly act on the world. Indeed, in such thinking, only the individual can have sufficient resources to survive and transform a world characterized by its power relations, its senselessness and its violence. But this obviously is not the case. On the contrary, we can see that this conception renders man completely powerless. It is time to recover the elementary truth that budgets are moral documents. This is the guarantee that new public policies are possible in order to build not, according to the vision of the Moderns, a sovereign and all-powerful State, but, in a more spiritual way, a State at the service of fraternity.

PL: If I follow you, since the crisis originated in a worldview and epistemology that is both utilitarian and individualistic, its solution can only be to return to a more spiritual epistemology.

AA: Alongside the postmodern paradigm, there is another crystallization of consciousness, which can be called spiritual, that was carried into the 20th century by very different thinkers such as Nicholas Berdyaev and Kate Raworth, Victor Frankl and Karol Wojtyla (later John Paul II). This challenged not only the classical and modern worldview but also its postmodern conception.

I will take here only the example of the realization of the Austrian and Jewish psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. On October 19, 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz by the Nazis. On his return from deportation, he gave a famous lecture in Vienna in which he explained that modern psychoanalysis failed to understand the world because of a faulty epistemology:

“Having an atomistic, energetic and mechanistic concept of Man, psychoanalysis sees him in the last analysis as the automaton of a psychic apparatus. And it is precisely there that the existential analysis intervenes. It opposes a different concept of man to the psychoanalytical concept. It does not focus on the automaton of a psychic apparatus but rather on the autonomy of spiritual existence. ‘Spiritual’ is used here without any religious connotation, of course, but rather simply to indicate that we are dealing with a specifically human phenomenon, unlike the phenomena we share with other animals. In other words, the spiritual is what is human in man.”

This shift in consciousness from a postmodern conception to a spiritual worldview has occurred in an often discrete way in just about every discipline in the 20th and 21st centuries. Today agnostic philosophers, such as Dany Robert Dufour for example, do not hesitate to trace manifestations of the spirit in the life of the world back to the metaphysical and theological figure of the Trinity. Here is the conclusion of one of his recent conferences at the Collège des Bernardins: “I am an atheist betting on a new ecumenism (convivialism) and invoking the Trinity to ward off the devil.”

PL: This new spiritual worldview must, according to you, be developed in what you call an “ecumenical metaphysics.” However, this term seems at first sight to be difficult to understand. In fact, the term “metaphysics” does not have a very good press today, and since Kant it has been associated with the idea of an outdated or even misguided philosophy.

AA: It is urgent to get out of the current schizophrenia of the university which consists in separating the two spheres of belief and rationality. Kant himself, in The Conflict of Faculties, was opposed to such a division. He, the philosopher of pure reason, explained at the end of his life that he was also a Lutheran believer who would like to be able to converse with theologians. The misfortune was that in his time theological rationality was entirely dependent on political power. Today, we are no longer in that situation. On the contrary, we can see how much theological rationality and philosophical rationality have to say to each other in the same way that the Catholic faith has understood that it could be enriched by contact with the Protestant and Orthodox faith. Hence the interest for me to think today about the bases of an ecumenical metaphysics capable of thinking together the universal and the personal, but also the real world and the spiritual world.

In reality, ecumenical metaphysics is a global vision of the world that seeks to understand all reality and to participate in it. Here the term “ecumenical” is understood as the Kingdom of God that comes to earth whenever human beings actualize divine justice. This conception of universality becomes personal and communal. It also breaks down the ancient representation of space-time. History is neither cyclical nor a long empty corridor. It has a vertical meaning, one might say. The kingdom of God on earth is fullness in spirit and truth. This is why I explain in my book that Wilhelm Visser’t Hooft was right when he explained in his book The Meaning of Ecumenical that there is a somewhat forgotten meaning to the term “ecumenical—that of a universality that gives access to reality in a meta-confessional, meta-religious and meta-convictional way. From the Christian point of view, this can be perfectly justified by the fact that Christ himself announced to his disciples: “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself” (Jn 12:32). But, of course, this personal sense of universality must also be understood in its sapiential dimension, its dimension of wisdom.

PL: You have said on many occasions that this ecumenical metaphysics must be “sapiential,” but also “personalist.”

AA: For Aristotle, metaphysics had to be katholou; that is to say, it had to be capable of taking the whole thing. Metaphysics, when it rediscovers its spiritual sources, in a sapiential and personalist way, becomes fully ecumenical. It is a question of holding together in its entirety God, the world and the human being as a thinker. This is why it is necessary to understand the individual in his infinite dignity as a person, both microcosm and macrocosm. It is also a question of rediscovering the intuitions of figures as different as the author of the Book of Proverbs, of Rumi, of Paracelsus or of Shankara in order to grasp the being in all its sapiential depth, which is at the same time unobjectifiable yet nonetheless describable. This leads to a non-dual understanding of the world, as in the Eastern religions but also in the great Western mystics.

This metaphysics, because it poses a tension between the created and the uncreated world, makes it possible to reconcile four major understandings of truth in the history of philosophy: truth as correspondence between the thing and the intellect (Aristotle); truth as fidelity to a promise (Augustine); truth as coherence between what one says and what one does (Rescher); and finally truth as consensus between the members of a community (Peirce). This existential and “in tension” conception of truth is opposed in this sense to the voluntarist vision of truth, dominant today, which conceives it only as that which functions in relation to what is (Bacon); that is to say in a technocentric way, which leads to the transhumanist utopia, as Franck Damour has shown well.

PL: This ecumenical metaphysics appears to be a culmination of your work, in particular that of Russian religious philosophers, such as Berdyaev, Bulgakov or Chestov, whom you quote extensively in your book.

AA: The Russian religious thinkers of the 20th century, such as Nicolai Berdyaev, Sergei Bulgakov or Lev Shestov were among the first to understand that it was possible to understand the universal as a personal and symbolic reality. These thinkers knew German thought very well, from Kant to Marx. They understood with Nietzsche that the modern metaphysics that separated the domain of “why” (which was reserved for special metaphysics) from the domain of “how” (which was reserved for general metaphysics) was absurd. They recognized with Heidegger that Western rationalist thought had enclosed being in objectifying concepts, and that it was henceforth a question of recovering all the depth and all the freedom of it.

For the Russian religious thinkers, although they did not always go to the end of their intuitions, it is appropriate to associate the logic of the subject as Person (Berdyaev), the logic of the verb as Wisdom (Bulgakov), and finally the logic of the predicate as self-consciousness (Shestov). This post-idealist and post-phenomenological worldview has the great merit of renewing metaphysics, as soon as one grasps the complementarity between these thoughts, as I try to show in my book.

Thus, for example, Shestov showed how rational thought was, since Aristotle, based on the principles of identity, non-contradiction and the excluded third. This meant that all reality was equal to itself, that one could not say one thing and its opposite and that there was no third term that was both A and non-A. Rational binary thought, based on these principles, relied on the adequacy between the thing and the intellect to understand the world. And it defined “proof” as the explanation of a phenomenon by its universalizable repetition.

But this is a vision of the world which the different religious traditions, from the East and the West, say is a form of naivety with respect to the non-dual organization of reality. Man, who has however an infinite dignity, must in this rationalist conception submit to the order and to the appearance that the phenomena want to give of themselves. It is, according to Shestov, a form of passivity which leads to fatalism or to war. This form of thinking leads to a priori judgments which force to understand all reality as an abstract and uniform thing. It consequently denies to think truth as the fruit of a personal experience.

Featured image: “The Last Supper,” by the Master of the Amsterdam Death of the Virgin; painted ca. 1485-1500.

Christopher Lasch: Historical Continuity and Memory

The American historian and sociologist Christopher Lasch (1932-1994) expressed his distrust of the ideology of progress in the context of the New Deal. His works analyzed in particular the new mentality generated by the consumer society (The Culture of Narcissism, 1979), or the rupture between the people and the elites (The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy, 1994). In Christopher Lasch face au progrès (L’Escargot), journalist Laurent Ottavi provides keys to understanding this complex and unclassifiable thinker.

This interview is made available through the kind courtesy of PHILITT. (Translated from the French by N. Dass).

PHILITT (PL): Christopher Lasch made the “ideology of progress” his primary target. In the post-war American context, what exactly does this mean?

Laurent Ottavi (LO): For Lasch, the “ideology of progress” is modern liberalism—the political philosophy of capitalism, born in the writings of Adam Smith and his immediate predecessors. It is based on the promise of a satisfaction of the desires of individuals, held to be insatiable, by the unlimited increase of production. Its fulfillment requires the liberation from particular frameworks of belonging (family, neighborhood, nation, etc.), traditions, nature and morality that set limits to individual desiderata. In this way, an ever-perfected earthly paradise of abundance and enjoyment is born.

Lasch began his research in the post-World War II era, at a time when American capitalism was centered on the consumer, to the detriment of the producer, which the New Deal had greatly contributed to—while power was increasingly in the hands of experts and multinationals—resulting in a serious democratic collapse. This was coupled with a fracture, which began a few decades ago but was unprecedented in its magnitude, between the “elites” and a people considered backward, clinging to their traditions and work ethic and deploring the collapse of legitimate and identified authority.

PL: Does his anti-progressivism necessarily make him a conservative or reactionary thinker?

LO: The reactionary is only the mirror image of the progressive. The former idolizes a past frozen in an eternal perfection, while the latter sees in the past centuries only, with the lesser good to be wiped away. The conservatives, on the other hand, have according to Lasch, a right conscience of the inescapable limits posed on human freedom by nature, the past or History. The historian also rejects the idea that conservatives are necessarily authoritarian, centralizing and unequal. Instead, they identify the need for social structures that discipline individual appetites and the importance of separating powers that might otherwise quickly be monopolized by one man.

Laurent Ottavi.

Conservatives, Lasch adds, know that respect and love are for particular individuals, accountable to each other, and not the result of invoking “universal brotherhood” or “tolerance” that locks people into welfare or victimhood. That being said, Lasch criticizes conservatives for having too often confused the acceptance of limits with submission to the authority in place and, above all, for having adhered to the ideology of Progress that destroys communities, morals and traditions to which they claim to be so attached. If he is not fully a conservative and even less a reactionary, Lasch describes himself best as a populist.

PL: The figure of Narcissus, thematized by Lasch, is a degraded version of Prometheus, “archetype of liberal modernity and its ideal of autonomy.” What characterizes the culture of narcissism?

LO: The culture of narcissism is the product of a capitalism freed from the corsets that hindered it since its beginnings. Drawing lessons from the Frankfurt School thinkers, Lasch judges that all society reproduces itself in the individual, in particular through the family. He identifies the narcissistic psychology of the new generic man, obsessed with the survival of his own person, in the age of mass capitalism.

In a world where insatiable desires collide with the wall of reality, which is close enough for great catastrophes to strike us but too far away to act on it, individuals have defense mechanisms similar to those of the child developing a narcissistic personality. The latter denies the distressing reality of the separation between him and beings that cannot satisfy all his desires. He then takes refuge in a painless union and in ecstasy with the mother or lends his parents the power to satisfy all his desires and imposes them on everyone.

At the level of a society, this translates, in the first case, into the search for a regressive symbiosis with the world typical of transgenderism, of the New Age, or of an ecology divinizing nature. In the second case, it is expressed by a desire to remake the world in one’s own image, such as the desire to exert absolute control through technology in spite of nature and biology. Without practical experience of the world, the psychological man of our time also abdicates the possibility of forging an individuality because that requires the consideration of limits. He is a dependent and deeply anxious Prometheus.

PL: In Lasch’s eyes, you write, “the American elites are less a ruling class than a ‘managerial professional class.’” What does he criticize them for and what conclusions does he draw from this fracture between them and the people?

LO: Lasch observes that the elites, that is the richest 20% who are largely executives and intellectual professionals, have lost the sense of reality because they are cut off from everything (nature, manual labor, etc.) that resists the will of man and keeps them in the illusion of wanting to reconfigure their environment and themselves as they please.

On the other hand, the elites aim not so much at ruling as at escaping the common fate within gilded ghettos where they concentrate economic, educational, leisure and transport advantages. Lasch reproaches them above all for betraying democracy, which is based on popular sovereignty, a shared ordinary life and virtues, foremost among which is moral responsibility, all of which are mocked by the elites. Fatally cornered with the reaction of the people, against a background of accumulated emergencies (social, health, security, etc.), they risk becoming more and more authoritarian in order to preserve their privileges and to maintain an unsustainable economic organization or a fractured society. For its part, the former lower middleclass risks giving in to growing resentment.

PL: Like George Orwell, Lasch seems to have identified a “common decency” among ordinary people. Many have denounced the essentialist character of such a notion. How do you respond to them?

LO: To use the expression “common decency” is not to claim to describe in an exhaustive way the characteristics of ordinary people. It simply underlines one of their dimensions, their instinctive sense of limits drawn, writes Kévin-Boucaud Victoire, “from the ordinary practice of mutual aid, mutual trust and social but fundamental bonds.”

Today, common decency is most prevalent among the former lower middleclass. It has inherited a sense of limits from the petit-bourgeois sensibility because of the difficulties of its daily life—its empowering practice of manual trades or hobbies, or its inclusion in the community framework. Lasch does not hide its possible failings by mentioning the racism, the anti-intellectualism and the resentment into which the petty-bourgeois sensibility can sink. The populism of the historian would help to defuse such failings.

PL: How precisely is Lasch’s “populist sensibility” defined? In what way can populism, often reduced to a form of “extreme right,” allow for the foundation of a post-capitalist society?

LO: His populist sensibility articulates the best of conservative, religious, socialist and liberal traditions. It would be the best way to turn the page of capitalism democratically and without the illusion of a revolutionary evening, and thus of growth, excess, wage-labor, centralization, inequality, abstraction and the fracture between the people and their elites. It requires four democratizations: economic, reviving a Republic of producers; political, involving citizens as much as possible at the local level; intellectual, reviving the lost art of controversy; cultural, finally, through popular sport and art.

Christopher Lasch adds to this an indispensable revitalization of the family, too isolated today from work, from intermediate places, such as bars, or even from neighborhoods. He opposes the progressives’ primacy of the future with a historical continuity based on memory, the mother of hope, as well as a consideration of the moral depth of the tradition of Christian prophecy.

Our Interview with Jacques Baud

In this penetrating interview, Jacques Baud delves into geopolitics to help us better understand what is actually taking place in the Ukraine, in that it is ultimately the larger struggle for global dominance, led by the United States, NATO and the political leaders of the West and against Russia.

As always, Colonel Baud brings to bear his well-informed analysis, which is unique for its depth and gravity. We are sure that you will find this conservation informative, insightful and crucial in connecting the dots.

The Postil (TP): We are so very pleased to have you join us for this conversation. Would you please tell us a little about yourself, about your background?

Jacques Baud (JB): Thank you for inviting me! As to my education, I have a master’s degree in Econometrics and postgraduate diplomas in International Relations and in International Security from the Graduate Institute for International relations in Geneva (Switzerland). I worked as strategic intelligence officer in the Swiss Department of Defense, and was in charge of the Warsaw Pact armed forces, including those deployed abroad (such as Afghanistan, Cuba, Angola, etc.) I attended intelligence training in the UK and in the US. Just after the end of the Cold War, I headed for a few years a unit in the Swiss Defense Research and Procurement Agency. During the Rwanda War, because of my military and intelligence background, I was sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo as security adviser to prevent ethnic cleansing in the Rwandan refugee camps.

During my time in the intelligence service, I was in touch with the Afghan resistance movement of Ahmed Shah Masood, and I wrote a small handbook to help Afghans in demining and neutralizing Soviet bomblets. In the mid-1990, the struggle against antipersonnel mines became a foreign policy priority of Switzerland. I proposed to create a center that would collect information about landmines and demining technologies for the UN. This led to the creation of the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining in Geneva. I was later offered to head the Policy and Doctrine Unit of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. After two years in New York, I went to Nairobi to perform a similar job for the African Union.

Jacques Baud, Darfour.

Then I was assigned to NATO to counter the proliferation of small arms. Switzerland is not a member of the Alliance, but this particular position had been negotiated as a Swiss contribution to the Partnership for Peace with NATO. In 2014, as the Ukraine crisis unfolded, I monitored the flow of small arms in the Donbass. Later, in the same year I was involved in a NATO program to assist the Ukrainian armed forces in restoring their capacities and improving personnel management, with the aim of restoring trust in them.

TP: You have written two insightful articles about the current conflict in the Ukraine, which we had the great privilege to translate and publish (here and here). Was there a particular event or an instance which led you to formulate this much-needed perspective?

JB: As a strategic intelligence officer, I always advocated providing to the political or military decision-makers the most accurate and the most objective intelligence. This is the kind of job where you need to keep you prejudice and your feelings to yourself, in order to come up with an intelligence that reflects as much as possible the reality on the ground rather than your own emotions or beliefs. I also assume that in a modern democratic State decision must be fact-based. This is the difference with autocratic political systems where decision-making is ideology-based (such as in the Marxist States) or religion-based (such as in the French pre-revolutionary monarchy).

Jacques Baud with the New Sudan Brigade.

Thanks to my various assignments, I was able to have an insider view in most recent conflicts (such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria and, of course, Ukraine). The main common aspect between all these conflicts is that we tend to have a totally distorted understanding of them. We do not understand our enemies, their rationale, their way of thinking and their real objectives. Hence, we are not even able to articulate sound strategies to fight them. This is especially true with Russia. Most people, including the top brass, tend to confuse “Russia” and “USSR.” As I was in NATO, I could hardly find someone who could explain what Russia’s vision of the world is or even its political doctrine. Lot of people think Vladimir Putin is a communist. We like to call him a “dictator,” but we have a hard time to explain what we mean by that. As examples, people come up invariably with the assassination of such and such journalist or former FSB or GRU agents, although evidence is extremely debatable. In other words, even if it is true, we are not able to articulate exactly the nature of the problem. As a result, we tend to portray the enemy as we wished him to be, rather than as he actually is. This is the ultimate recipe for failure. This explains why, after five years spent within NATO, I am more concerned about Western strategic and military capabilities than before.

Jacques Baud.

In 2014, during the Maidan revolution in Kiev, I was in NATO in Brussels. I noticed that people didn’t assess the situation as it was, but as they wished it would be. This is exactly what Sun Tzu describes as the first step towards failure. In fact, it appeared clear to me that nobody in NATO had the slightest interest in Ukraine. The main goal was to destabilize Russia.

TP: How do you perceive Volodymyr Zelensky? Who is he, really? What is his role in this conflict? It seems he wants to have a “forever war,” since he must know he cannot win? Why does he want to prolong this conflict?

JB: Volodymyr Zelensky was elected on the promise he would make peace with Russia, which I think is a noble objective. The problem is that no Western country, nor the European Union managed to help him realize this objective. After the Maidan revolution, the emerging force in the political landscape was the far-right movement. I do not like to call it “neo-Nazi” because “Nazism” was a clearly defined political doctrine, while in Ukraine, we are talking about a variety of movements that combine all the features of Nazism (such as antisemitism, extreme nationalism, violence, etc.), without being unified into a single doctrine. They are more like a gathering of fanatics.

After 2014, Ukrainian armed forces’ command & control was extremely poor and was the cause of their inability to handle the rebellion in Donbass. Suicide, alcohol incidents, and murder surged, pushing young soldiers to defect. Even the British government noted that young male individuals preferred to emigrate rather than to join the armed forces. As a result, Ukraine started to recruit volunteers to enforce Kiev’s authority in the Russian speaking part of the country. These volunteers ere (and still are) recruited among European far-right extremists. According to Reuters, their number amounts to 102,000. They have become a sizeable and influential political force in the country.

The problem here is that these far-right fanatics threatened to kill Zelensky were he to try to make peace with Russia. As a result, Zelensky found himself sitting between his promises and the violent opposition of an increasingly powerful far-right movement. In May 2019, on the Ukrainian media Obozrevatel, Dmytro Yarosh, head of the “Pravy Sektor” militia and adviser to the Army Commander in Chief, openly threatened Zelensky with death, if he came to an agreement with Russia. In other words, Zelensky appears to be blackmailed by forces he is probably not in full control of.

In October 2021, the Jerusalem Post published a disturbing report on the training of Ukrainian far-right militias by American, British, French and Canadian armed forces. The problem is that the “collective West” tends to turn a blind eye to these incestuous and perverse relationships in order to achieve its own geopolitical goals. It is supported by unscrupulous far-right biased medias against Israel, which tend to approve the criminal behavior of these militias. This situation has repeatedly raised Israel’s concerns. This explains why Zelensky’s demands to the Israeli parliament in March 2022 were not well received and have not been successful.

So, despite his probable willingness to achieve a political settlement for the crisis with Russia, Zelensky is not allowed to do so. Just after he indicated his readiness to talk with Russia, on 25 February, the European Union decided two days later to provide €450M in arms to Ukraine. The same happened in March. As soon as Zelensky indicated he wanted to have talks with Vladimir Putin on 21 March, the European Union decided to double its military aid to €1 billion on 23 March. End of March, Zelensky made an interesting offer that was retracted shortly after.

Apparently, Zelensky is trying to navigate between Western pressure and his far right on the one hand and his concern to find a solution on the other, and is forced into a ” back-and-forth,” which discourages the Russian negotiators.

In fact, I think Zelensky is in an extreme uncomfortable position, which reminds me of Soviet Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky’s during WWII. Rokossovsky had been imprisoned in 1937 for treason and sentenced to death by Stalin. In 1941, he got out of prison on Stalin’s orders and was given a command. He was eventually promoted to Marshall of the Soviet Union in 1944, but his death sentence was not lifted until 1956.

Today, Zelensky must lead his country under the sword of Damocles, with the blessing of Western politicians and unethical media. His lack of political experience made him an easy prey for those who were trying to exploit Ukraine against Russia, and in the hands of extreme right-wing movements. As he acknowledges in an interview with CNN, he was obviously lured into believing that Ukraine would enter NATO more easily after an open conflict with Russia, as Oleksey Arestovich, his adviser, confirmed in 2019.

TP: What do you think will be the fate of the Ukraine? Will it be like all the other experiments in “spreading democracy” (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.)? Or is Ukraine a special case?

JB: I have definitely no crystal ball… At this stage, we can only guess what Vladimir Putin wants. He probably wants to achieve two main goals. The first one is to secure the situation of the Russian-speaking minority in Ukraine. How, remains an open question. Does he want to re-create the “Novorossiya” that tried to emerge from the 2014 unrests? This “entity” that never really existed, and it consisted of the short-lived Republics of Odessa, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov and Lugansk, of which only the Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk “survived.” The autonomy referendum planned for early May in the city of Kherson might be an indication for this option. Another option would be to negotiate an autonomous status for these areas, and to return them to Ukraine in exchange of its neutrality.
The second goal is to have a neutral Ukraine (some will say a “Finlandized Ukraine”). That is—without NATO. It could be some kind of Swiss “armed neutrality.” As you know, in the early 19th century, Switzerland had a neutral status imposed on it by the European powers, as well as the obligation to prevent any misuse of its territory against one of these powers. This explains the strong military tradition we have in Switzerland and the main rationale for its armed forces today. Something similar could probably be considered for Ukraine.

An internationally recognized neutral status would grant Ukraine a high degree of security. This status prevented Switzerland from being attacked during the two world wars. The often-mentioned example of Belgium is misleading, because during both world wars, its neutrality was declared unilaterally and was not recognized by the belligerents. In the case of Ukraine, it would have its own armed forces, but would be free from any foreign military presence: neither NATO, nor Russia. This is just my guess, and I have no clue about how this could be feasible and accepted in the current polarized international climate.

I am not sure about the so-called “color-revolutions” aim at spreading democracy. My take is that it is just a way to weaponize human rights, the rule of law or democracy in order to achieve geo-strategic objectives. In fact, this was clearly spelled out in a memo to Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, in 2017. Ukraine is a case in point. After 2014, despite Western influence, it has never been a democracy: corruption soared between 2014 and 2020; in 2021, it banned opposition media and jailed the leader of the main parliamentary opposition party. As some international organizations have reported, torture is a common practice, and opposition leaders as well as journalists are chased by the Ukrainian Security Service.

TP: Why is the West only interested in drawing a simplistic image of the Ukraine conflict? That of “good guys” and the “bad guys?” Is the Western public really now that dumbed down?

JB: I think this is inherent to any conflict. Each side tends to portray itself as the “good guy.” This is obviously the main reason.

Besides this, other factors come into play. First, most people, including politicians and journalists, still confuse Russia and the USSR. For instance, they don’t understand why the communist party is the main opposition party in Russia.

Second, since 2007, Putin was systematically demonized in the West. Whether or not he is a “dictator” Is a matter of discussion; but it is worth noting that his approval rate in Russia never fell below 59 % in the last 20 years. I take my figures from the Levada Center, which is labeled as “foreign agent” in Russia, and hence doesn’t reflect the Kremlin’s views. It is also interesting to see that in France, some of the most influential so-called “experts” on Russia are in fact working for the British MI-6’s “Integrity Initiative.”

Third, in the West, there is a sense that you can do whatever you want if it is in the name of western values. This is why the Russian offensive in Ukraine is passionately sanctioned, while FUKUS (France, UK, US) wars get strong political support, even if they are notoriously based on lies. “Do what I say, not what I do!” One could ask what makes the conflict in Ukraine worse than other wars. In fact, each new sanction we apply to Russia highlights the sanctions we haven’t applied earlier to the US, the UK or France.

The purpose of this incredible polarization is to prevent any dialogue or negotiation with Russia. We are back to what happened in 1914, just before the start of WWI…

TP: What will Russia gain or lose with this involvement in the Ukraine (which is likely to be long-term)? Russia is facing a conflict on “two fronts,” it would seem: a military one and an economic one (with the endless sanctions and “canceling” of Russia).

JB: With the end of the Cold War, Russia expected being able to develop closer relations with its Western neighbors. It even considered joining NATO. But the US resisted every attempt of rapprochement. NATO structure does not allow for the coexistence of two nuclear superpowers. The US wanted to keep its supremacy.

Since 2002, the quality of the relations with Russia decayed slowly, but steadily. It reached a first negative “peak” in 2014 after the Maidan coup. The sanctions have become US and EU primary foreign policy tool. The Western narrative of a Russian intervention in Ukraine got traction, although it was never substantiated. Since 2014, I haven’t met any intelligence professional who could confirm any Russian military presence in the Donbass. In fact, Crimea became the main “evidence” of Russian “intervention.” Of course, Western historians ignore superbly that Crimea was separated from Ukraine by referendum in January 1991, six months before Ukrainian independence and under Soviet rule. In fact, it’s Ukraine that illegally annexed Crimea in 1995. Yet, western countries sanctioned Russia for that…

Since 2014 sanctions severely affected east-west relations. After the signature of the Minsk Agreements in September 2014 and February 2015, the West—namely France, Germany as guarantors for Ukraine, and the US—made no effort whatsoever to make Kiev comply, despite repeated requests from Moscow.

Russia’s perception is that whatever it will do, it will face an irrational response from the West. This is why, in February 2022, Vladimir Putin realized he would gain nothing in doing nothing. If you take into account his mounting approval rate in the country, the resilience of the Russian economy after the sanctions, the loss of trust in the US dollar, the threatening inflation in the West, the consolidation of the Moscow-Beijing axis with the support of India (which the US has failed to keep in the “Quad”), Putin’s calculation was unfortunately not wrong.

Regardless of what Russia does, US and western strategy is to weaken it. From that point on, Russia has no real stake in its relations with us. Again, the US objective is not to have a “better” Ukraine or a “better” Russia, but a weaker Russia. But it also shows that the United States is not able to rise higher than Russia and that the only way to overcome it is to weaken it. This should ring an alarm bell in our countries…

TP: You have written a very interesting book on Putin. Please tell us a little about it.

JB: In fact, I started my book in October 2021, after a show on French state TV about Vladimir Putin. I am definitely not an admirer of Vladimir Putin, nor of any Western leader, by the way. But the so-called experts had so little understanding of Russia, international security and even of simple plain facts, that I decided to write a book. Later, as the situation around Ukraine developed, I adjusted my approach to cover this mounting conflict.
The idea was definitely not to relay Russian propaganda. In fact, my book is based exclusively on western sources, official reports, declassified intelligence reports, Ukrainian official medias, and reports provided by the Russian opposition. The approach was to demonstrate that we can have a sound and factual alternative understanding of the situation just with accessible information and without relying on what we call “Russian propaganda.”

The underlying thinking is that we can only achieve peace if we have a more balanced view of the situation. To achieve this, we have to go back to the facts. Now, these facts exist and are abundantly available and accessible. The problem is that some individuals make every effort to prevent this and tend to hide the facts that disturb them. This is exemplified by some so-called journalist who dubbed me “The spy who loved Putin!” This is the kind of “journalists” who live from stirring tensions and extremism. All figures and data provided by our media about the conflict come from Ukraine, and those coming from Russia are automatically dismissed as propaganda. My view is that both are propaganda. But as soon as you come up with western data that do not fit into the mainstream narrative, you have extremists claiming you “love Putin.”

Our media are so worried about finding rationality in Putin’s actions that they turn a blind eye to the crimes committed by Ukraine, thus generating a feeling of impunity for which Ukrainians are paying the price. This is the case of the attack on civilians by a missile in Kramatorsk—we no longer talk about it because the responsibility of Ukraine is very likely, but this means that the Ukrainians could do it again with impunity.

On the contrary, my book aims at reducing the current hysteria that prevent any political solution. I do not want to deny the Ukrainians the right to resist the invasion with arms. If I were Ukrainian, I would probably take the arms to defend my land. The issue here is that it must be their decision. The role of the international community should not be to add fuel to the fire by supplying arms but to promote a negotiated solution.

To move in this direction, we must make the conflict dispassionate and bring it back into the realm of rationality. In any conflict the problems come from both sides; but here, strangely, our media show us that they all come from one side only. This is obviously not true; and, in the end, it is the Ukrainian people who pay the price of our policy against Vladimir Putin.

TP: Why is Putin hated so much by the Western elite?

JB: Putin became Western elite’s “bête noire” in 2007 with his famous speech in Munich. Until then, Russia had only moderately reacted to NATO expansion. But as the US withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2002 and started negotiations with some East European countries to deploy anti-ballistic missiles, Russia felt the heat and Putin virulently criticized the US and NATO.

This was the start of a relentless effort to demonize Vladimir Putin and to weaken Russia. The problem was definitely not human rights or democracy, but the fact that Putin dared to challenge the western approach. The Russians have in common with the Swiss the fact that they are very legalistic. They try to strictly follow the rules of international law. They tend to follow “law-based International order.” Of course, this is not the image we have, because we are used to hiding certain facts. Crimea is a case in point.

In the West, since the early 2000s, the US has started to impose a “rules-based international order.” As an example, although the US officially recognizes that there is only one China and that Taiwan is only a part of it, it maintains a military presence on the island and supplies weapons. Imagine if China would supply weapons to Hawaii (which was illegally annexed in the 19th century)!

What the West is promoting is an international order based on the “law of the strongest.” As long as the US was the sole superpower, everything was fine. But as soon as China and Russia started to emerge as world powers, the US tried to contain them. This is exactly what Joe Biden said in March 2021, shortly after taking office: “The rest of the world is closing in and closing in fast. We can’t allow this to continue.”

As Henry Kissinger said in the Washington Post: “For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one.” This is why I felt we need to have a more factual approach to this conflict.

TP: Do you know who was involved and when it was decided by the US and NATO that regime change in Russia was a primary geopolitical objective?

JB: I think everything started in the early 2000s. I am not sure the objective was a regime change in Moscow, but it was certainly to contain Russia. This is what we have witnessed since then. The 2014 events in Kiev have boosted US efforts.

These were clearly defined in 2019, in two publications of the RAND Corporation [James Dobbins, Raphael S. Cohen, Nathan Chandler, Bryan Frederick, Edward Geist, Paul DeLuca, Forrest E. Morgan, Howard J. Shatz, Brent Williams, “Extending Russia : Competing from Advantageous Ground,” RAND Corporation, 2019; James Dobbins & al., “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia,” RAND Corporation, (Doc Nr. RB-10014-A), 2019]. .This has nothing to do with the rule of law, democracy or human rights, but only with maintaining US supremacy in the world. In other words, nobody cares about Ukraine. This is why the international community (that is, Western countries) make every effort to prolong the conflict.

Since 2014, this is exactly what happened. Everything the West did was to fulfill US strategic objectives.

TP: In this regard, you have also written another interesting book, on Alexei Navalny. Please tell us about what you have found out about Navalny.

JB: What disturbed me about the Navalny case was the haste with which Western governments condemned Russia and applied sanctions, even before knowing the results of an impartial investigation. So, my point in the book is not “to tell truth,” because we do not know exactly what the truth is, even if we have consistent indications that the official narrative is wrong.
The interesting aspect is that the German doctors in the Charité Hospital in Berlin, were not able to identify any nerve agent in Navalny’s body. Surprisingly, they published their findings in the respected medical review The Lancet, showing that Navalny probably experienced a bad combination of medicine and other substances.

The Swedish military lab that analyzed Navalny’s blood—redacted the name of the substance they discovered, which is odd since everybody expected “Novichok” to be mentioned.

The bottom line is that we don’t know exactly what happened, but the nature of the symptoms, the reports of the German doctors, the answers provided by the German government to the Parliament, and the puzzling Swedish document tend to exclude a criminal poisoning, and therefore, a fortiori, poisoning by the Russian government.

The main point of my book is that international relations cannot be “Twitter-driven.” We need to use appropriately our intelligence resources, not as a propaganda instrument, as we tend to do these days, but as an instrument for smart and fact-based decision-making.

TP: You have much experience within NATO. What do you think is the primary role of NATO now?

JB: This is an essential question. In fact, NATO hasn’t really evolved since the end of the Cold War. This is interesting because in 1969, there was the “Harmel Report” that was ahead of its time and could be the fundament of a new definition of NATO’s role. Instead, NATO tried to find new missions, such as in Afghanistan, for which the Alliance was not prepared, neither intellectually, nor doctrinally, nor from a strategic point of view.

Having a collective defense system in Europe is necessary, but the nuclear dimension of NATO tends to restrict its ability to engage a conventional conflict with a nuclear power. This is the problem we are witnessing in Ukraine. This is why Russia strives having a “glacis” between NATO and its territory. This would probably not prevent conflicts but would help keep them as long as possible in a conventional phase. This is why I think a non-nuclear European defense organization would be a good solution.

TP: Do you think that NATO’s proxy war with Russia serves to placate internal EU tensions, between conservative Central/Eastern Europe and the more progressive West?

JB: Some will certainly see it that way, but I think this is only a by-product of the US strategy to isolate Russia.

TP: Can you say something about how Turkey has positioned itself, between NATO and Russia?

JB: I have worked quite extensively with Turkey as I was in NATO. I think Turkey is a very committed member of the Alliance. What we tend to forget is that Turkey is at the crossroads between the “Christian World” and the “Islamic World;” it sits between two civilizations and in a key region of the Mediterranean zone. It has its own regional stakes.

The conflicts waged by the West in the Middle East significantly impacted Turkey, by promoting Islamism and stimulating tensions, in particular with the Kurds. Turkey has always tried to maintain a balance between its desire for Western-style modernization and the very strong traditionalist tendencies of its population. Turkey’s opposition to the Iraq War due to domestic security concerns was totally ignored and dismissed by the US and its NATO Allies.

Interestingly, when Zelensky sought a country to mediate the conflict, he turned to China, Israel and Turkey, but didn’t address any EU country.

TP: If you were to predict, what do you think the geopolitical situation of Europe and the world will look like 25 years from now?

JB: Who would have predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall? The day it happened, I was in the office of a National Security Adviser in Washington DC, but he had no clue about the importance of the event!

I think the decay of US hegemony will be the main feature of the next decades. At the same time, we will see a fast-growing importance of Asia led by China and India. But I am not sure Asia will “replace” the US strictly speaking. While US worldwide hegemony was driven by its military-industrial complex, Asia’s dominance will be in the research and technology area.

The loss of confidence in the US dollar may have significant impact on the US economy at large. I don’t want to speculate on future developments in the West, but a significant deterioration could lead the United States to engage in more conflicts around the world. This is something that we are seeing today, but it could become more important.

TP: What advice would you give people trying to get a clearer picture of what is really driving competing regional/national and global interests?

JB: I think the situation is slightly different in Europe than in North America.

In Europe, the lack of quality alternative media and real investigative journalism makes it difficult to find balanced information. The situation is different in North America where alternative journalism is more developed and constitutes an indispensable analytical tool. In the United States, the intelligence community is more present in the media than in Europe.

I probably could not have written my book based only on the European media. At the end of the day, the advice I would give is a fundamental one of intelligence work:

Be curious!

TP: Thank you so very much for your time—and for all your great work.

Featured image: Detail from the “Siege of Sevastopol,” by Franz Roubaud; painted 1902-1904.

A Critique of Ecology: A Conversation with Bérénice Levet

Bérénice Levet, philosopher, essayist and author speaks about ecology with Christophe Geffroy, founder and director of La Nef. Her latest book, L’écologie ou l’ivresse de la table rase (Ecology, or the Intoxication of the Clean-slate), offers a thorough and devastating critique of modern ecology and the many movements that it has spawned which now drive the West into all manner of self-destructive postures. She is also the author of Libérons nous du féminisme! (Let’s Free Ourselves from Feminism!) and Le crépuscule des idoles progressistes (The Twilight of Progressive Idols). We are indeed grateful to La Nef for giving us the opportunity to publish this perceptive and delightful interview.

Christophe Geffroy (CG): Although you are severe with a certain kind of ecology, your book nevertheless shows your attachment to real ecology. Could you define ecology as you conceive it? And in what way is ecology “conservative?”

Bérénice Levet (BL): The ecology that I denounce is indeed the ecology as embodied today by Europe Ecology—The Greens, or by Anne Hidalgo in Paris, and by associative and militant movements. As well, this ecology is a green doxa buzzing away in the cave. That the ecological concern has won us over seems to me a very positive thing. However, preempted by the left, it is a Pyrrhic victory. The victory turns into a defeat for those who are truly concerned about nature, about animals, but also about human beings and the ties that bind them to each other. Indeed, ecology, the word oikos defines it, which means habitat, is not the study and the discourse of nature but of the relationships between the living—it is placed at the juncture.

Ecology is conservative in its essence and in its inspiration; it is a concern for the preservation, conservation and continuity of nature; a nature that has proven to be fragile and perishable. Ecology was born with the industrial revolution, when man acquired the means to alter, in an irreversible way, the given of natural. But we must go further. Ecology is conservative in that it carries a philosophy, a certain idea of man that goes against modern philosophy, called progressive, of the untied, disaffiliated, self-sufficient man—it articulates man to what is not him; it reminds us that to be born is to enter a world that was there before us and that must remain after us. And this world is at the same time nature and culture—the form of our civilizations, language, history, arts are realities not less vulnerable than nature; and together, they count; they must be able to count on this creature that is man to take care of them. In other words, ecology poses man as obliged. It thus calls for our gratitude, for our willingness to see in what is given to us as a donation, a present, a gift.

Bérénice Levet © Hannah Assouline-L’Observatoire.

A certain idea of man and a certain understanding of life are thus at stake in ecology. True ecology, and not that of Sandrine Rousseau or Greta Thunberg, enjoins us to rehabilitate human dispositions considered obsolete, judged to be “old-fashioned” and yet so salutary for nature—tact, scruples, consideration; these beautiful notions with obsolete accents must be put back in the center of the game.

CG: The West, with the white European man behind it, is accused of all the evils, especially in ecological matters with industrialization and the unbridled search for growth. How do you handle this accusation?

BL: What is indeed striking, first of all, is the hatred of man. Recall Marcel Gauchet’s pioneering article published in the Revue Le Débat in 1990: “sous l’amour de la nature, la haine des hommes” (beneath the love of nature, the hatred of men)—which animates our ecologists. To read them, to listen to them, there is no doubt about it—there is too much man on earth. A word has been coined to incriminate human nature and its activities: “Anthropocene.” The thesis imposed, conveyed by the most authoritative voices, is that in the end everything started to go wrong for nature in the Neolithic period, when man became a sedentary farmer and builder. Do people think I am caricaturing? Not at all. And I show this through several examples. The reader can have immediate proof by consulting the February issue of the learned journal Histoire: “Néolithique: l’agriculture a-t-elle fait le malheur des hommes?” (The Neolithic: Did Agriculture Create the Misfortune of Humans?”)

The question is not a question. The thesis is asserted, peremptorily, since it is not discussed; the editors abandon the monopoly of legitimate speech to the professor of Protohistory, Jean-Paul Demoule, who “proposes to trace the catastrophic effects for the environment back to the Neolithic revolution”: “Some people only start the Anthropocene with nuclear energy and the 1950s,” he observes, “others with the Industrial Revolution or still others with the great discoveries. One can say that its true beginning coincides with the Neolithic.” And the specialist then gives his sanction to ecofeminism—the domination of men on nature and on women are linked; together they emerge in the Neolithic. And the editorial staff of the monthly magazine is behind these conclusions: “There is no question here of denying the way in which technical ‘progress’ has durably aggravated and often justified predations, massacres, injustices or the domination of men—and women—by men,” warns the editorial.

Salvation will come; and the European Union is monitoring the situation, multiplying the decrees in this sense, by the “rewilding” of Europe, no matter what carnage is committed by wolves. No tears for the lambs, the sheep… La Fontaine, from whom I quote a magnificent fable, is no longer with us.

Let us set the record straight. It is not the domestication of the earth that is guilty. I am an advocate of homo faber, of man as a builder. Man does not only inhabit the earth as a poet—for in this capacity we would not have lasted long in the bosom of nature—he has the concern to manage this earthly sojourn in order to make nature a hearth, a home, to make it hospitable, friendly to men, which it is not spontaneously. But it is naturally advisable to distinguish between the man who collaborates with nature and the man who exhausts it. As I said, ecology was born with the industrial revolution and the utilitarian mentality, when man began to relate to the natural given as to a stock of resources and substitutes for the care of fertilizing it; this beautiful word, charged with peasant traditions and religious connotations, became the will to make nature productive, profitable.

CG: In what way is political ecology at the service of the “deconstruction of the old world,” in connection with intersectional feminism, decolonialism, Islamism, wokism, “cancel culture?”

BL: Ecology exults, more or less under the radar, in adding its share of victims, of which the West, according to the ideologies you mention, is the great factory. After, and with, women, homosexuals, lesbians, gays and other BTQI, blacks, Muslims, in short, the “racialized,” here now comes danger for the earth, the animals, the climate.

Ecologists have made their own the grand narrative of a Western civilization whose entire history has been written by the heterosexual Catholic or Jewish white man, and whose mainspring of action is the domination of everything that is not him—domination, or rather predation.

I have observed that since the emergence of the me-too movement, the predator/prey pair tends to supplant the dominant/dominated pair. We understand why—the portrait of the white man as a predator, in other words as a carnivore, has something infinitely more formidable. If in 1990, Gauchet could detect beneath the love of nature, the hatred of man, over time things have become clearer—beneath the love of nature, it is the hatred of Western man that prevails. And this thesis is defended by the most authoritative voices, in particular a professor at the College de France, Philippe Descola. “De-Westernizing” is our only way out.

CG: You say, with Paul Valéry, that all politics implies a certain idea of man. What is the idea of man for the ecologists?

BL: On the one hand, the “man” of the ecologists is a man without a past, without history, without temporal depth, flattened on the present alone; a living being in short. The prestige of the first name “Zoe,” among families said to be ecologically aware, is in this respect revealing. Zoe is life in the biological sense of the term; strictly human life in Greek is called bios, which is found in “biography.”

The man of the environmentalists may cultivate his garden, but he is not connected to any historically constituted community. The idea of the school defended by ecologists is a good indicator in this respect: it is a school that definitively renounces getting people to know, understand and love civilization; the form of life specific to the country, whose child is called to become a member and a citizen, for which, in other words, he will have to answer. Jadot promises a school which allows the child, like a flower, to “blossom,” busy, as already in the cities run by ecologists, “tending a vegetable patch,” in establishments with “disgendered playgrounds.”

That rootedness, in the sense that the philosopher Simone Weil attaches to this notion, the inscription in a place but not less in a history, is the most fundamental need of the human soul, is perfectly foreign to the environmentalists, and even makes them pull out their hair. Ecology was, is the occasion to answer this need after decades of contempt. But, and to paraphrase Rousseau (the philosopher), ecologists are men of paradoxes, because they are men of prejudices; they are desperately dependent on morally qualified mental nodes, proper to the progressive conscience. Roots are bad; and environmentalists remain globalists.

But this is only the one side. Ecologists are desperately of their time; and they are perfectly committed to the ideology, of Anglo-Saxon import, of diversity and identity. The individual must be recognized, exalted in his particular affiliations, his gendered, sexual, ethnic, religious identity. Nothing is more legitimate for them than the thundering claim to “visibility.” Man no longer has a soul for them; he has an identity. It is no coincidence that the mayor of Grenoble, Éric Piolle, finds himself completely flummoxed when the Islamist wind blows through the demand for the right to wear a burkini, a seaside burqa, in the municipal swimming pools. The policy of “cultural rights” that he practices, in the cities of which they have become the princes, because of the municipal elections of June 2020, is another masterful example.

CG: Faced with ecological problems, “the West harbors its own antibodies,” you write. What are they, and how can they “solve” the ecological problem?

BL: The West conceals its own antibodies because the West, in its noble inspiration and in its glorious achievements, has never ceased to affirm and attest that man is dedicated to a nobler task than that of consuming, exhausting, destroying. Our history cannot be reduced to a history of pillage and oppression.

Western civilization, provided it finds its soul, conceals treasures to respond to the ecological crisis; and particularly France whose genius, that is to say the spirit, the inspiration, is not economic. France against robots, against the mechanization of the world, against exclusively utilitarian logic. Bernanos mobilized his contemporaries by reminding them of the French singularity. We must regain this confidence, this faith in our model of civilization, and of which Madame de Staël made the adage, “grace, taste, cheerfulness,” resonate magnificently. There is measure in French composition.

Obviously, I do not claim to hold the key that would make it possible to “solve” the ecological problem; but one thing is certain— salvation does not necessarily, inevitably, pass through de-Westernization—there is Western faith in man, the meaning we give to human adventure, as research, investigation, the thirst and the pride to know, to understand, to shape our sojourn here.

What, in the West, is to be questioned is the only thing that ecologists not only do not challenge but exalt—modern anthropology, called progressive, of man as an entity entering society fully armed, self-sufficient; this philosophy of unbinding, the idea of the individual as a subject with rights to assert. Rather than starting with rights, we should have started with duties, corrected Simone Weil, whose Rooted bears the subtitle “Prelude to a declaration of duties towards mankind.” All the misfortune of men, says the philosopher in essence, comes from the fact that they are as if in levitation on the earth. But it is through the links that we weave with other men, with the earth, with animals that we attach ourselves to something, so that life takes on its meaning. Nothing uglier, she said, than a man without loyalty.

Ecology cannot and must not be the primary policy. To rebuild a sustainable world, we must start again with people. To be repatriated on earth and in our lands. Ecology calls for a policy of civilization, of civilized man. Let us form, let us cultivate, I repeat, those properly human dispositions—without which there is no civilization—scruples, torments, the capacity to admire.

CG: Faced with the depletion of nature, you advocate a certain “self-limitation.” Could you explain it to us, and in what way is this self-limitation different from the “happy sobriety” advocated by the followers of degrowth?

BL: I separate myself from degrowth advocates, as I separate myself from all problem-solvers. The virtue of the moment we are living, if we knew how to grasp it, is to be “returned to the harsh reality to be embraced,” to be as if summoned to become, to become again “peasant,” according to the word of Rimbaud that I placed in the opening of my book.

I am wary of big words, of those who hold themselves to be the enlightened avant-garde, and as such hold themselves to be authorized to supervise and punish. To be ecologists is, and should be, to renew with the particular, with the carnal reality. Self-limitation, a term that I borrow from Solzhenitsyn, comes to remind man that he is to himself, and for himself, instance of limitation. We are too accustomed to ask the law to stop us, to prevent us from conceiving everything and to forbid us to dare to do everything, as Tocqueville said of religion. But, with freedom, Leo Strauss says, we have been given a kind of “sacred terror,” “the presentiment that not everything is allowed.” Certainly, among some, and in particular among the ecologists, ardent militants of medically assisted procreation, of surrogacy, this sacred terror is stifled. This is why, nothing was more antinomic, and frightening, than to hear the EELV candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, Yannick Jadot, vociferate, during the meeting at Lyon, “We are the life impulse. We are life.” Life is voracious. It follows its course, indifferent to all that surrounds it.

CG: You evoke Lynn White, who accused Christianity of being at the origin of the ecological crisis (1967). How do you respond to this accusation?

BL: I see this book as a reply to the prosecutors of the West, who are eager to turn young people, in particular, into a court of inquisition. We must not leave the last word to the contemptuous of our civilization. Elevated to universal consciousness, flattered by adults, Greta Thunberg, dark-eyed, thunders against the West, of which she knows nothing except that it is guilty; and everyone bends and folds.

Christianity is in fact the indefatigable defendant in the great ecological trial, with, alas, sometimes the complacency and the spirit of repentance of the Catholics themselves, willingly inclined to beat their chests. Christianity, like Judaism, supposedly granted to men the power to subjugate the beasts and the whole of nature, and the words of Genesis and the words of God after the Fall are repeated. Now, the imputation is more than hasty; the letter sins here against the spirit, because Christianity is a philosophy of finitude—man is a creature; therefore dependent on a Creator, not everything is allowed to him—created in the image of God, man cannot with impunity degrade himself [I have reversed the order of the propositions]; nature, the work of God, is entrusted to him, handed over to his care; he is its depositary, not its owner; created in the image of God, man cannot degrade himself with impunity.

And then, historical reason, which makes the ineptitude of the lawsuit striking—it is in a dechristianized world that the reduction of nature to an object of exploration and of scientific and technical exploitation is inaugurated; in other words, in a world where religion is not sufficiently alive to prevent from conceiving everything and to defend from daring everything. I recall moreover that it is in a fully Christian Occident that the most beautiful and the most profound pictorial and musical hymns to nature were made. See and hear.

CG: Descartes, who is said to despise nature and animals, is put in the dock by ecologists. Do you plead not guilty?

BL: I am not pleading not guilty; but here again I cannot accept that a philosopher like Descartes should be reduced to two formulas, which have been retracted. Incidentally, our era has the formidable ability to hide its laziness under virtuous indignation, and this is how it dispenses with reading the great authors of the past centuries by accusing them of complicity with evil; it dispenses with, but also and more wrongly, it deprives the younger generations of interacting with these immense and such delightful and deep and fertile minds. Descartes is one of them; and I have tried to communicate the passion I have for this outstanding writer. I have therefore reopened the file.

The theory of the animal as a clockwork was constantly discussed and disputed in Madame de la Sablière’s salon, which was frequented by La Fontaine, one of the most severe critics of the French philosopher. I quote three magnificent fables which are as many replies to Descartes. But Descartes himself admits the controversy, responds to it, argues, nuances.

Finally, the animal-machine is not the last word from France on this question. There is La Fontaine, but also Buffon, whom we hardly read anymore, but whose Natural History left a strong mark on our culture.

The exhibition at the Palace of Versailles, “Les Animaux du roi” (“The King’s Animals”), which has just closed its doors but whose catalog remains, shows to what extent we have had, our painters of course but also our kings, eyes to see and marvel at the beauty of animals. Let us not be intimidated by those contemptuous of the West, on this point, as on all the others.

Featured image: “Allegory of Europe,” by Jean-Baptiste Oudry; painted in 1722.

The Invisible College

Nick Capaldi and Nadia Nedzel have inaugurated a new organization, Invisible College.

The organization seeks to promote live conversations about important books and topics through Zoom and other media, as well as in person. In addition to its own scheduled “conversations,” it will help others organize their own.

In the following conversation, Nick Capaldi and Marsha Enright discuss the meaning, origins, methodology and purpose of the conversations.

Featured image: Treatises On Natural Science, Philosophy, And Mathematics, ca. 1300.

The Russian Peace: A Conversation With Alexander Dugin

This wide-ranging conversation with Alexander Dugin, Russian philosopher, on President Putin, on the current conflict in the Ukraine, and the future destiny of Russia provides much-needed context on what is happening now throughout Eurasia, as the world undergoes a shift in allegiances, or what Dugin would call “multipolarity.” The West, mired in Wokery, has lost its way, while the world has chosen to move on. This conversation is with Yekaterina Sazhneva, columnist at the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets (MK). It is through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica that we bring you this English-version.

Yekaterina Sazhneva (YS): Alexander Gellievich, I was rereading one of your interviews about the existence of two Putin’s. “Solar” and “Lunar.” “Solar” is Krymnash, the restoration of the Eurasian empire, messianism. “Lunar” is a rational practitioner, a realist, a supporter of capitalist economics, looking back to the collective West. At the time, you lamented that Putin would never choose the “solar” path, preferring to combine both. So how is it today – has the choice been made?

Alexander Dugin (AD): Yes, of course, the “solar” Putin won, and I’ve been saying that he would win not a year ago, but for many years in a row. I have even published a book about this, Putin vs Putin, dedicated to the main paradox of Russian politics. The book has been translated into many languages, and in it I present my theory in detail.

There is an interesting author in historical science, Ernst Kantorowicz, who wrote a study called The King’s Two Bodies. It is about the fact that any great ruler is always dual. On the one hand, physically, he is certainly a man; and on the other hand, he is an historical figure, part of a continuous historical process. As a man, he can think one way. But as a historical figure, on which the fate of nations and states depend, he acts very differently.

Alexander Dugin. Photo Credit: Geopolitica.

This duality creates the deepest tension, the drama of the ruler, and is characteristic of a variety of political regimes. It does not matter whether we are dealing with democracy, as in the case of Churchill or Roosevelt, or with monarchy, as under Ivan the Terrible or Nicholas II. It is a split that arises in the soul and in the heart, in the consciousness of the ruler; when he is truly aware of his responsibility before history; when the future of humanity depends on his actions, his decisions with reliance on himself and his destiny; on the depths of his “I.”

An ordinary, normal person acts rationally, by inertia; this is what I call the “lunar” side. He adapts to circumstances and recognizes the rules of the game; follows moral and ethical norms.

The “solar” side, on the other hand, forces him to perform a great deed. In the image of our president, this is expressed very vividly.

On the one hand, Putin is devoted to the sovereignty of Russia as a state, but on the other hand, rationally, I think he was well aware of the consequences of a persistent insistence on his position. In this respect, Putin’s “solar” beginning is extremely tragic, because it implies a struggle with the ideas and values of the West. But Russia has crossed the Rubicon, which I am personally very happy about.

YS: But what was the reason for such a radical change in course? After all, back in December, we all went together into the “digital concentration camp,” introduced almost unanimously in the regional QR-certificates, as in the West, and, in general, nothing foretold a break with the West and its agendas. The impression is that there were some events of which we are not aware…

AD: I think that for all 22 years of Russian politics, associated with the rule of our president, he has continued to strive to combine the incompatible at all costs. On the one hand, integration into the global world system and meeting all its requirements—joining the WTO, WHO, adopting a liberal economic model, digitalization, and inclusion in international human rights institutions. And on the other hand, the strengthening and reinforcement of Russia’s sovereignty.

At the same time, in the military sphere, we have remained independent and promoted our own interests. For example, we defended territorial integrity during the second Chechen campaign, strengthened the central government and countered separatism inside Russia. These two objectives, “lunar” and “solar,” were in principle incompatible with each other. Up to a certain point, both aspects were fundamentally important for our president. But the internal conflict was growing. I think the overall relative equilibrium was maintained until February 22, 2022.

YS: Wait, but the exercise “Allied Resolve 2022” on the border with Ukraine began earlier than February 22, so we can’t talk about any sudden start of a special operation in principle?

AD: In fact, the two plans—the “lunar” and the “solar” ones—were not found on the same level. Liberalization and participation in international processes was one level; while the military and strategic defense of our national interests was another. These levels did not overlap, as far as I can see. But at some point, our leadership saw that the next step would be an attack by the Ukrainian regime on Donbass and on Crimea with Western support; and the concentration of troops on our own border was completely insufficient to prevent this attack. So it was impossible to preserve Russian sovereignty, without a special military operation.

The Siege Of Kiev Is Always

YS: So was Ukraine going to attack the Donbass or Russia?

AD: The success of the operation in the Donbass, if Kiev had started it first, would have led, under the current Ukrainian regime, to an inevitable attack on Crimea and the involvement of NATO troops. First, Ukrainian regime would have attacked the Donbass, then Russia… There were such plans.

YS: But how quickly could they have come to fruition? In a day? A week? A month?

AD: I don’t know. But I have no reason not to trust our administration to talk about these plans

YS: As we can see, neither the West nor NATO has intervened directly in what is happening so far. Although in theory they had every opportunity to do so. Not only that, they had a reason—it was Russia that started the special operation. But they are in no hurry to help Ukraine with military force or to close the sky with their air defenses. How then can you be sure that they would have helped Ukraine in any other circumstance?

AD: They wanted to attack with foreign hands. They wanted to pit the Ukrainian fascist regime against us.

Why aren’t they themselves attacking right now? I think the time is not right yet. They are now watching our progress and reserving the opportunity to take the escalation of the conflict to the next level. I think they believe that those measures, those sanctions that they were able to impose against Russia, taking advantage of our preventive, independent, preemptive, warning start of a special military operation—have worked. They believe that they have a chance to defeat Russia; not literally, because it is impossible, but to crush and force it to surrender, by excluding it from their global system.

They believe that by isolating us from everything into which they previously so diligently integrated us, by throwing us out of their civilization, they will make Russia cease to exist.

Yes, there are benefits to which the Russian inhabitants have become accustomed; they’ve been made to become accustomed to; they’ve been forced into these protocols of life. I think that the West believes that steps to isolate Russia are enough. That direct military action and confrontation with NATO will not have the desired effect.

After our president crossed the Rubicon, all the contradictions that were embedded in this dual model came to light. That system carried an internal poison, which—at least in the long term—was killing our society; but it also had a healthy military-strategic component. Globalization was a tool of a unipolar world. It sought to strengthen Western hegemony and weaken all those involved in this process. Apparently, it was not obvious to the country’s leadership until the last minute that the globalists were using us.

YS: Incidentally, China somehow managed not to be used.

AD: Yes, China, up to a certain point, was perfectly able both to respect its sovereignty, particularly on the Internet, and to take advantage of the open opportunities of globalization. But we are different. What China was able to do, we are not able to do.

YS: We have a different cultural code, first of all, it seems to me. It is easy for the Chinese to submit to power. If only because Confucianism originally contained the idea of a state order, where the ruler is the father of the nation and everyone must love him simply by virtue of the fact; where the individual and his interests are not important compared to the interests of society.

AD: Yes, you’re right. They have a unified culture; and, much more importantly, a particular centralist political system, with complete control of the Communist Party. It’s not so much capitalist or socialist as it is Chinese-Communist-Confucian.

Maybe because there is no real ideology in Russia, there has not been a hard line to reject the toxic sides of globalization. But, of course, we have the prerequisites to be like China. By the way, today China, as well as Russia, is in a confrontation with the globalists. All this is quite obvious. The experience of China and Russia should be combined and combined, building a multipolar world. We should be friends with China.

YS: And why would China want to do that?

AD: Because China looks at us with deep respect, because we are not inferior to it in some respects. For example, we have the great Russian people, which has united all other peoples. We have a unified history. We have a strong identity. The “solar” world we are all now entering can be diverse.

YS: And who builds the “solar” world? Sorry, but the faces are all the same; the positions are the same as they were under the “lunar.” The people who were in power and looked up to the West are now saying the exact opposite slogans. Chubais just left for Turkey…

AD: There is no hurry. The irreversible shift in the tectonic plates of history, the return to the true Russia, happened just a month ago, everything is just beginning. And Chubais’ flight is actually a symbolic gesture. “Chubais flying away” is a symbol.

YS: He still feels good about himself. He can still take out his cash from the ATM.

AD: No need to be bloodthirsty. If he ran away, so be it. It’s important to have some kind of amnesty in society. If someone who was a liberal yesterday is no longer a liberal today, but warmly supports the special military operation and the president, then he is on our side. Let Chubais run. Let Dunya Smirnova run away with him.

All that matters to a Russian is that there should be no evil. Russian people are very kind. And if some officials continue to engage in sabotage, then they will be treated in the same way as the Nazis from the Azov battalion [recognized as terrorists in Russia and banned—MK). But every person today has the opportunity to become a Russian. And we should not deprive him of this opportunity.

YS: This is the most important question I would like to ask you. Are you the ideologist of the very Russian world that everyone is talking about?

AD: I do not deny that I am an ideologist of the Russian world. But this does not contradict Eurasianism, which I also adhere to. It is hard to imagine more supporters of the Russian world than Russian Eurasians.

It was Eurasians who rightly and correctly insisted that Russia is an independent civilization; that the Russian identity is not national, not ethnic, it is a cultural type, an open identity. It is, in a sense, an empire that has absorbed everything.

Its center is the Russian people. And it is open to those peoples who combine their destiny with the fate of the Russian people, so that they get a decent and full opportunity to participate in our destiny. I came to this back in the 1980s, studying and researching the fate of Russia. By the beginning of the 1990s my worldview had been honed and became my own truth and my life program.

YS: And you haven’t changed since then, since the early 1990s?

AD: Yes, I laid out my principles at the beginning of the 1990s in a series of works. They have been translated into a lot of languages. These are natural things before me, and a lot of the things that are happening now, I was describing in detail thirty years ago.

I have always believed that my main idea and the idea of my people is the idea of a great free and independent Russia. Russia as a civilization. And I, as a philosopher, am called to gaze into the depths of the Russian beginning, which I have been fortunate enough to carry within me. The logic of Russian destiny is transparent to me.

YS: And what is that?

AD: It is certainly the assertion of Russia as an independent civilization with its own traditional values. And it will not be complete until we unite all the eastern Slavs and all the Eurasian brothers into one big space. Everything follows from this logic of destiny—and so does the Ukraine.

YS: And if someone doesn’t want to be a part of our destiny voluntarily?

AD: Sometimes it is difficult to take the right path. At every critical stage of history, we used to lose our Western-Russian territories, then to restore our unity anew; the siege of Kiev is a constant in Russian history.

YS: Siege of Kiev—now or in the Middle Ages?

AD: The siege of Kiev—always. These are different levels of the same pattern. Do you know how long we have been fighting for Kiev with the Western Russian principalities?

YS: Seven hundred years?

AD: From our Russian Middle Ages. We had a conflict between Velikorussians and Galicians for Kiev. Western Russia was closely formed by the Catholic and Polish identity and culture; and in Eastern Russia, since its inception with Grand Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky you can see a prototype of the Great Eurasian Empire, which we have become. And so, Kiev will be ours.

We Will Win, And Then We Will Explain Everything

YS: As Patriarch Kirill recently put it, the struggle is on the metaphysical level?

AD: The metaphysical and physical levels of being are much more closely connected than we may think. For me, it doesn’t matter when or what was or will be. That’s why I am able to see events that haven’t happened yet.

So, the siege of Kiev is a struggle for the unification of the Eastern Slavs and the creation of a sovereign civilization of the Russian world, which is directed against the West. But always the West—forever—uses Western Russian collaborators, starting with the backing and sending the crown to Daniel of Galicia by the Pope in 1253. And at a critical moment, the West betrays everyone. Everyone, of course, remembers Gogol’s famous phrase: “Did your Lyakhs help you, son?”—and this phrase is repeated again and again through the ages; and today, too. You could ask Zelensky.

YS: But besides Zelensky, there are 40 million people living in Ukraine. The special operation that is going on right now is in the Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine. Russians live here. The Russian language is spoken here. Kharkov, Mariupol…

How to explain to a Russian mother who lost her home, her child, seeing all the horrors of destruction and bombing that all this was done for her own good? Not on a metaphysical plane, but on a concrete one—what is she suffering for?

AD: There are people who think and seek to comprehend the truth; and there are people who solve some technological problems on reunion. In 2014, it was clear to me what was going on and what to tell her. The streets of Kharkiv in 2014 were covered with flyers with my statements and quotes, my portraits were hanging on the building of the city administration.

YS: Yes, and Russian volunteers were going to Donbass with your ideas about the Russian world, but it’s now 2022. The homes of Russian-speaking Ukrainians were destroyed not eight years ago, but now.

AD: There is the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. He is known for his lamentation. Here I can say that the state of my soul from 2014 to 2022 is Jeremiah’s lament for the Russian world. My heart was breaking as to what we needed to do.

Of course, we are in a difficult situation now, and many opportunities for soft solutions have been lost. I don’t know who is to blame. Just as I don’t know who is to blame for the fall of Troy…

YS: So how do you explain to a Russian mother from Mariupol that everything that is happening is a good thing?

AD: The death of loved ones is a terrible grief. It is practically impossible to explain a lot of things now. We’ll explain it all later, when we liberate Ukraine. When Mariupol will be ours, then your question will become relevant. Right now, our plan is to win.

As soon as the flag of Eastern Ukraine, Russia, freedom and independence soars over Kherson and Novorossiya; as soon as the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are liberated; the Kherson, Nikolayev, Zaporozhye, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk and other republics are established—after that we immediately begin to explain.

YS: Igor Strelkov, the first Minister of Defense of the DNR, your pupil, by the way, as well as Alexander Boroday—the first head of the DNR. Where you were and them in 2014 is clear. And where have you been all these eight years?

AD: Before the decision was made about the setting of the “Russian Spring,” I was always on TV. After that, I disappeared. I was thrown into a kind of social prison, into exile. Nevertheless, I continued to do what I believed in.

I followed the logic I told you about. I had always been absolutely convinced of the arrival of such a figure as Putin, long before he came. And when there was only Yeltsin and Chubais.

But I knew that deliverance would come. And a “man of destiny” would appear who would reunite the Russian world.

My friend, the French writer, mystic, and poet Jean Parvoulesco, now deceased, wrote a terrific book, Putin and the Eurasian Empire. Jean predicted, by way of a number of signs. that Putin was the man Russia needed. Even before Putin appeared, Jean was saying that a great leader would come from the military and special services who would restore ancient Russian civilization. And will also “establish an imperial eschatological will over the land, from the Atlantic to the Pacific,” I read.

Ties with the old world are irreversibly severed. A special military operation is irreversible. I wish all this had happened in 2014. But then we wouldn’t have exhausted the full potential of “lunar light.”

YS: Have we exhausted it all now?

AD: Yes, all of it now.

He Who Is Not With Us Is With Satan

YS: And when will we win? Your disciple Strelkov complains that everything is taking too long to move forward; that an immediate mobilization, including of human resources, is required. But will the Russian people agree not just to support the president from the sofa, but to fight for the Russian idea with weapons in their hands, and maybe even die?

AD: The way Strelkov has been presenting his thoughts and views for the last eight years is, for me, categorically unacceptable. It is clear that he too is sick of the Russian world, and this is his lament. But the form in which he puts it, I cannot accept.

And in essence he is right. The military-technical side of the special military operation is not my area of expertise—how it goes, according to what plan, I do not know. But, in any case, the mobilization of the people in all senses is inevitable. We underestimate the “passionariness” of the Russian man. He breathes only when he acquires a “solar” origin.

YS: So maybe Putin should appeal to the nation to support him.

AD: In the near future, support for Putin will be total as it is. Chubais is gone; so power is now with the people. When the people are freed from the underground in which they have been driven, and the government inevitably turns to the Russian people, then the Russians will show what they are and what they can do.

YS: We are a peaceful people, but is our armored train on the reserve track?

AD: Yes, it’s worth it for Putin to say: Russian, get up, you’re really needed now. And the people will definitely respond.

The special operation should not be run by the state alone, but by the people. So far, the Russian people have not yet fully engaged. Without mobilizing the Russian people, without explaining to them their historical mission, without awakening their deepest beginning, without these words “brothers and sisters”, it is impossible to do without.

“Arise, Russian people, awaken, you are called to perform great deeds…” All your ancestors, all generations have been on their way to this moment, to this clash with our ontological enemy. Truth and God are on our side. We are fighting the absolute Evil embodied in Western civilization, its liberal-totalitarian hegemony, in Ukrainian Nazism. We were created for this mission. This is what is needed now—a call is needed.

YS: In one of your previous interviews, you talk about the inevitability of some kind of catastrophe that could destroy most of humanity. As we can see, the previously unthinkable is already being openly discussed, the possibility of using nuclear weapons – like that Chekhov gun on the wall that should go off. Aren’t you scared?

AD: We’re always on the balance of probability. Any weapon is designed to go off.

YS: And for the balance of power? I don’t shoot, you don’t shoot, nobody shoots.

AD: That’s right. It was explained to us that nuclear weapons are weapons to keep other weapons from firing; it is a method of deterrence, and it was not used in conventional wars, medium-intensity wars. But nuclear weapons, under certain circumstances, if we are talking about a clash of civilizations, can also turn into offensive weapons.

Naturally, Russia will never be the first to do this. Because our nuclear weapons bring peace, and their nuclear weapons are fraught with aggression. But I am not saying that a nuclear catastrophe is inevitable.

YS: I would very much like to avoid it.

AD: I think right now you and I can’t influence the decision as to whether or not humanity’s annihilation will begin.

YS: The point of no return – has it been passed or not yet?

AD: I think NATO going to war on the side of Ukraine will be such a point.

YS: And then that’s it?

AD: It seems to me that the people who represent Washington are balancing between manic rage and some rationality. When rage prevails, they are the ones calling for the destruction of Russia with nuclear weapons.

YS: And in my opinion, on our television we also have calls to use them. I heard it myself in a program on Solovyov.

AD: I think there are different messages that the government wants to send to other countries through TV. But I am deeply convinced that the decision to destroy humanity can only be made by the United States.

I think I understand the logic of the “solar” ruler; he really didn’t want what happened, he cares about people and keeping the peace. But I remember him saying that if Russia was put before the choice of accepting a nuclear strike, to respond or not to respond to it, he would not allow peace without Russia.

YS: “That is, we all go to heaven, and let the rest die,” to quote the “solar” ruler. You are a religious philosopher, a mystic. Doesn’t it seem to you that the struggle between the Good, which we represent, and the absolute Evil, which, from your point of view, the West embodies, can only end with one thing: the end of the world? As John’s Revelation suggests, Pestilence (coronavirus) is followed by War, followed by Famine and Death. Are the horsemen of the Apocalypse coming?

AD: We have all forgotten that Christianity is an end-time religion. Christ is coming in the Last Days, and it is impossible for a Christian waiting for the Second Coming to think otherwise. It is abnormal to believe in progress, in technical development, in the endless evolution of species. Either you are a Christian, or you belong to the modern, material world.

For a Christian, the Apocalypse is something that is always around. A return to Russian identity is a return to a deep, and only possible, Christianity, containing the book of the Apocalypse, as the last book of the New Testament. Of course, we cannot ignore the events described there. And sooner or later they will come true, literally.

YS: Now?

AD: I didn’t say that. But it would be very right, very responsible, very Russian, to consider what is happening today in the apocalyptic dimension and to do everything possible to ensure that the inevitable consequences do not come to pass. And if it is impossible to avoid what is destined to happen, it is important to be on the right side at the moment of the End of the World. On our side.

We Are First

YS: These are challenging times for the Church as well. After all, not everyone understood and accepted Patriarch Kirill’s sermon on March 9, stating that the state has the right to coerce other states by force, to do as it sees fit, if it feels threatened by them. He soon uttered another phrase of concern to theologians, that “forgiveness without justice is surrender and weakness.” Is not the moral and ethical basis of Christianity in forgiveness?

AD: In this new apocalyptic cycle, all proportions have been changed. What in peacetime might have been considered “the rule” has now been discarded as unnecessary. But there is no “Christianity in general.” Catholics themselves consider the Orthodox Church “schismatic,” and we respond in kind. So, they can’t tell us anything.

For us, Christianity is the Russian Orthodox Church, and no one else. We are conducting an eschatological military operation, a special operation on the vertical plane between Light and Darkness, in an end-time situation.

YS: We are the party of Light, I take it?

AD: And the West is the party of Darkness by all its signs and symbols.

YS: Where do you see yourself now? In the new Russian world?

AD: I guess I’m a symbol and a mythological figure, too, in a sense. Like Chubais. Only with an “anti” prefix. If Ukraine is the anti-Russia, then I am the anti-Chubais. I can be anything I want: from a private cartridge dispenser or a mobilized reservist during special operations to any position where the state and the authorities call me. Any position necessary for our victory.

YS: One last question: Putin practically speaks in quotations from your writings. Especially before the start of the special operation. Do you think he reads you?

AD: I think that he and I read the same writings, written in golden letters on the sky of Russian history.

YS: But it’s not on the metaphysical level, but on the ordinary earthly level, you communicate?

AD: I never respond to such a question.

Featured image: A late 15th-century icon of Saint George of Novgorod slaying the dragon.

The Fate Of The World Order Is Being Decided In Ukraine

Recently, the Italian journal Il Tempo asked Alexander Dugin a series of questions, in which he places the conflict in the Ukraine within the context of the greater struggle against globalism. We are grateful to Geopolitica for this opportunity to bring you the English version of this important discussion.

1. Let’s start at the beginning. When and why did the conflict in Ukraine begin?

Alexander Dugin (AD): This is a constant of geopolitics. Its roots go back to ancient Russia, when the Western Russian princedoms of Volhynia and Galicia fought with the Eastern Russian princedoms, primarily Vladimir Rus’, for control of Kiev. Kiev and Kiev’s great princely throne passed from hand to hand. Later, the Grand Duchy finally passed to the east of Russia—Vladimir and Moscow, and the western Russian lands came under the power of the Polish-Lithuanian Duchy.

Moscow reclaimed the territories of present-day Ukraine, divided between Poland, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire for centuries.
Thus two identities were formed: the Great Russian (Muscovites) and the Little Russian (modern inhabitants of western Ukraine). The Cossacks of Little Russia joined Russia in the 17th century.

Alexander Dugin. Photo Credit: Geopolitica.

The Russian Empire under Catherine reclaimed Novorussia from the Turks (all the territories of modern Eastern Ukraine and the Crimea). So, Russia bought back territories to the north from Poland—Chernigov, Kiev, etc. Finally, Stalin reclaimed Galicia from Austria and Poland during World War II.

The territory of the Ukrainian SSR consisted of different territories and different ethnic groups mixed between Velikorussians and Little Russians.
The West has sought to create an artificial Ukrainian nation since the 19th century. Geopolitician Mackinder was the Entente High Commissioner to the Whites and created a plan to build Ukraine independent from Russia as the main link in the cordon sanitaire between Russia and continental Europe. The Bolsheviks did not allow this to happen and incorporated the Great Russian and Little Russian territories of Western Russia into the USSR.

The new generation of Western geopoliticians—Brzezinski, etc.—again bet on the separation of Ukraine from Russia. After the collapse of the USSR, all of the territories of the Ukrainian SSR, along with Crimea, became part of Ukraine. But within the territory of Ukraine there were two peoples—one pro-European, the other pro-Russian. It was a frontier between two civilizations—Russian-Eurasian and Western. The West relied on only one, the pro-European one, and in order to accelerate the creation of a nation in Ukraine that never existed, allowed a Russophobic version of Ukrainian Nazism to spread.

Putin began to strengthen the sovereignty of Russia as a state and civilization. Then the West supported Ukrainian neo-Nazis and radical Westerners in the 2013-2014 Maidan coup d’etat. Putin responded by reuniting with Crimea and supporting Donbass. Kiev, backed by the West, established a neo-Nazi government in eastern Ukraine and began shelling Donbass and launching regular punitive raids. At the same time, Ukraine was rushing to join NATO, attempting to develop nuclear weapons, developing illegal bioweapons in biolaboratories created with the participation of Hunter Biden, and preparing to attack Donbass and then Crimea.

Russia this time launched a preventive special military operation against the Kiev regime. Its goals were the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine—all of Ukraine, not just Eastern Ukraine.

It was the West that initiated the separation of Ukraine from Russia. Brzezinski said that without Ukraine, Russia would never be able to become an Empire; that is, an independent geopolitical and sovereign power. Putin listened to his words, because Brzezinski was right. But chess is a game for two.

The fate of the world order is now being decided in Ukraine—Russia’s victory and its very entry into a tough phase of confrontation with the West, which stands behind the Kiev regime, will mean the beginning of a multipolar world. China supports Russia precisely because China itself, in a multipolar world automatically, becomes an independent pole. The hegemony of the globalist liberal West will collapse. The change in the architecture of the world is almost always, alas, through military action.
But the blame for this lies with the West and the globalist leadership of the United States. Under Trump, who was already committed to a multipolar world, such a harsh situation probably would not have arisen.

2. Is there a civil war in Ukraine or a clash of civilizations?

AD: Both. First of all, it is the clash of civilizations that Huntington wrote about. The border between Russian and Western civilizations runs through Ukraine, dividing it in two. The West wanted to establish control over all of Ukraine. Putin has not allowed this to happen.

The nature of the civil war has to do with two positions in Ukraine itself, as I explained earlier. Eastern Ukraine was occupied by Russophobe-nationalist politicians for 8 years after Maidan. The civil war was essentially fought during this time; but in its most acute form it was expressed in the regular extermination, by the AFU and Nazi formations, of the civilian population of Donbass.

3. For our readers – can you explain what is a unipolar world and what is multipolar?

AD: Unipolarity is a world order in which there is only one decision-making center (Washington); hegemony belongs to only one military bloc (NATO); only one system of values (liberal democracy, LGBT+, gender politics, cancel culture, Great Reset, etc.) is recognized as universal and obligatory on a planetary scale. This is what liberal elites, and above all the Biden administration, American neocons and globalists like Soros, Schwab, etc. insist on today.

A multipolar world implies the existence of several civilizations—Western, Russian, Chinese (these three poles already exist and brightly declare themselves), as well as Indian, Islamic, Latin American (they are on their way); and in the future African. This means that there will be not one but several centers of decision-making (today it is Washington, Beijing and Moscow, but tomorrow there will be more), several regional hegemonies (large spaces), several ideological systems (liberal, Chinese-Communist-Confucian, Orthodox-Eurasian, as well as Islamic, Hindu, etc.) In a multipolar world, the Western monopoly of military, economic value, which is ideological and cultural will be abolished.

This is what the tense confrontation in Ukraine is all about. This is a military conflict accompanying the change of the world order and the transition to multipolarity.

4. Why do you think Russia represents a traditional society and the modern West the Antichrist?

AD: Because Russia stands for traditional values, conservative values—Church, power, family—while the West stands for the exact opposite—postmodernism, atheism or indifference to religion, abolition of states in favor of a One World Government, gay marriage, transgender people, etc. We know how progressives view traditional society. But we don’t think about how traditional societies see the “progressive” West. And they see it as a “civilization of the Antichrist.”

5. Can the operation in Ukraine lead to a new structuring of the world?

AD: Yes, that is exactly what it is for.

6. Can we assume that 50-60 years from now we will know that Russia had secret treaties with China and India regarding this “special military operation?”

AD: I don’t think we are talking about pacts. Putin discussed the special military operation with Beijing; that’s for sure. But events are unfolding so radically that India and other potential poles of the multipolar world are watching Russia’s successes and the West’s reaction rather than being actively involved in the situation. Once Russia wins, everyone will take advantage of the new opportunities offered by multipolarity. But Russia alone will have to bear all the burden. This has often been the case in history.

7. Regarding the “name” of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, many in Italy wonder why it cannot be called “war” in Russia. On the other side of propaganda and polemics—what is that supposed to mean?

AD: Putin thereby shows that this is not Russia’s war with Ukraine, it is something akin to an anti-terrorist operation, in the vein of what the U.S. and NATO conducted in the Middle East or in Afghanistan. This is a war not with the country and especially not with its people, who are historically the same as us, but with the political pro-Western top brass and neo-Nazi terrorist groups.

8. In a recent interview you used the concepts of “The Great Reset” and “The Great Awakening” as two global parties existing in the world.

AD: Yes. Everything is clear with the “Great Reset”—it is the ideology of globalists and liberals who seek to consolidate their planetary power at any cost, using new means for this purpose—global networks, total control, mind control, medical totalitarianism, destruction of traditional sexes, and in the near future the intermingling of humans with machines, etc. Pandemics, wars, conflicts, etc. will be used for this purpose.

But all people must understand the true goals of the globalist elite, go against the peoples, not only of hostile countries (like Russia or China today), but also against their own peoples. That is why the persecution of “Great Awakening” elites is being carried out by both Americans (as we see in the example of Trump supporters) and Europeans (unprecedented pressure on populists).

The Great Awakening is the realization that it is necessary to confront not each other, not the people against the people, but the ideology and hegemony of world elites. The Great Awakening is a new anti-globalist international, designed to unite all supporters of multipolarity and even the most controversial and extravagant ideologies that oppose liberalism.

9. Military action with weapons in hand makes the side that started it the object of criticism. If Ukraine is a battleground between the two parties questioned above, won’t the image of the side that Russia represents deteriorate?

AD: Yes, further demonization of Russia, a wave of Russophobia, and the media discrediting Putin and Russia is the price we have to pay for a multipolar world—especially when the world press remains unipolar. If globalists had listened to their opponents, it wouldn’t even come to war. But for the West, any conversation is a monologue. The interlocutor, the Other, does not exist for the West. And there is no other way for Russia to insist that there is an Other in this conflict. We have tried everything.

10. You speak Italian, and you have close ties with our country. From your point of view, what is the fate of Italy?

AD: Italy is probably the closest country to us Russians among Western European states. We love it in spite of everything. But Italy is not sovereign; it is part of the West, controlled by the EU and the USA. And because of this, any voice of an Italian, or an Italian with support or understanding of Russia at such a difficult time for us, is so valuable.

We are fighting for a multipolar world where Europe and its countries can regain their sovereignty and their independence. Russia today has started a geopolitical revolution. And sooner or later the other nations will get involved in it and understand its meaning and appreciate its message. And it seems to me that the Italians will be the first to do this.

Featured image: “Battle of Kulikovo, 1380,” by Pavel Ryzhenko; painted in 2005.