Russia In a Just War

The special military operation that Russia is conducting in Ukraine has drawn a lot of criticism in Western countries. As a rule, it is reduced to a few particular narratives: Russia has violated the norms of international law and the sovereignty of Ukraine, and war (use of force) is not acceptable to resolve any disagreements. At the same time, the West deliberately glosses over all precedents of aggression against other countries in which they participated, violated sovereignty and conducted occupation. Even relatively recent, such wars constitute a long list—Yugoslavia, the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army received support from NATO countries, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria. In other words, the implication is that wars fought by the West are just and those fought by the rest of us (regardless of their form or causes) are not.

Let us consider whether Russia has acted justly towards Ukraine. First of all, we should keep in mind that in the current postmodern paradigm, there is no single system of accountability and no universal measure for various spheres of activity, including political and military.

Many terms and vague concepts have emerged. Following the combatants are “neo-combatants,” “quasi-combatants,” “post-combatants,” and “other actors” involved in conflicts. Definitions such as “gray zone,” “hybrid warfare,” and “special operations” do not bring clarity to current forms of conflict. Even the classic of military theorist, Carl von Clausewitz, said that “war is the realm of the untrustworthy; three-quarters of what the action of war is based on lies in the fog of the unknown. War is the domain of chance…. It increases the uncertainty of the situation and disrupts the course of events.”

Which is Why…

In our case it is necessary, first of all, to determine when and how a just war begins. The classics of jurisprudence have said the following about it.

The Roman philosopher and politician Marcus Tullius Cicero noted: “We have established by law that when a war is started, when it is waged and when it is stopped, the right and fidelity to one’s word should be of the greatest importance, and that there should be interpreters of this right and fidelity appointed by the state.”

Note that the word “law” in Latin (lex) contains the meaning and significance of choosing (legere) a just and true beginning.

Cicero also said that “unjust are those wars which have been started without cause. For if there is no cause in the form of revenge or by virtue of the necessity of repelling the attack of enemies, it is impossible to wage a just war…. No war is considered just unless it is proclaimed, declared, or started because of an unfulfilled demand for reparation.”

Undoubtedly, the special military operation had serious reasons. Russia has repeatedly demanded of both the collective West and the Kiev regime to stop shelling peaceful towns in the Donbas and to honor the Minsk agreements. They have not done so. And the Russian leadership has repeatedly warned of serious consequences.

And, as we see, it has kept its word.

Augustine, another major authority in the West, states that “the best state does not itself start a war, except when it does so by virtue of its word or in defense of its welfare.” Again, we see mention made of the need to keep one’s word. But to it is added the questionof preserving the welfare.

Thus, according to Augustine, Russia is the best state that 1) keeps its promise, and 2) protects its welfare. And it is impossible to argue against this.

If we talk about modern theorists of just war, we can also find theses justifying the measures that Russia has taken in relation to Ukraine.

Michael Walzer said that “states may resort to military means in the event of a threat of war whenever inaction would lead to a serious risk of violating territorial integrity or political independence.”

Brian Orend generally believed that “a government can launch a preemptive attack if it is in defense of human rights. Military action against an enemy that disregards morality and rights in its policies is not recognized as aggression.” It is assumed that he thus justified the actions of Western countries in relation, for example, to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, where there were problems with respect for human rights; in particular, the repression of the Kurds. However, it is clear that Orend’s formulation also fits the Ukrainian regime, which facilitated the formation of neo-Nazi battalions and ethnocide.

Orend also formulated the idea of a minimally just political community, which has three main criteria:

  1. It is recognized by its own citizens and the world community;
  2. It does not violate the rights of neighboring states;
  3. It ensures respect for the rights of its own citizens.

At least the first and second criteria were absent in Ukraine after the coup in February 2014, because some citizens did not recognize the new neo-Nazi regime, and their rights were not ensured by the central government and were diminished in every possible way.

And according to Orenda, “an attack on a government that does not meet the criteria of minimum justice and is unable to protect the rights of its own citizens or intentionally violates them does not constitute aggression and a violation of the principle of non-intervention.”

Consequently, Russia has not carried out any aggression. Although many politicians in the West would like to think otherwise.

Hence the interpretation of humanitarian intervention. And this is also a Western concept, which under the name of “Responsibility to Protect” was extended even to the UN. And if Western countries have repeatedly carried out such humanitarian interventions under a variety of pretexts, why can Russia not do so, especially since there was a need to protect civilians.

The same Walzer says that “when people are killed, we should not wait to see if they pass the self-help test before providing support.” Apparently, the DNR and LNR passed the self-help test and eight years later they were supported.

Nicholas Fouchin, a professor at Emory University (Atlanta, USA), defends the right to strike non-state groups (especially against terrorists). There were and still are plenty of such groups in Ukraine, from the odious Azov battalion to other paramilitary formations with foreign mercenaries.

Since we are talking about humanitarian intervention, it is necessary to turn to the issue of international humanitarian law (IHL). And here we will immediately discover an interesting nuance. It turns out that international humanitarian law as we know it and as it is spread all over the world is nothing but Western humanitarian law. And, to some extent, even Anglo-Saxon.

Tania Ixchel Atilano, from Mexico, a specialist in international law, notes that in the standard account of IHL history, similarities with classical studies of revolution can be discerned. Traditional accounts of revolutions deal mainly with the revolutions of the United States and Europe. In her study of revolutions, Hannah Arendt deals exclusively with the revolutions of the United States, France, and Russia, completely ignoring Latin America. Even when she explains that all revolutions follow the model of the French Revolution as if it were a decisive process; she fails to note that the Mexican Revolution (1910), which actually occurred before the Russian Revolution (1917), does not follow the “organic process” of the French Revolution at all (the exception, of course, being the establishment of “one-party rule”). It seems that revolutions had to have certain characteristics that could only be fulfilled in certain “civilized” regions.

Even though these “other” revolutions early on provided rights that had not yet been granted to Europeans, such as the abolition of slavery (Haiti, 1793), equality before the law, universal male suffrage and freedom of expression. Above all, it gave hope of emancipation to people who were still colonized or suffering from some kind of oppression.

Exactly the same has happened with the study of IHL history. Perhaps because the “founding fathers” of humanity at war did not consider from the outset the events that took place in Latin America, historians have also reproduced this distortion. By doing so, scholars inadvertently reproduce the misconception that waging war according to the laws of war would only occur in “civilized” states. At the time, the history of IHL was a reflection of the “victor’s story,” or the history of powerful states and their interaction with the laws of war. In other words, without allowing for the existence of any other histories, we are dealing here with a pure “global epistemology.” Global means Western.

Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and now Ukraine are contemporary examples of the continuation of global epistemology.

Another example is the Caroline Affair, which served as the basis for the emergence of the Self-Defense Act during the 1837 war between Canada and Britain. The rebels in Canada were being aided by the US with the ship Caroline, so British troops entered the US territory to carry out a punitive action which resulted in the ship being burned.

This was followed by a discussion between the US Secretary of State, Daniel Webster, and the British government, where the issue of proportionality was discussed. The principle of proportionality was then introduced into the 1949 Geneva Convention and speaks of the need to balance military necessity with humanity.

This was originally just an Anglo-Saxon interlocution that had nothing to do with international affairs, but became part of IHL.

And there are many such examples when European-American codes in the field of criminal, humanitarian and international law were imposed on the overwhelming majority of the world’s states. And the imposition of the Western position continued to be actively imposed over the last 30 years, especially in the countries that the U.S. disparagingly called “developing countries” and implemented their own laws there with the help of USAID, the Carnegie Foundation and other structures.

In this respect, the Special Military Operation in Ukraine is also an incentive to revise a number of international instruments and to carry out necessary reforms. If this cannot yet be done at a truly international level, the vestiges of the influence of Western theories should be removed at least at the national level and within the framework of partnership agreements with friendly countries.

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

Russia Ramps up its Presence in Syria

Some 1,000 Russian troops arrived in Syria in mid-October, disregarding Israeli strikes on the airport runways in Damascus and Aleppo. This is a clear sign of Moscow not going to scale down its fight against Islamic terrorism either because of the situation in Israel or the war in Ukraine. This also means that the Russian Defense Ministry has enough resources to replace the private military companies (PMC) once present in this Arab country. The Defense Ministry, headed by General Sergei Shoigu, quickly and effectively took over the share of Wagner PMC’s military assistance to Syria, focusing not on protecting corporate business interests there, but on ensuring maximum effectiveness in the fight against terrorism.

“According to intelligence data, terrorist groups in the Idlib de-escalation zone are preparing attacks on civilians and Russian and Syrian troop deployments,” Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit, deputy head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties (CPVS) in Syria, said on October 16.

“The command of the Russian group of forces and the leadership of the armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic will take the necessary proactive measures,” Kulit emphasized. He also said that the aviation of the US-led anti-terrorist coalition continues to create dangerous situations in the skies over Syria, flying in violation of de-confliction protocols and Syrian airspace. By the way, this is not the first time that NATO aircraft provide air support for ground operations carried out by bands of criminals and terrorists.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense keeps insisting that there are only a few hundred Russian PMC fighters in Syria and that their numbers are not changing.

“What I see is a relatively stable number of Wagner forces in Syria over the last several months,” the commander of the US Central Command Air Force (CENTCOM), Lieutenant General Alexus Grinkevich, said when meeting with members of the Washington group of military observers (Defense Writers Group). When asked to clarify the precise number of Wagner personnel he was talking about, Grinkevich replied, “I’ll say this – several hundred.” It is hard to say exactly what facts that the general had in mind though. Perhaps information gleaned from the media that needs verification. Besides, how come such a high-ranking US military officer is unaware of the fact that Wagner’s military structures have over the past couple of months been almost completely integrated into the Russian Defense Ministry’s line of command?

Sergey Shoigu – Russian Minister of Defense with associates Western media claims that Russia finds it hard to keep the situation in Syria under control due to the progress of the military operation in Ukraine. However, judging by the situation in the East of Ukraine, it can be assumed that such statements are sheer propaganda.

The Russian armed forces are fast advancing along the entire front line, leaving less and less chances for the Ukrainian military and for Kyiv itself.

“The Ukrainian Armed Forces have run out of time for a counteroffensive,” Newsweek magazine writes, adding that Ukraine no longer has a chance to achieve significant results, since the winter slush will complicate logistics and Ukrainian troop advancements. However, it is now clear to everyone that the seasonal change is not the issue. Essentially, the much-trumpeted Ukrainian counteroffensive never materialized. Pumped up with Western weapons, Zelensky had nothing to boast about on the battlefield.

Apparently, because weapons alone are not enough, one needs tactics, knowledge of military science and much more, which is something neither he nor his team can boast of. As for the Russian Defense Ministry, led by Sergei Shoigu, this past summer it changed its tactic making it possible to strengthen the Russian forces’ position and confidently move forward, so much so that Russia can now allow itself to considerably bolster its presence in both Syria and the African countries.

Slavisha Batko Milacic is an historian and analyst from Montenegro.

Metaphysics of Information Warfare

The global information war is now in full swing. Several versions of reality are clashing with each other more and more openly. Societies and individuals choose for themselves which reality to believe in. And then live in it.

If we think “in the old way,” in the spirit of classical materialism, there is only one reality. Only its descriptions and interpretations differ. That is why some people lie and others tell the truth. And the roles can change. And the whole question is who to believe when.

But that is not the case. Reality itself—as phenomenologists and structuralists have shown—is a product of human consciousness. There is no reality outside of it, and what is there is not loaded with being or meaning. Therefore, in the information war, it is not just interpretations that collide, but the facts themselves.

There is more than one reality—as many structures of consciousness (collective, of course) as there are realities. Not only evaluations of the facts, but the facts themselves. Materialists and people far removed from philosophy are not ready to accept this. Their belief in a reality independent of consciousness is unshakable. And as long as it is so, they will remain victims of information warfare, not those who are its subjects.

Consciousness creates reality.

In the unipolar globalist world, only one consciousness is recognized by default—liberal and Western. It is this consciousness that constructs reality—not only what is good and bad, but what is and what is not. Multipolarity is an act of asserting the sovereignty of other consciousnesses, different from the West. Which means that reality itself becomes polycentric. Information constitutes what we perceive as being. That is why neither the military nor journalists should be at the center of information warfare, but primarily all philosophers. Sovereignty is first and foremost a question of the mind. Sovereign is the one who is the independent and final subject of constructing reality.

Truth is directly dependent on ideology. If you are in favor of unipolar world and globalism, then Palestinians blew up their own women, children and old people. And Zelensky is a freedom fighter against Russian imperialists who massacre innocent Ukrainians. And you, of course, have irrefutable evidence—because CNN, the White House and the IDF always tell only the truth. If you are against American hegemony and its Nazi proxies, the hospital was destroyed by Israel with US support, and the events in Ukraine are all the responsibility of Ukrainian terrorists who were unleashed upon Russia by the American regime. And you even have solid grounds—facts, documents, evidence, knowledge.

The objective world no longer exists.

Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.

Breaking Away from the Civilization of Death

We need to do a mental experiment and imagine what else—other than a nuclear strike—could the West at war with us do to us? What sanctions to impose? Who to expel? How to humiliate? Kick us out of where? Deprive us of what? (We are not considering a nuclear strike, because they won’t, and if they do, it won’t matter, because we will).

Well, the West will do it all. And nothing will stop it.

And there is no need to build illusions here—in fact, the West does not depend on us for almost anything substantial. And if it does, it is intensively looking for a replacement. And more often than not, it finds one. Trying to pin it down with some natural resources or something else is unlikely to have any effect. It is good that we have stopped reassuring ourselves with “severe European winter, which Europe will not survive, allegedly, without us.” It survived the last one and it will survive this one. And Ukraine will not collapse and surrender by itself—until we ruin it and force it to surrender. By will, by force and by relying on ourselves. Only on ourselves.

We have to learn to live without the West. Completely.

We simply discard everything that binds us to it. Radically cut off all contacts, cut off all forms of dependence, stop all transactions, stop all interaction in the technical, economic and humanitarian spheres.

No grain and no fertilizer. No publications in Western scientific journals, withdrawal from SCORUS, revision of RINC criteria. Not waiting until Russian scientists are given an ultimatum: either betray your homeland or you are no longer scientists. And even now it is already practically so.

In sports that is how it is. In politics, it’s even more than that. In economics and finance—everything is moving in the same direction.

The West is cutting us off from itself, and putting forward conditions as to not cut us off further—betray the country, the people, the society, Russia, betray Putin. And then we will see whether you are still an oligarch or no longer an oligarch, a scientist or no longer a scientist, a politician or no longer a politician.
Anything that they can hit us with, the West will hit us with it. With whatever it has already; and with what it does not yet have, it will hit us gradually.

It’s easy to imagine. And if you imagine it, prepare yourself.

We are condemned henceforth to live without the West.

It’s completely unexpected. But it makes perfect sense.

Everything Western is deeply toxic from now on (frankly, it always has been). It is, after all, an addiction to what we do not control, but what the enemy controls. Any hint of liberalism, any recognition of Western universalism, any acceptance of the normativity of anything that comes from the West, any acceptance of Western rules, criteria, practices, anywhere and in anything, is already a step toward betrayal, if not betrayal itself.

That’s what it means to be a Civilized State.

Not to depend in anything and in any way on another civilization, and above all on the one that is waging a merciless war against us.

Once we completely sever all relations with this global model (of degeneration and dehumanization) called the modern “collective West,” we can focus on establishing our own civilizational foundations.

Frankly speaking, we have not looked in this direction at all yet. Everyone has tried to integrate into the West while preserving sovereignty. It is impossible, unrealistic and pointless. And that is exactly what it was at once. The West does not need any “corporation Russia,” even if it is loyal to the West. The good Russia for them is the absent Russia. It is not even Yeltsin’s Russia; it simply does not exist.

It is costly to prolong this process. It is time to cut this thread, because these are civilizational fetters, not the desire to join the “mainstream of development.” The West is a dead end. But that is their business. For us it is just an enemy, death and the end.

Russia will live only in a world where the West does not decide and means nothing. At least for us. In any other cases, it will be the torture of the Etruscan bride, when the criminal was tied alive to a decomposing corpse. There is nothing more horrible than such torture. A man dies slowly, necrosis enters his body cell by cell.

The modern West, too, is a decaying, rotting corpse tied to humanity.

It is not enough for it to perish; it wants to drag everyone else with it into the abyss.

Look at Ukraine, what they have done to it—a poisoned, twisted, psychologically broken people. A destroyed state. Massively crushed on the fronts of a senseless and obviously lost war, or a distraught society fleeing the country. The dead bride of Western control is firmly bolted to that still (barely) breathing country. But death in Ukraine is winning. Staring out of the eyes of its rabid rulers—already crossed over to the other side, already dead but still outwardly alive.

Complete liberation from the West is the only way to salvation. Everything bad in modern Russia is from it. Its miasmas have eaten away our politics, economy, culture, science, psychology, everyday life, youth. This is a carcinogenic process. And the faster and harder we cut off the affected cells, the more chances for salvation and revival of our Motherland, the great Russia.

Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.

Featured: Disparate n. 7, Disparate matrimonial, by Francisco Goya, ca. 1816 and 1823.

New Multipolar Order: Heptarchy and its Meanings

The world order is changing so rapidly today that institutions related to international politics do not have time to adequately respond and fully comprehend it. In Russia, there is a tenuous theory that international law is something solid and stable, taking into account the interests of all parties, while the theory of “rules” and the rules-based order promoted by the collective West and North American elites is some kind of trickery to consolidate hegemony. This is worth exploring in more detail.

Premodern World Order

Let us summarize the fundamental mutations of the world order in the last 500 years—that is, since the beginning of the New Age (the Modern era).

Before the beginning of the era of Great Geographical Discoveries (coinciding with the transition from Premodern to Modern, from traditional society to modern society), the world was divided into zones of several autonomous civilizations. They exchanged with each other on different levels, sometimes conflicted, but none of them questioned the very fact of each other’s existence, accepting everything as it was.

These civilizations were:

  1. Western Christian (Catholic) ecumene;
  2. Eastern Christian (Orthodox) ecumene;
  3. Chinese Empire (including cultural satellites—Korea, Vietnam, partly Japan and some states of Indochina);
  4. Indosphere (including partly Indochina and the Indonesian Islands);
  5. Iranian Empire (including areas of Central Asia under strong Iranian influence);
  6. The Ottoman Empire (inheriting in outline much of the Abbasid dominions—including the Maghreb and the Arabian Peninsula);
  7. A number of independent and developed African kingdoms;
  8. Two American empires (Inca and Aztec).

Each civilization included several powers and often many very different ethnic groups. Each civilization had a distinct religious identity that was embodied in politics, culture, ethics, art, lifestyle, technology, and philosophy.

In essence, this was the zoning of mankind in the epoch when all societies, states and peoples lived in the conditions of traditional society and built their existence on the basis of traditional values. All these values were divine, sacred. At the same time, they were different for each civilization. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the specific case, but in general all civilizations accepted the existence of others as a given (if, of course, they encountered them).

It is worth paying attention to the fact that both the Christian West and the Christian East thought of themselves as separate ecumenes, as two Empires—with the predominance of the Papal beginning in the West and the imperial beginning in the East (from Byzantium this was passed on to Moscow—the Third Rome).

This order Buzan and Little call “antique or classical international systems.” Carl Schmitt refers to them as the first nomos of the earth.

This was the first model of international relations. No general international law existed in this period, because each civilization represented a complete and completely autonomous world—not only a sovereign culture, but also a perfectly original understanding of the surrounding existence and nature. Each Empire lived in its own imperial cosmos, the parameters and structures of which were determined on the basis of the dominant religion and its tenets.

Modern Times: The Invention of Progress

This is where the most interesting part begins. The Western European New Age (Modernity) brought with it an idea completely alien to all these civilizations, including the Catholic-Christian one—the idea of linear time and the progressive development of mankind (later this was formalized into the idea of progress). Those who adopted this attitude began to operate with the fundamental ideas that the “old,” “ancient,” and “traditional” are obviously worse, more primitive, and coarser than the “new,” “progressive,” and “modern.” Moreover, linear progress dogmatically asserted that the new removes the old, overcomes and surpasses it in all parameters. In other words, the new replaces the old, abolishes it, takes its place. This negates the dimension of eternity, which is at the heart of all religions and all traditional civilizations and constitutes their sacred core.

The idea of linear progress simultaneously redefined all forms of traditional society (including the traditional society of Western Europe). Thus, the “ancient international system,” or the “first nomos of the Earth,” came to be regarded collectively as the past, which should be replaced by the present on the road to the future. At the same time, the model of post-traditional, post-Catholic (partly Protestant, partly materialistic—atheistic in accordance with the paradigm of the natural-scientific worldview) European society was taken as the present (contemporary, Modern). In Western Europe of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the idea of a unified civilization (civilization in the singular), which would embody in itself the destiny of all mankind, was first conceived. This destiny consisted in the overcoming of tradition and traditional values; and thus, it swept away the very foundation of the sacred civilizations that existed in that period. They meant nothing more than backwardness (from the modern West), a set of prejudices and false idols.

The Second Nomos of the Earth

Thus began the construction of the “global international system” (according to Barry Buzan) or the “second nomos of the Earth” (according to Carl Schmitt).

Now the West began to transform itself and, in parallel, to influence the zones of other civilizations more and more actively. In Western Europe itself there was a rapid process of destruction of sacral foundations of its own culture, dismantling of Papal influence (especially through the Reformation), formation of European nations on the basis of sovereignty (previously only the Papal See and partly the Western European Emperor were considered sovereign), breaking and moving to the periphery of theological dogmatics and transitioning to natural sciences on the basis of materialism and atheism. European culture was demi-devived, de-Christianized and universalized.

In parallel, the colonization of other civilizations—the American continent, Africa, Asia—was in full swing. And even those empires that resisted direct occupation—Chinese, Russian, Iranian and Ottoman—and maintained their independence, were subjected to cultural colonization, gradually absorbing the attitudes of Western European Modernity to the detriment of their own sacred traditional values.

Modernity, progress and scientific atheism colonized Western Europe, and Western Europe in turn colonized the rest of civilization, either directly or indirectly. At all levels it was a struggle with Tradition, sacredness and traditional values. The struggle of time against eternity. The struggle of civilization in the singular with civilizations in the plural.

Peace of Westphalia

This process of building the second “international system” (the second nomos of the Earth) culminated in the Peace of Westphalia, which ended a 30-year war, the main parties to which were Protestants and Catholics (with the exception of Catholic France, which took the opposite side because of its hatred of the Habsburgs). The Peace of Westphalia approved the first explicit model of international law, the Jus Publicum Europaeum, completely discarding the principles of the medieval order. Henceforth, only nation-states were recognized as bearers of sovereignty, without regard to their religion and political system (however, all states of that time were monarchies). Thus, the supreme authority of foreign policy was recognized as the nation-state (État-Nation), the model of which was not traditional empires or civilizations, but modern European powers, entering the era of rapid capitalist development, sharing in general the principles of the New Age, natural sciences and progress.

Western Europe of the New Age became synonymous with civilization as such, while other non-European political entities were considered “barbaric” (if culture and politics were sufficiently developed in them) and “savage” (if peoples lived in archaic societies without strict vertical political organization and stratification). “Wild societies” were subject to direct colonization and their “hopelessly backward” populations to slavery. Slavery is a modern concept. It came to Europe after the end of the Middle Ages and with the New Age, with progress and the Enlightenment.

“Barbarian powers” (to which Russia belonged) posed a certain threat, which could be dealt with both by direct military confrontation and by introducing into the elite elements that shared the Western European worldview. Sometimes, however, “barbarian powers” used partial modernization and Europeanization in their own interests to oppose the West itself. A striking example is the reforms of Peter the Great in Russia. But in any case, Westernization corroded the traditional values and political institutions of the era of “antique international systems.”

That is why Barry Buzan calls this second model of the world order a “global international system.” Here only one civilization was recognized, built on the idea of progress, technological development, materialistic science, capitalist economy and national egoism. It was to become global.

Sovereignty: Evolution of the Concept

Although this system nominally recognized the sovereignty of each nation-state, this applied only to European powers. The rest were offered the status of colonies. And “barbarian states” were subjected to derogatory ridicule and arrogant contempt. The past—including the Western European past—was vilified in every possible way (hence the myth of the “Dark Middle Ages”), while progress—humanism, materialism, secularism—was glorified.

Gradually, however, the status of sovereignty began to extend to some colonies, if they managed to get out from under the authority of the metropolis. This happened during the War of Independence of the United States. Later, this path was followed by other colonial entities, which were gradually accepted into the European club. Henceforth, the Westphalian principles applied to them as well. This is called the Westphalian system of international relations.

By the end of the 19th century, it had spread to some of the liberated colonies and a number of “barbarian powers” (Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Iran, China), which retained their traditional ways of life inside, but were increasingly drawn into the “global international system” established by the West.

World War I was the peak of the Westphalian order, as it was the major national powers—the Entente, Tsarist Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary—that clashed with each other. In this conflict, coalitions were created arbitrarily, as the participants were independent and quite sovereign units. They could conclude an alliance with some and start a war with others, relying only on the decision of the supreme power.

Ideologization of the International System

By the 1930s, the Westphalian system began to transform. The Bolshevik victory in Russia and the creation of the USSR led to a dramatic intrusion of the ideological dimension into the system of international relations. The USSR fell out of the dualism of “modern societies” and “barbaric states,” as it challenged the entire capitalist world, but was not an inertial continuation of traditional society (rather the opposite—modernization in the USSR was extremely radical, and sacred values were destroyed to an even greater extent than in the West).

The emergence of the phenomenon of European fascism and especially German National Socialism further aggravated ideological contradictions—now horrible in Western Europe itself. After Hitler came to power, Germany began to rapidly build a new European order, based not on classical nationalism, but on the racial theory, glorifying the Aryan race and humiliating all other peoples (partly Aryan—Celts, Slavs, etc.).

Thus, by the end of the 1930s, the world was divided along ideological lines. In fact, the Westphalian system, still recognized in words, was a thing of the past. Sovereignty was now possessed not so much by individual states as by ideological blocs. The world became a tripolar one, where only the USSR, the Axis countries and the liberal Anglo-Saxon Western powers really meant anything. All other countries were offered to join one or another camp, or…. to fend for themselves. Sometimes the issue was settled by force.

The Second World War was a clash of these three ideological poles. In fact, we dealt with a short-term sketch of a three-polar international model with a pronounced conflict and antagonistic ideological dominance on the system of international relations. Each of the poles for ideological reasons actually denied all the others, which naturally led to the collapse of the League of Nations and the Second World War.

Here again, different combinations could theoretically be formed—the Munich Pact suggested the possibility of an alliance between liberals and fascists. The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact—fascists and communists. As we know, the alliance of liberals and communists against fascists was realized. Fascists lost, liberals and communists divided the world between them.

Bi-polar System

At the end of World War II, a bi-polar system emerged. Now not all nominally recognized “sovereign” countries had sovereignty, and only two of the three ideological camps remained. The Yalta Peace consolidated the division of the world between the capitalist and socialist camps, and the UN became the expression of this new model of world order. International law was henceforth based on parity (primarily nuclear) between the capitalist West and the socialist East. The countries of the Non-Aligned Movement were given a certain freedom to balance between the poles.

Carl Schmitt calls bipolarity and the balance of power in the conditions of the Cold War “the third nomos of the Earth,” while Barry Buzan does not single out a special model of the world order, considering it a continuation of the “global international system” (which somewhat weakens the relevance of his general theory).

The Unipolar Moment

The collapse of the socialist camp, the Warsaw Pact and the end of the USSR led to the end of the bipolar world order, based on the ideological principle of capitalism versus socialism. Socialism lost, the USSR capitulated and collapsed—and moreover, recognized and accepted the ideology of the enemy. Hence the Russian Federation, built on the basis of liberal-capitalist norms. Together with socialism and the USSR, Russia lost its sovereignty.

This is how the “fourth nomos of the Earth” began to take shape, which Carl Schmitt himself did not live to see, but whose probability he foresaw. Barry Buzan defined it as a “postmodern international system.” By all accounts, this new model of international relations and the emerging system of international law should have consolidated the established unipolarity. Of the two poles, only one—the liberal one—remained. Henceforth, all states, peoples and societies were obliged to accept the only ideological model—the liberal one.

At this time, theories that consolidated unipolarity emerged. An example of this is Robert Gilpin’s “stable hegemony theory.” Charles Krauthammer cautiously called it a “unipolar moment,” i.e., a temporary situational state of world politics, and Francis Fukuyama confidently proclaimed the “end of history,” i.e., the irreversible and final triumph of liberal democracy; that is, the modern West, on a global scale.

At the political level, this was reflected in Senator John McCain’s call for the creation of a new international organization—the League of Democracies—to replace the irrelevant UN, which would explicitly recognize the complete and total hegemony of the liberal West and the supremacy of the United States on a global scale.

Objections to this mood of radical transition to a unipolar-globalist-postmodern international system were raised by Samuel Huntington, who rather unexpectedly for a culture based on Modernity and linear progress, on the acceptance of the universalism of Western civilization, and at its apogee, suddenly suggested that after the end of the bi-polar world there will be not the end of history (i.e., the complete triumph of liberal capitalism on a planetary scale), but the resurfacing of ancient civilizations. Huntington decoded postmodernity as the end of the Modern as a return to the Premodern, i.e., to the international system that existed before the age of the Great Discoveries (i.e., before the planetary colonization of the world and the beginning of the New Age). Thus, he proclaimed the “return of civilizations;” that is, the new emergence of those forces that dominated the “first nomos of the Earth”—the “antique-classical international system.”

In other words, Huntington predicted multipolarity and a completely new interpretation of postmodernism in International Relations—not total liberalism, but on the contrary, a return to the sovereignty of civilizational “large spaces” on the basis of a special culture and religion. As will become clear in the future, Huntington was absolutely right, while Fukuyama and the proponents of unipolarity were somewhat hasty.

Synchronism of Different Types of World Order

Here we should again pay attention to the concept of “rules-based world order.” In the 2000s there was a peculiar situation where all systems of international relations and, accordingly, all types of international law operated simultaneously. Long-forgotten and expunged civilizations reasserted themselves in a renewed form and began to move towards institutionalization—this is what we see in BRICS, SCO, Eurasian Economic Union, etc. The premodern has intertwined with the postmodern.

At the same time, many provisions of the Westphalian system have been preserved in international law by inertia. The sovereignty of nation-states is still recognized as the main norm of international relations, even if only on paper. Such realists as Stephen Krasner frankly recognized that the thesis of sovereignty applied to all but the truly great powers in the modern world order is pure hypocrisy and does not correspond to anything in reality. But world diplomacy continues to play the game of the Westphalian world, of which the smoking ruins remain.

Peace of Rules-Based Order

At the same time, the Yalta peace system retains its influence and normativity. The UN is still built on the presumption of bipolarity, where a kind of parity of two nuclear blocs—capitalist (USA, England, France) and former socialist (Russia, China)—is preserved in the Security Council. In general, the UN maintains the appearance of a balanced bi-polarity and insists that this is the system of international law (although this is more of a “phantom pain” after the collapse of the socialist camp and the collapse of the USSR). This is what the leaders of modern Russia like to appeal to in their opposition to the West.

The West seeks to consolidate the unipolar system—the League of Democracies, the Forum of Democracies, recognizing those who do not agree with this hegemony as “rogue states.” So far, this cannot be done at the level of international law, which remains nominally Westphalian-bipolar, so the globalists decided to introduce the concept of “rules” and proclaimed a world order based on them, where the rules are created, implemented and protected by only one center—the global West.

The theorists of globalism see in the triumph of Western liberal-capitalist civilization the proof of the theory of progress. All other systems—civilizations, nation-states, confrontation of ideologies, etc.—are in the past. They are removed, overcome. The rules of global domination of the collective West become in this case a prolegomenon to a strictly unipolar New World Order.

That is why Russia, which claims to restore its civilizational sovereignty, attacks the rules so fiercely, seeking to insist either on its Westphalian sovereignty (the second nomos of the Earth) or on something even greater, which is guaranteed by nuclear weapons and a seat on the UN Security Council.

Only recently, after the beginning of the Special Military Operation, has the Kremlin begun to think seriously about real multipolarity, which is, in fact, a return to the traditional pre-Columbian civilizational world order. Multipolarity presupposes a system of international law, fundamentally different from unipolarity, transferring the status of sovereignty from the nation-state to the State-Civilization, i.e., a new edition of the traditional Empire, as well as the principle of equality of all poles.


Today, after the XV BRICS summit, such a heptapolarity of seven civilizations is broadly outlined:

  1. Liberal West;
  2. Maoist-Confucian China;
  3. Orthodox Eurasian Russia;
  4. Vedantic India;
  5. Islamic world (Sunni-Shia);
  6. Latin America;
  7. Africa.

Its contours are quite clearly outlined. But of course, this model has not yet become a new system of international law. It is a long way off.

However, attention should be paid to how deep a complete and radical break with the West must become in order to justify the right of civilizations and their traditional values to exist. All poles will need to reject the basic postulates of the West that have been consistently and compulsively inculcated in themselves and in all of humanity since the beginning of the New Age:

• individualism,
• materialism,
• economism,
• technology as destiny,
• scientism,
• secularism,
• the dominance of money,
• the culture of hedonism and decay,
• progressivism, etc.

This must be taken out of one’s culture by anyone who claims an independent pole, a distinctive civilization. None of the big cultures, except Western culture, is based on these principles. All traditional values are completely opposed to it.

The gradual liberation from the West’s colonial ideology will, of necessity, predetermine the basic parameters of the new system of international relations and the new model of international law.

For now, the proponents of a multipolar order are called upon to reactively counteract the entrenchment of rules dictated by the global West, clinging in agony to the unipolar moment. But soon this will not be enough, and the countries of the expanded BRICS—the civilizations that have surfaced—will have to raise the question of the meaning of sacredness, of Tradition and its values, of eternity and the transcendent dimension of existence.

The new nomos of the Earth lies ahead. A fierce battle is going on now for its outlines. First of all, in Ukraine, which is the frontline between the unipolar and multipolar world order. And all the structures of different layers of international law—from antique-classical to Westphalian, bipolar and unipolar—are clearly present in this brutal war for the meanings and orientations of the new world that is being created before our eyes.

Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.

Featured: Fra Mauro map (1460).

A Decisive Turn in the Special Military Operation

Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma, made a really important post on his Telegram channel, on September 25. Because of its importance, we will cite it in its entirety:

Seven facts that Washington and Brussels have lost the “war of attrition” against Russia.

Biden, Stoltenberg, and other Western officials, referring to the conflict in Ukraine, have started calling it a “war of attrition.” Huge amounts of money have been poured into militarizing the Kiev regime.

What has this led to? Just the facts:

1. Western arms and ammunition shortages.
In June this year, British Defense Secretary Wallace said that Western countries had run out of national stocks of weapons that could be supplied to Kiev. For his part, Biden admitted in July that the decision to give cluster munitions to Ukraine was made because conventional shells had been exhausted.

2. Public confidence in politicians in Europe and the U.S. has been lost.
Ratings of distrust towards the heads of state of the EU and the USA are at a historical peak. 57 percent disapprove of Biden’s actions, 69 percent disapprove of Macron’s actions, 72 percent disapprove of Scholz’s actions. The majority of people in the US and European countries oppose supplying arms to Ukraine.

3. The failure of the Kiev regime’s counteroffensive.
The Ukrainian military, backed by NATO, has suffered huge losses in equipment and manpower. The lack of any results has disappointed Western sponsors.

4. Economic problems of Europe and the USA.
Eurozone economies are in recession. Germany is forced to cut social payments to poor families because of the costs of militarization of the Kiev regime. France has reduced the number of aid recipients; food packages are no longer distributed to those in need, and reimbursing of the purchase of medicines has been cut back. International agencies, expecting deterioration of the financial situation of the United States in the next three years, downgraded the long-term investment rating of the United States.

5. Shortage of Ukrainian army personnel.
The Kiev regime is mobilizing men over 50 years old, as well as those with tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, HIV, and others. From October 1, 2023, women will also be enrolled in the military register. Nurses, doctors and pharmacists will be barred from leaving Ukraine.

6. Ukraine is bankrupt.
Ukraine’s GDP in 2022 fell by 30.4 percent—the worst result in the country’s history. Without help from Washington and Brussels, Kiev cannot fulfill its obligations to its citizens. Ukraine has lost its financial autonomy.

7. Demographic catastrophe in Ukraine.
More than 10.5 million people fled from Ukraine. Another 11.2 million residents of Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Zaporizhya and Kherson regions made their choice to be with Russia. Since 2014, Ukraine has lost 53.7 percent of its population.

These 7 facts speak for themselves:

  • Either the Kiev regime capitulates on the terms of the Russian Federation
  • or Ukraine will cease to exist as a state.

It is the conclusions that are important. The fact that Volodin says this means that the position of the authorities set out here is clear and unambiguous: unconditional surrender or the complete liberation of Ukraine with the abolition of its statehood.

But… Obviously, both require impressive and convincing forceful military backing. The fact that Russia survived and Ukraine lost half of its population is important and correct, but for the rabid horde of obsessives it is no argument at all. They are fighting, supplying tons of new fighters to the front lines, trying to advance. They have no hesitation, no despair, no sense of defeat. So far, they haven’t even flinched. And they certainly won’t flinch at Volodin’s statement.

In order for Moscow’s ultimatum (and Volodin is the speaker, that is, the voice of Moscow) to be taken seriously, forceful and visible arguments must be made. These could be:

immediate destruction of the political and military top brass in Kiev;
an effective blow to the centers of decision-making;
infliction of such damage to the enemy’s military and economic infrastructure that every Ukrainian would immediately feel it;
massive offensive of the Russian army with visible and considerable results.

Then the formula, “surrender or death,” would be taken seriously. And, so, too often we have threatened the enemy and did not back it up with substantial and convincing (for him, and for us) actions. This is very dangerous for a great country: to threaten and then pretend that nothing happened, without answering for what was said. Great countries don’t do that. The hysteria and lies of the enemy should not be compared to us: our superiority is that we are not like the demonic creatures on the other side of the front. Even the comparison is humiliating. So, we need to take quite concrete steps. And they must be substantial and verifiable—both for the enemy and for ourselves.

Once again in the history of the Special Military Operation, we have come to a critical line. Volodin made his statement at the right time. This needed to be said clearly and precisely. But then there should be concrete actions that follow.

And the absence of such actions will have a negative impact—why then should we give serious people more than serious ultimatums if we are unable to back them up? This discredits the country, makes it seem weak and incapable. And it is not.

I believe it is necessary to gather an army of millions, to awaken society to the end, to stop threatening and to start winning. Nietzsche said, “I love those who throw golden words in front of themselves and cover them with even more golden deeds.”

Volodin threw golden words. The absence of golden deeds will not just devalue them, but turn them into their opposite—from gold to lead.

And it is time to engage in patriotic re-education of society in earnest. From top to bottom—and especially from the top. Because the behavior of the elites increasingly resembles a simulation—ersatz patriotism.

Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.

Featured: Feat of Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, Bogdan Willewalde; painted in 1884.

On the Extent of Political Repressions in the USSR: Through the Maze of Speculations, Distortions and Hoaxes

Viktor Nikolayevich Zemskov (1946—2015), the eminent Russia historian, carried out pivotal and decisive archival research, often in fonds that were previously closed to researchers, for over a decade (1980s to 1990s). He focused on the history of political repression in the USSR, the statistics of Gulag prisoners, the fate of those repatriated after the Second World War, the Soviet working class, and military history of Russia. In the process, he answered a grim but crucial question—how many people did Stalin really kill?

In the West, the Great Purge, or the Great Terror has acquired mythic dimensions (thanks to Solzhenitsyn), in which millions are said to have perished. But the meticulous, cool-headed work of Professor Zemskov uncovered a different—and surprising—reality: from 1930 to 1953, a total of 786,000 people were “purged.”

We are able to bring you Professor Zemskov’s foundational article on Soviet repression, which he published in 1995, in Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya (Sociological Research), No. 9. His work continues to be ignored in the West, perhaps because it denies the various Cold War myths about Russia. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya.

Human life is priceless. The murder of innocent people cannot be justified—whether it is one person or millions. But the researcher cannot limit himself to moral evaluation of historical events and phenomena. His duty is to resurrect the true image of our past. All the more so when certain aspects of it become the object of political speculation. All this fully applies to the problem of statistics (scale) of political repressions in the USSR. This article attempts to deal objectively with this acute and painful issue.

By the end of the 1980s, historical science was faced with an urgent need for access to the secret fonds of the security agencies (former and present), since the literature and radio and television constantly mentioned various estimated, virtual figures of repressions, which were not confirmed by anything, and which we, professional historians, could not introduce into the scientific discourse without appropriate documentary confirmation.

In the second half of the 1980s, a somewhat paradoxical situation emerged for a while, when the lifting of the ban on the publication of works and materials on this topic was combined with the traditional lack of a source base, since the relevant archival fonds were still closed to researchers. In terms of style and tone, the bulk of publications from Gorbachev’s “perestroika” period (and later, too) were, as a rule, sharply expositional in nature, being in line with the anti-Stalinist propaganda campaign launched at that time (we are referring primarily to the numerous journalistic articles and notes in newspapers, Ogonyok magazine, etc.). The scarcity of concrete-historical material in these publications was more than compensated for by repeatedly exaggerated “homemade statistics” of the victims of repression, which amazed the readership with their gigantism.

In early 1989, by decision of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences, a commission of the History Department of the USSR Academy of Sciences, headed by corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences Yuri A. Polyakov, was established to determine population losses. As a member of this commission, we were among the first historians to gain access to the statistical reports of the OGPUNKVDMVDMGB, the highest bodies of state power and state administration of the USSR, which had not been given to researchers before, and which were in special storage in the Central State Archive of the October Revolution (TsGaOR USSR), now renamed the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF).

The Commission of the History Department was active in the late 1980s and early 1990s; and even then we published a series of articles on the statistics of repressions, prisoners, special settlers, displaced persons, etc. We continued this work in the years that followed, right up to the present time.

The Commission of the History Department was active in the late 1980s and early 1990s; and even then we published a series of articles on the statistics of repressions, prisoners, special settlers, displaced persons, etc. We continued this work in the years that followed and up to the present time.

As early as the beginning of 1954, the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs drew up a certificate addressed to Nikita S. Khrushchev on the number of those convicted for counter-revolutionary crimes, i.e., under Article 58 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR and under the corresponding articles of the Criminal Codes of other Union republics, for the period 1921-1953. (The document was signed by three persons—the USSR Prosecutor, General Roman A. Rudenko, the USSR Minister of Internal Affairs, Sergei N. Kruglov, and the USSR Minister of Justice, Konstantin P. Gorshenin).

The document stated that, according to the data available in the USSR Interior Ministry, for the period from 1921 to the present, that is, until the beginning of 1954, 3,777,380 people had been convicted of counter-revolutionary crimes by the OGPU Collegium, NKVD troikas, Special Consultation, Military Collegium, courts and military tribunals, including 642,980 to capital punishment (see, State Archive of the Russian Federation, Ф. 9401. Op. 2. Д. 450).

At the end of 1953, the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs prepared another report. Based on statistical reports of the 1st Special Department of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs. It gave the number of those convicted for counter-revolutionary and other particularly dangerous state crimes for the period from January 1, 1921 to July 1, 1953—4,060,306 people (on January 5, 1954, a letter signed by Sergei N. Kruglov, with the content of this information, was sent to Georgy M. Malenkov and Nikita S. Khrushchev).

This figure consisted of 3,777,380 convicted for counter-revolutionary crimes and 282,926 for other especially dangerous state crimes. The latter were convicted not under Article 58, but under other articles equivalent to it, primarily, under paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 59 (especially dangerous banditry) and Article 193-24 (military espionage). For example, some Basmachi were convicted not under Article 58, but under Article 59. (See Table 1):

Table 1: Number of Persons Convicted of Counter-Revolutionary and other Particularly Dangerous State Crimes in 1921-1953

Note: Between June 1947 and January 1950, the death penalty was abolished in the USSR. This explains the absence of death sentences in 1948-1949. Other penalties included credit for time in custody, compulsory treatment and expulsion abroad.

It should be borne in mind that the terms “arrested” and “convicted” are not identical. The total number of convicted persons does not include those arrested who, during the preliminary investigation, i.e., before conviction, died, fled or were released.

This information was a state secret in the USSR until the late 1980s. For the first time the true statistics of those convicted for counter-revolutionary crimes (3,777,380 for 1921-1953) was published in September 1989, in an article by Vladimir F. Nekrasov in Komsomolskaya Pravda. Then this information was presented in more detail, in articles by Aleksandr N. Dugin (in the newspaper, Na boyevom postu, December 1989), Viktor N. Zemskov and D. N. Nokhotovich (Argumenty i Fakty, February 1990), in other publications by Viktor N. Zemskov and Aleksandr N. Dugin. The number of those convicted for counter-revolutionary and other particularly dangerous state crimes (4,060,306 for 1921-1953) was first publicized in 1990, in an article by Aleksandr N. Yakovlev, a member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, in the newspaper Izvestya. In more detail, these statistics (1st Special Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs), with trends by years, was published in 1992 by V. P. Popov in the journal, Otechestvennyye arkhivy,

We specifically draw attention to these publications, because they contain the true statistics of political repressions. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, they were, figuratively speaking, a drop in the ocean, compared to numerous publications of another kind, which gave unreliable figures, usually exaggerated many times.

The public reaction to the publication of authentic statistics of political repressions was mixed. It was often suggested that it was fake. The journalist Anto V. Antonov-Ovseenko, emphasizing that these documents were signed by such vested individuals as Rudenko, Kruglov and Gorshenin, insinuated to the readers of the Literaturnaya gazeta in 1991: “The disinformation service was at its best at all times. Under Khrushchev, too… So, in 32 years—less than four million. It is clear who needs such criminal certificates” (A.V. Antonov-Ovseenko, “Protivostoyaniye,” Literaturnaya gazeta, April 3, 1991, p. 3). Despite Antonov-Ovseenko’s confidence that these statistics were disinformation, we will allow ourselves the courage to assert that he is wrong. These are genuine statistics, compiled by totaling, for the years 1921-1953, the relevant data available in the 1st Special Department. This special department, which at different times was part of the structure of the OGPU, NKVD, MGB (since 1953 and up to now, the Ministry of Internal Affairs), was engaged in collecting complete information on the number of those convicted on political grounds from all judicial and non-judicial bodies. The 1st Special Department was not a body for disinformation, but for comprehensive objective information collection.

After Antonov-Ovseenko, another journalist, Lev E. Razgon, sharply criticized us in 1992 (L.E. Razgon, “Lozh’ pod vidom statistiki: Ob odnoy publikatsii,” in the journal, Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya, (8)1992, pp., 13-14). The essence of Antonov-Ovseenko’s and Razgon’s accusations boiled down to the fact that Viktor N. Zemskov was engaged in falsification, operating with fabricated statistics, and that the documents he used were unreliable and even false. Moreover, Razgon insinuated that Zemskov was involved in the production of these false documents. At the same time, they failed to back up such accusations with any convincing evidence. My responses to Antonov-Ovseenko’s and Razgon’s criticism of us were published in 1991-1992 in the academic journals Istoriya SSSR and Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya (see, Istoriya SSSR, No. 5, 1991, pp. 151-152; Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya, No. 6, 1992, pp. 155-156).

Antonov-Ovseenko’s and Razgon’s sharp rejection of our publications based on archival documents was also triggered by their desire to “save” their “homemade statistics,” which were not supported by any documents and were nothing more than the fruit of their own fantasy. Thus, Antonov-Ovseenko published a book in English in the United States as early as 1980 called Portrait of a Tyrant, where he named the number of those arrested for political reasons only for the period 1935-1940—as 18.8 million people (see, Antonov-Ovseenko, The Time of Stalin: Portrait of a Tyranny, p. 212). Our publications, based on archival documents, directly exposed his “statistics” as pure charlatanism. Hence Antonov-Ovseenko’s and Razgon’s clumsy attempts to present the case in such a way that their “statistics” were correct, and Zemskov was allegedly a falsifier and published fabricated statistics.

Razgon attempted to contrast the archival documents with the testimonies of repressed NKVD officers with whom he interacted in detention. According to Razgon, “at the beginning of 1940, a former head of the financial department of the NKVD, who met me at one of the transit stations, when asked: ‘How many people were imprisoned?’—hesitated and answered: ‘I know that on January 1, 1939 in prisons and camps there were about 9 million living prisoners’” (“Lozh’ pod vidom statistiki: Ob odnoy publikatsii,” in the journal, Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya, No. 8, 1992, p. 14). We, professional historians, know very well how doubtful such information is and how dangerous it is to introduce it into scientific circulation without careful checking and double-checking. A detailed study of the current and summary statistical reports of the NKVD led, as one would expect, to the refutation of this “evidence”—in fact, in early 1939, there were about 2 million prisoners in camps, penal colonies and prisons, of whom 1,317,000 were in camps (see, GARF: Ф. 9413. Оп. 1. Д. 6. Л. 7—8; Ф. 9414. Оп. 1. Д. 1154. Л. 2—4; Д. 1155. Л. 2, 20—22).

It should be noted that the total number of prisoners in all places of deprivation of liberty (camps, penal colonies, prisons) on certain dates rarely exceeded 2.5 million. Usually, it fluctuated in different periods from 1.5 million to 2.5 million. The highest number of prisoners in Soviet history was recorded as of January 1, 1950—2,760,095 people, of whom 1,416,300 were in camps, 1,145,051 were in penal colonies and 198,744 were in prisons (see, GARF: Ф. 9414. Оп. 1. Д. 330. Л. 55; Д. 1155. Л. 1—3; Д. 1190. Л. 1—34; Д. 1390. Л. 1—21; Д. 1398. Л. 1; Д. 1426. Л. 39; Д. 1427. Л. 132–133, 140–141, 177—178).

Therefore, one cannot take seriously, for example, Antonov-Ovseenko’s assertions that after the war there were 16 million prisoners in the camps and penal colonies of the Gulag (see, Antonov-Ovseenko, “Protivostoyaniye,” Literaturnaya gazeta, April 3, 1991, p. 3). It should be understood that on the date Antonov-Ovseenko has in mind (1946), there were not 16 million but 1.6 million prisoners in the camps and penal colonies of the Gulag. One really should pay attention to the point in-between the two figures.

Antonov-Ovseenko and Razgon were powerless to prevent the mass introduction of archival documents into scientific circulation, including the statistics of repressions, which they hated. This direction of historical science became firmly grounded in the documentary archival database (and not only in our country, but also abroad). In this connection, in 1999, Antonov-Ovseenko, still in the deeply erroneous belief that the statistics published by Zemskov were false, and his (Antonov-Ovseenko’s) “own statistics” being supposedly correct (in reality—monstrously perverted), again sadly stated: “The disinformation service was at its best at all times. It is alive and well nowadays. Otherwise, how to explain the ‘sensational’ discoveries of V. N. Zemskov? Unfortunately, obviously falsified (for the archive) statistics flew around many printed publications and found supporters among scientists” (A.V. Antonov-Ovseyenko, “Chernyye advokaty,” Vozrozhdeniye nadezhdy, No. 8, 1999, p. 3). This “cry of the soul” was nothing more than a cry in the wilderness, useless and hopeless (for Antonov-Ovseenko). The idea of “obviously falsified (for the archive) statistics” has long been perceived in the scholarly world as ridiculous and absurd; such assessments do not provoke any reaction other than amazement and ridicule.

This was the natural result of the battle between professionalism and dilettantism—because professionalism must win in the end. Antonov-Ovseenko’s and Razgon’s “criticism” of us was thus in the general vein of the attack of militant dilettantism, with the aim of subjugating historical science, imposing its own rules and methods of scientific (or rather, pseudoscientific) research, which from a professional point of view are completely unacceptable.

Nikita Khrushchev also contributed to the falsification of the issue of the number of prisoners, when he wrote in his memoirs: “…When Stalin died, there were up to 10 million people in the camps” (“Memuary Nikity Sergeyevicha Khrushchova,” Voprosy istorii, No. 3, 1990, p. 82). Even if we understand the term “camps” broadly, including also colonies and prisons, then even taking this into account, in early 1953 there were about 2.6 million prisoners (see, Naseleniye Rossii v XX veke: Istoricheskiye ocherki, 2001, Vol. 2, p. 183). The State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) keeps copies of the report of the USSR Interior Ministry leadership to Khrushchev indicating the exact number of prisoners, including at the time of Stalin’s death. Consequently, Khrushchev was well informed about the true number of prisoners and exaggerated it almost 4 times deliberately.

The publication of Roy A. Medvedev in Moskovskie Novosti (November 1988) about the statistics of the victims of Stalinism provoked a great reaction in society (see, Roy A. Medvedev, “Nash isk Stalinu,” Moskovskie Novosti, November 27, 1988). According to his calculations, during the period 1927-1953, about 40 million people were repressed, including the kulaks, deportees, those who died of starvation in 1933, and others. In 1989-1991, this figure was one of the most popular in the propaganda of Stalinist crimes and became quite firmly embedded in the mass consciousness.

In fact, such a number (40 million) is not possible even with the most expansive interpretation of the concept of “victims of repression.” In these 40 million, Medvedev included 10 million of those who were kulaks in 1929-1933 (in reality, there were about 4 million of them), almost 2 million Poles evicted in 1939-1940 (in reality—about 380,000), and in like manner for absolutely all the elements that made up this astronomical figure.

However, these 40 million soon ceased to satisfy the “growing needs” of certain political forces to denigrate the national history of the Soviet period. The “research” of American and other Western Sovietologists, according to which 50-60 million people died of terror and repression in the USSR, was used. Like Medvedev, all components of such calculations were extremely overstated; the difference of 10-20 million was explained by the fact that Medvedev started counting from 1927, while Western Sovietologists—started counting from 1917. While Medvedev stipulated in his article that repressions are not always death, that the majority of the kulaks survived, that a smaller part of those repressed in 1937-1938 were shot, etc., a number of his Western colleagues called the figure of 50-60 million people as physically exterminated and as having died as a result of terror, repressions, famine, collectivization, and so on, and the number of those who died as a result of repressions, famine, collectivization, etc., as a result of the repressions. In short, they worked hard to fulfill the demands of politicians and special interests of their countries in order to discredit in a scientific form their opponent in the “Cold War,” not hesitating to fabricate direct slander.

This, of course, does not mean that there were no researchers in foreign Sovietology who tried to study Soviet history objectively and in good faith. Major scientists, experts on Soviet history J. Arch Getty (USA), Stephen G. Wheatcroft (Australia), Robert W. Davies (England), Gabor Rittersporn (France) and some others openly criticized the research of most Sovietologists and proved that in reality the number of victims of repression, collectivization, famine, etc. in the USSR was much lower.

However, the works of these foreign scientists with their incomparably more objective assessment of the scale of repressions were silenced in our country. Only that which contained unreliable, many-times exaggerated statistics of repressions was actively introduced into the mass consciousness. And the mythical 50-60 million soon eclipsed Roy Medvedev’s 40 million in the mass consciousness.

Therefore, when the chairman of the KGB of the USSR Vladimir A. Kryuchkov, in his speeches on television, referred to the true statistics of political repressions (he repeatedly cited the data in the records of the KGB of the USSR for 1930-1953—3,778,234 convicted political prisoners, of whom 786,098 were sentenced to execution) (see, Pravda, February 14, 1990), many people literally could not believe their ears, thinking that they had misheard. In 1990, the journalist A. Milchakov shared his impression of V. A. Kryuchkov’s speech with the readers of Vechernyaya Moskva: “…And then he went on to say: thus, tens of millions are out of the question. I don’t know whether he did it consciously. But I am familiar with the latest widespread studies, which I believe, and I ask the readers of Vechernyaya Moskva once again to carefully read Alexandr I. Solzhenitsyn’s work, The Gulag Archipelago. I ask you to familiarize yourself with the studies published in Moskovsky Komsomolets by I. Vinogradov, our most famous literary scholar. He cites the figure of 50-60 million people. I would like to draw attention to the studies of American Sovietologists, which confirm this figure. And I am deeply convinced of it” (Vechernaya Moskva, April 14, 1990).

Comments, as they say, are superfluous. Distrust was shown only for documented information and immense trust for information of the opposite nature.

However, even this was not the limit of deceiving the public. In June 1991, Komsomolskaya Pravda published Solzhenitsyn’s interview with Spanish television in 1976. From it we learn the following: “Professor Kurganov indirectly calculated that from 1917 to 1959, just from the internal war of the Soviet regime against its people, i.e., from annihilation by hunger, collectivization, exile of peasants for extermination, prisons, camps, simple shootings—just from this alone we lost, together with our civil war, 66 million people… According to his calculations, we lost in the Second World War from its [the government’s] negligent, from its sloppy conduct, 44 million people! So, in total, we lost 110 million people from the socialist system!” (“Razmyshleniya po povodu dvukh grazhdanskikh voyn: Interv’yu A.I. Solzhenitsyna ispanskomu televideniyu v 1976 g,” Komsomolskaya Pravda, June 4, 1991).

With the wording “from its negligent, from its sloppy conduct” Solzhenitsyn actually equated all the human losses in the Great Patriotic War with those who died and perished as a result of collectivization and famine, which many historians and publicists include in the number of victims of political terror and repression. We are inclined to strongly distance ourselves from such an equation.

The estimate of these losses of 44 million people is, of course, extremely overstated. We are also skeptical of the recently accepted estimate of 27 million, which has been included in many textbooks, and also consider it overstated. Without taking into account the usual annual mortality of the population (as well as the decline in birth rate), we tried to establish the human losses (military and civilian), in one way or another related to the fighting. To the losses of the armed forces who died (11.5 million, including those who died in captivity), were added the losses of civilian volunteer formations (militias, partisans, etc.), Leningrad blockades, victims of the Nazi genocide in the occupied territory, killed and tortured Soviet citizens in fascist camps, etc. The final figure does not exceed 16 million people.

In the mass media from time to time, but quite regularly, statistics of political repressions based on the memoirs of Olga G. Shatunovskaya were quoted. She was a former member of the Committee for Party Control under the CPSU Central Committee, the commission to investigate the murder of Sergei M. Kirov and the political trials of the 1930s, during the time of Khrushchev. In 1990, Argumenty i Fakty published her memoirs, where she, referring to a certain document of the KGB of the USSR, later allegedly mysteriously disappeared, noted: “…From January 1, 1935 to June 22, 1941, 19,840,000 “enemies of the people” were arrested. Of these, 7 million were shot. Most of the rest died in the camps” (O.G. Shatunovskaya, “Fal’sifikatsiya,” Argumenty i Fakty, No. 22, 1990).

The motives of Shatunovskaya’s actions are not quite clear; whether she deliberately invented these figures for the purpose of revenge (she was repressed), or whether she herself became a victim of some misinformation. Shatunovskaya asserted that Khrushchev allegedly requested the certificate, which contained these sensational figures, in 1956. This is very doubtful. All the information on the statistics of political repressions was set forth in the two certificates prepared at the end of 1953 and the beginning of 1954, which we have mentioned above.

We are sure that such a document never existed. After all, the relevant question is: what prevents the political forces currently in power, no less interested, we must assume, in exposing the crimes of Stalinism, to officially confirm Shatunovskaya’s statistics with reference to a credible document? If, according to Shatunovskaya’s version, the security service prepared such a summary in 1956, what prevented it from doing the same in 1991-1993 and later? Even if the summary of 1956 was destroyed, the primary data were preserved.

Neither the Ministry of Security of the Russian Federation (MBRF, later the FSB of the Russian Federation), nor the Ministry of Internal Affairs, nor other bodies could do this for the simple reason that all the relevant information they have directly refutes Shatunovskaya’s statistics.

Shatunovskaya’s statement that “most of the rest died in the camps” (we must assume 7-10 million, if we count from her virtual almost 13 million “others”), of course, also does not correspond to the truth. Such statements can be perceived as reliable only in an environment dominated by misconceptions that tens of millions of people allegedly died and perished in the Gulag. A detailed study of statistical reports on prisoner mortality gives a different picture. In 1930-1953, about 1.8 million prisoners died in places of deprivation of liberty (camps, penal colonies and prisons), of which almost 1.2 million died in camps and over 0.6 million in colonies and prisons. These calculations are not estimates, but are based on documents. And here arises a difficult question: what is the share of those political among these 1.8 million dead prisoners (political and criminal). There is no answer to this question in the documents. It seems that political prisoners accounted for about one third, i.e., about 600,000. This conclusion is based on the fact that those convicted of criminal offenses usually accounted for about 2/3rd of the prisoners. Consequently, out of the number of those sentenced to serve their sentences in camps, penal colonies and prisons, indicated in Tables 1 and 2, approximately this number (about 600,000) did not live to be released (between 1930 and 1953).

The highest mortality rate occurred in 1942-1943—during these two years, 661,000 prisoners died in camps, penal colonies, and prisons, which was mainly a consequence of significant cuts in nutritional standards due to the extreme war situation. Later on, the mortality rate began to steadily decline and amounted in 1951-1952 to 45.3 thousand people, or 14.6 times less than in 1942-1943 (see, Naseleniye Rossii v XX veke: Istoricheskiye ocherki, 2001, Vol. 2, p. 195). At the same time, we would like to draw attention to one curious nuance: according to the data we have for 1954, among the free population of the Soviet Union, for every 1,000 people, there died an average of 8.9 people, while in the camps and colonies of the Gulag, for every 1,000 prisoners—only 6.5 people died (see, GARF: Ф. 9414. Оп. 1. Д. 2887. Л. 64).

Having documented evidence that Shatunovskaya’s statistics are unreliable, in 1991 we published the relevant refutation in the pages of the academic journal, Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya (see, V.N. Zemskov, “GULAG: istoriko-sotsiologicheskiy aspekt,” in Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya, No. 6, 1991, p. 13).

It seemed that with Shatunovskaya’s version the question was solved even then. But that was not the case. Both radio and television continued to propagandize her figures in a rather obsessive form. For example, on March 5, 1992, in the evening program, Novosti, the host, T. Komarova, broadcast to a multimillion audience about the 19,840,000 repressed, including 7 million shot in 1935-1940, as an allegedly unquestionable fact. And this was happening at a time when historical science had proved the unreliability of this information and had genuine statistics on hand.

On August 2, 1992, a briefing was held in the press center of the Ministry of Security of the Russian Federation (MBRF), at which Major General A. Krayushkin, head of the MBRF’s Department of Registration and Archival Fonds, told journalists and other invitees that during the entire period of communist rule (1918-1990) in the USSR, 3,853,900 people were convicted on charges of state crimes and some other articles of criminal legislation of similar nature, 827,995 of whom were sentenced to execution. In the terminology used at the briefing, this corresponds to the wording “for counter-revolutionary and other particularly dangerous crimes against the state.” The reaction of the mass media to this event was curious—most of the newspapers kept a sepulchral silence. To some, these figures seemed too large; to others—too small; and as a result the editorial boards of newspapers and magazines of various directions preferred not to publish this material, thus withholding from their readers socially significant information (silence, as we know, is a form of slander). We should pay tribute to the editorial board of Izvestya newspaper, which published a detailed report on the briefing with the statistics quoted there (see, V. Rudnev, “NKVD—rasstrelival, MBRF—reabilitiruyet,” in Izvestya, August 3, 1992).

It is noteworthy that the addition of information for 1918-1920 and 1954-1990, in the above-mentioned MBRF data, did not fundamentally change the statistics of political repressions for the period 1921-1953. The MBRF staff used some other source, the data of which slightly diverge from the statistics of the 1st Special Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Comparison of data from these two sources leads to a very unexpected result: according to IBRF information, in 1918-1990, 3,853,900 people were convicted on political grounds; while according to the statistics of the 1st Special Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 1921-1953—4,060,306 people. In our opinion, this discrepancy should be explained not by the incompleteness of the MBRF source, but by the more strict approach of the compilers of this source to the concept of “victims of political repression.” When working in the GARF with operational materials of the OGPU-NKVD, we noticed that quite often cases were submitted for consideration by the Collegium of the OGPU, the Special Conference and other bodies, of ordinary criminals who robbed factory warehouses, collective farm storerooms, etc., as political or especially dangerous state criminals.

For this reason, they were included in the statistics of the 1st Special Department as “counter-revolutionaries” and, according to present-day concepts, are “victims of political repressions” (this can be said of recidivist thieves only in mockery); while in the IBRF source they are excluded.

The problem of eliminating criminals from the total number of those convicted of counter-revolutionary and other particularly dangerous state crimes is much more serious than it may seem at first glance. If the IBRF source did screen them out, it was far from complete. In one of the certificates prepared by the 1st Special Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR, in December 1953, there is a note: “Total convicted for 1921-1938—2,944,849 people, of whom 30 percent (1,062,000)—criminals” (GARF: Ф. 9401. Оп. 1. Д. 4157. Л. 202). This means that in 1921-1938 there were 1,883,000 people convicted as purely political; for the period of 1921-1953 it turns out not 4,060,000, but less than 3 million. This is, provided that in 1939-1953 there were no criminals among the convicted “counter-revolutionaries,” which is very doubtful. However, in practice there were facts when even political persons were convicted under criminal articles.

In 1997, Viktor V. Luneev published annual statistics of political convicts, taken from the source of the USSR KGB (MBRF, FSB RF) (see, V. V. Luneev, Prestupnost’ XX veka, 1997, p. 180). This made it possible to compile a comparative table of statistics of those convicted in 1921-1952 on political grounds (with the number of those sentenced to execution) according to the data of two sources—the 1st Special Department of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs and the KGB of the USSR (see Table 2). For 15 years, out of 32, the corresponding figures of these two sources coincide exactly (including 1937-1938); for the remaining 17 years, there are discrepancies, the reasons for which are yet to be clarified.

Table 2: Comparative Statistics. Convicted in 1921-1952, on Political Grounds (based on data from the 1st Special Department of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs and the USSR KGB)

The comparative statistics for the years 1921-1952 are not without some strange phenomena. Thus, according to the KGB (FSB) records for this period, the number of convicted “counter-revolutionaries” is almost 300,000 less than according to the statistics of the 1st Special Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, while the number of those sentenced to death among them is 163,000 thousand more. Of course, the main reason for this situation lies in the data for 1941, when the state security agencies took into account 23,726 people sentenced to capital punishment for political reasons, and the 1st Special Department of the NKVD—only 8011.

Two years (1937 and 1938), known as the years of the “Great Terror,” when there was a sharp rise (or jump) in the scale of political repressions, occupy a special place in these statistics. During these two years, 1,345,000 people were convicted on charges of a political nature, or 35 percent of the total number for the period 1918-1990.

The picture is even more impressive in terms of the statistics of those sentenced to death from among them. In total, for the whole Soviet period, there were 828,000 of them, of which 682,000 (or over 82 percent) fall in these two years (1937-1938). The remaining 70 years of the Soviet period accounted for a total of 146,000 death sentences on political grounds, or less than 18 percent.

Since this article is devoted to the scale, i.e., statistics of political repressions, it is not intended to investigate their causes and motivation. But we still wanted to draw attention to one circumstance, namely, the role of Stalin in this case. Recently there have been voices claiming that Stalin did not personally initiate the mass repressions, including the “Great Terror” of 1937-1938, that it was allegedly imposed on him by local party elites, etc. We should realize that this is not true.

There is a large number of documents, including published ones, which clearly show Stalin’s proactive role in repressive policy. Take, for example, his speech at the February-March Plenum of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (b) in 1937, after which the “Great Terror” began. In this speech, Stalin said that the country was in an extremely dangerous situation due to the intrigues of saboteurs, spies, subversives, as well as those who artificially generated difficulties, thus creating a large number of the dissatisfied and irritated. This reached into the leadership cadres, who, according to Stalin, were complacent and had lost the ability to recognize the true face of the enemy.

It is quite clear to us that these statements of Stalin at the February-March Plenum of 1937 are a call for the “Great Terror,” and he, Stalin, was its main initiator and inspirer.

It is natural to want to compare the scale of political repression in the USSR with the corresponding indicators in other countries, primarily with Hitler’s Germany and Francoist Spain.

At the same time, I would like to warn against the incorrect nature of comparisons with the scale of political repression in Nazi Germany. It is claimed that the scale of repressions against German citizens in Germany was much smaller. Yes, political repressions against ethnic Germans seem relatively low, although we are talking about tens of thousands of people. But in this case we cannot stay confined in the framework of individual states, and we should put the question in a different way: what did Hitler’s regime bring to humanity? And it turns out that it is the Holocaust with six million victims and a long series of humanitarian crimes with many victims numbering many millions against the Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish, Serbian and other peoples.

Or another example—a comparison with the scale of political repression in Francoist Spain. Now, in the USSR there were over 800,000 death sentences for political reasons. In Spain under Franco—over 80,000, or 10 times less. Hence the conclusion is made that the scale of political terror in the USSR was immeasurably higher than in Spain. This conclusion is completely wrong, in fact; these scales were approximately the same. The lion’s share of death sentences on political grounds in Spain falls on the late 1930s—early 1940s, when the population of Spain was about 20 million people, and the population of the USSR at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War was approaching 200 million; that is, the difference in population was 10 times. Yes, in Francoist Spain there were 10 times less death sentences for political reasons than in the USSR, but the population of the country was also 10 times less; that is, in terms of per capita these indicators are the same, almost identical.

We are by no means attacking the well-known postulate that there were no politically motivated prosecutions in the United States. However, we have grounds to assert that American jurisprudence deliberately qualifies certain crimes that have a political background as purely criminal. Indeed, in the USSR, Nikolaev, the murderer of Kirov, was unambiguously a political criminal. In the United States, Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President Kennedy, was no less unambiguously a criminal, although he committed a purely political murder. In the USSR, identified spies were convicted under the political Article 58, while in the U.S. such spies are criminals. With such an approach, Americans naturally have every reason to advertise themselves as a society in which there is a complete absence of persecution and conviction on political grounds.

A grandiose mystification is the well-known myth about the total (or almost total) repression in the USSR of Soviet servicemen who were Nazi prisoners of war. The mythology is built, as a rule, in the darkest and most sinister colors. This applies to various publications published in the West and to journalism in our country. In order to present the process of repatriation of Soviet prisoners of war to the USSR from Germany and other countries and its consequences in the most gruesome way possible, an extremely biased selection of facts is used, which in itself is a sophisticated method of slander. In particular, sometimes gruesome scenes of violent repatriation of personnel of collaborationist military units are relished, and the corresponding conclusions and generalizations are transferred to the bulk of prisoners of war, which is wrong in principle. Accordingly, their repatriation, which, despite all the costs, was based on the natural and moving epic of finding the homeland of many hundreds of thousands of people, forcibly deprived of it by foreign invaders, is interpreted as a direction almost to the “belly of the beast.” Moreover, the biased facts are presented in a distorted form with a given interpretation, literally imposing an absurd conclusion on the reader, as if the repatriation of Soviet prisoners of war was carried out allegedly only to repress them in the Soviet Union, and there were no other reasons for repatriation.

However, the data presented in Table 3 do not strongly support such pessimistic assessments. On the contrary, they shatter the myth about the alleged almost universal repression in the USSR of Soviet servicemen who had been in Nazi captivity. This statistic includes 1,539,475 prisoners of war who entered the USSR during the period from October 1944 to March 1, 1946, from Germany and other countries, of which 960,039 came from the zones of action of the Allies (West Germany, France, Italy, etc.) and 579,436 from the zones of action of the Red Army abroad (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc.), (see, GARF: Ф. 9526. Оп. 4а. Д. 1. Л. 62, 223—226). In 1945, 13 age-categories of servicemen were demobilized from the army, and accordingly their peers among prisoners of war (over 280,000) were released home. A part of the POWs of non-demobilizable ages were enrolled in work battalions—these were not at all repressed, but were one of the forms of mobilized labor force (a common practice at that time), and their assignment to the place of residence was made dependent on the future demobilization of their peers who continued to serve in the Red (Soviet) Army. The majority of prisoners of war of non-demobilizable ages were reinstated into military service. Only the special contingent of the NKVD remained (the share of the total number of prisoners of war was as follows—less than 15 percent); but we must not forget that the bulk of this category of repatriated prisoners of war were persons who, after their capture, had entered the military or police service of the enemy.

Table 3: Distribution of Repatriated Soviet Prisoners of War by Category (as of March 1, 1946)

The notion that the highest political leadership of the USSR allegedly equated the concepts of “prisoners” and “traitors” belongs to the category of retrospectively invented falsehoods (artifacts). Such “making up” usually pursued the goal of more slander and to discredit Stalin. In particular, the expression attributed to Stalin—”we have no prisoners, we have traitors”—is a fable (artifact), composed in 1956 in the writer-publicist environment, during the wave of criticism of the personality cult of Stalin. Actually, there are quite a lot of invented artifacts. They include, for example, the tale of Stalin’s “refusal” to exchange prisoners—Field Marshal Paulus for his son Yakov Dzhugashvili (in reality, this did not happen; it is a later fiction). Specially for the purpose of discrediting Stalin in Khrushchev’s time was fabricated the fake “report” of Soviet intelligence officer Richard Sorge, allegedly dated June 15, 1941 and which reported the date of the German invasion—June 22, 1941 (in fact, Sorge did not send such a report, because he did not know the exact date of the German attack on the USSR).

Medvedev suggests that up to 1946 inclusive, NKVD agencies repressed from 2 to 3 million people living on the territory of the USSR, which was subjected to fascist occupation (see, R.A. Medvedev, “Nash isk Stalinu,” in Moskovskiye novosti, November 27, 1988). In reality, 321,651 people were convicted on political grounds throughout the Soviet Union in 1944-1946, of whom 101,77 were sentenced to capital punishment (according to the records of the 1st Special Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs). It seems that the majority of those convicted from the former occupied territory were punished justly—for specific treasonous activities.

The statement widely used in Western Sovietology that 6-7 million peasants (mostly kulaks) perished during the collectivization of 1929-1932 does not stand up to criticism. In 1930-1931, just over 1.8 million peasants were sent into “kulak exile,” and at the beginning of 1932, 1.3 million remained there. The loss of 0.5 million was due to deaths, escapes, and the release of the “wrongly exiled.” During 1932-1940, in the “kulak exile,” 230,258 people were born, 389,521 died, 629,042 escaped and 235,120 returned after escaping. And from 1935, the birth rate began to exceed the death rate: in 1932-1934, in the “kulak exile,” were born 49,168 and 271,367 died; in 1935-1940—respectively 181,090 and 108,154 people (see, GARF: Ф. 9479. Оп. 1. Д. 89. Л. 205, 216).

There is no agreement in the scientific and journalistic literature on the question of whether or not to include the dispossessed peasants among the victims of political repressions. The kulaks were divided into three categories, and their total number varied from 3.5 million to 4 million (it is still difficult to establish the exact number). Here it should be noted immediately that the kulaks of the 1st category (arrested and convicted) are included in the statistics of political repressions given in Tables 1 and 2. The question of the 2nd category, kulaks sent under escort to live in “cold lands” (special resettlement), is disputable, where they were under the supervision of the NKVD agencies, which looked very much like political exile. As for the kulaks of the 3rd category, who avoided both arrest and conviction, and were sent to special settlement, there is no reason, in our opinion, to include them in the number of victims of political repression. In passing, we note that among the landlords whose property was expropriated in 1918, only those who were subsequently arrested and convicted by the punitive bodies of the Soviet power can be considered victims of political repression. The concepts of “expropriated” and “repressed” should not be equated.

We have studied the entire set of statistical reports of the Special Settlements Department of the NKVD-MVD of the USSR. It shows that in 1930-1940 about 2.5 million people were in “kulak exile,” of whom about 2.3 million were kulak peasants and about 200 thousand were “admixture” in the form of urban declassified element, the “dubious element” from border zones and others. During this period (1930-1940), approximately 700,000 people died there, the vast majority of them in 1930-1933 (see, V. N. Zemskov, Spetsposelentsy v SSSR. 1930—1960: Abstract of the dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Historical Sciences, Moscow, 2005, pp. 34-35). In light of this well-known and often quoted statement of Winston Churchill that in one of the conversations with him, Stalin allegedly named 10 million expelled and dead kulaks (see, Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. 4, The Hinge of Fate, pp. 447-448), should be perceived as a misunderstanding.

The victims of political terror often include those who died of hunger in 1933, which is hardly legitimate. After all, we are talking about the fiscal policy of the state in the conditions of a natural disaster (drought). At that time, in the regions affected by drought (Ukraine, the North Caucasus, part of the Volga region, the Urals, Siberia, Kazakhstan), the state did not find it necessary to reduce the volume of obligatory supplies and confiscated from the peasants the meager harvest to the last grain. The polemics on the issue of the number of those who died from the famine is far from being finalized—estimates vary mainly within the range from 2 million to 8 million (see, V.P. Danilov, “”Diskussiya v zapadnoy presse o golode 1932—1933 gg. i «demograficheskaya katastrofa» 30—40-kh godov v SSSR,” in Voprosy istorii, no. 3, 1988, pp. 116-121; R. Konkvest, “Zhatva skorbi,” in Voprosy istorii, No. 4, 1990, p. 86; Naseleniye Rossii v XX veke: Istoricheskiye ocherki, Vol. 1, pp. 270-271). According to our estimates, the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 were about 3 million people, about half of them in Ukraine. Our conclusion, of course, is not original, since approximately the same estimates were given by historians V.P. Danilov (USSR), S. Wheatcroft (Australia) and others back in the 80s of the XX century (see, V.P. Danilov, “Kollektivizatsiya: kak eto bylo,” in Stranitsy istorii sovetskogo obshchestva: fakty, problemy, lyudi, Moscow, 1989, p. 250).

The main obstacle to the inclusion of those who died from the famine in 1933 among the victims of political terror with the formulation developed in human rights organizations of “artificially organized famine with the purpose of causing mass death of people” is the fact that the fiscal policy was a secondary factor, and the primary factor was a natural disaster (drought). Nor was it intended to cause mass deaths (the political leadership of the USSR did not foresee and did not expect such negative consequences of its fiscal policy in conditions of drought).

In recent years, the idea has been actively promoted in Ukraine (including in scientific circles) that the famine of 1932-1933 was the result of Moscow’s anti-Ukrainian policy, that it was a deliberate genocide against Ukrainians, etc. the population of the North Caucasus, the Volga region, Kazakhstan and other areas where there was a famine. There was no selective anti-Russian, anti-Ukrainian, anti-Kazakh or any other orientation here. In fact, the United Nations was guided by the same considerations, which in 2008 refused to recognize the fact of the genocide of the Ukrainian people by a majority vote (although the United States and England voted for such recognition, they were in the minority).

The losses of the peoples deported in 1941-1944—Germans, Kalmyks, Chechens, Ingush, Karachais, Balkars, Crimean Tatars, etc.—are also greatly exaggerated. In the press, for example, there were estimates that up to 40 percent of Crimean Tatars died during transportation to the places of expulsion. Whereas the documents show that out of 151,720 Crimean Tatars sent in May 1944 to the Uzbek SSR, 151,529 were accepted by the NKVD of Uzbekistan, and 191 people (0.13%) died on the way (see, GARF: Ф. 9479. Оп. 1. Д. 179. Л. 241—242).

It is another matter that in the first years of life in the special settlement, in the process of painful adaptation, the mortality rate significantly exceeded the birth rate From the moment of the initial settlement until October 1, 1948—25,792 were born and 45,275 died among the evicted Germans (excluding the labor army); among the North Caucasians (Chechens, Ingush, Karachays, Balkars, etc.)— respectively 28,120 and 146,892; among the Crimeans (Tatars, Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks)—6,564 and 44,887; among those deported in 1944 from Georgia (Meskhetian Turks, etc.)—2,873 and 15,432; among Kalmyks—2,702 and 16,594 people. Since 1949, among all of them, the birth rate became higher than the death rate (see, GARF: Д. 436. Л. 14, 26, 65—67).

History dilettantes include all human losses during the Russian Civil War among the unconditional “victims of the Bolshevik regime.” From the fall of 1917 to the beginning of 1922, the population of the country decreased by 12,741,300 people (see, T.A. Polyakov, Sovetskaya strana posle okonchaniya Grazhdanskoy voyny: territoriya i naseleniye, Moscow, 1986, pp. 98, 118); this also includes White emigration, the number of which is not precisely known (approximately 1.5 to 2 million). Only one warring party (the Red) is declared the culprit of the Civil War, and all the victims, including its own, are attributed to it. How many “exposé” materials have been published in recent years about the “sealed train,” the “intrigues of the Bolsheviks,” etc.?! It is impossible to count. It has often been claimed that if it had not been for Lenin, Trotsky, and other Bolshevik leaders, there would have been no revolution, no Red Movement, and no Civil War (we should add, with the same “success” one can claim that if it had not been for Denikin, Kolchak, Yudenich, and Wrangel, there would have been no White Movement). The absurdity of such assertions is quite obvious. The most powerful social upheaval in world history, such as the events of 1917-1920 in Russia, was predetermined by the entire previous course of history and was caused by a complex set of intractable social, class, national, regional and other tensions. In light of this, science cannot broadly interpret the concept of “victims of political repression” and includes in it only persons arrested and convicted by the punitive bodies of the Soviet power for political reasons. This means that the victims of political repressions are not the millions who died of typhus, typhoid, typhoid fever and other diseases. Nor are the millions of people who died on the fronts of the Civil War on all opposing sides, who died of hunger, cold, etc., the victims of political repression.

And as a result, it turns out that the victims of political repressions (during the years of “Red Terror”) are not counted in millions at all. The most we can talk about is tens of thousands. It is not without reason that when at the briefing in the press center of the IBRF on August 2, 1992, the number of those convicted on political grounds since 1917 was named, it did not fundamentally affect the corresponding statistics, if we count from the year 1921.

According to the available records in the FSB RF, in 1918-1920, 62,231 people were sentenced for “counter-revolutionary crime,” including 25,709 for execution (see, V. V. Luneev, Prestupnost’ XX veka, 1997, p. 180; V.N. Kudryavtsev, A.I. Trusov, Politicheskaya yustitsiya v SSSR, Moscow, 2000, p. 314). This information is part of the statistics above, mentioned at the briefing, at the press center of the IBRF, on August 2, 1992. We believe that the above statistics for the period of the Civil War are incomplete. Many victims of lynchings of “counter-revolutionaries” are probably not taken into account. These lynchings were often not documented at all, and the FSB has clearly taken into account only the number that is confirmed by documents. It is also doubtful that in 1918-1920 Moscow received exhaustive information about the number of the repressed from localities. But even taking all this into consideration, we believe that the total number of repressed “counter-revolutionaries” (including victims of the “Red Terror”) in 1918-1920 hardly exceeded 100,000 people.

Our publications with the statistics of political repressions, Gulag prisoners, and “kulak exile,” based on archival documents, had a significant impact on Western Sovietology, forcing it to abandon its main thesis about the alleged 50-60 million victims of the Soviet regime. Western Sovietologists cannot simply dismiss published archival statistics as an annoying fly and are forced to take them into account. In the Black Book of Communism, written in the late 1990s by French specialists, this figure is reduced to 20 million (see, The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression, 1999, p. 4).

But even this “reduced” figure (20 million) we cannot recognize as acceptable. It includes both a number of reliable data, confirmed by archival documents, and estimated figures (many millions) of demographic losses in the Civil War, those who died of hunger in different periods, etc. The authors of The Black Book of Communism even included in the number of victims of political terror those who died of starvation in 1921-1922 (famine in the Volga region, caused by a severe drought), which neither Medvedev nor many other experts in this field had never done before.

Nevertheless, the very fact that the estimated scale of victims of the Soviet regime has decreased (from 50-60 million to 20 million) indicates that during the 1990s, Western Sovietology underwent a significant evolution towards common sense, but, however, got stuck halfway through this positive process.

According to our calculations, strictly based on the documents, it turns out to be no more than 2.6 million, with a rather extended interpretation of the concept of “victims of political terror and repression.” This number includes more than 800,000 sentenced to capital punishment on political grounds, about 600,000 political prisoners who died in places of deprivation of liberty, and about 1.2 million who died in places of expulsion (including “kulak exile”), as well as during transportation there (deported peoples, etc.). The components of our calculations correspond readily to four criteria specified in The Black Book of Communism in defining the concept of “victims of political terror and repression,” namely: “shooting, hanging, drowning, beating to death;” “deportation—death during transportation;” “death in places of expulsion;” “death as a result of forced labor (exhausting labor, disease, malnutrition, cold)” (Black Book, p. 4).

As a result, we have four main variants of the scale of victims (executed and killed by other means) of political terror and repression in the USSR: 110 million (Solzhenitsyn); 50-60 million (Western Sovietology during the Cold War); 20 million (Western Sovietology in the post-Soviet period); 2.6 million (our document-based calculations).

The question may arise—where is Roy Medvedev’s 40 million? This figure is not comparable with the above figures; there we are talking only about those executed and killed by other means, while Medvedev’s statistics also includes millions of people who, although subjected to various repressions, remained alive. This, however, does not cancel out the fact that Medvedev’s statistics are still exaggerated many times over.

In the serious scientific literature of the modern period, authors avoid making frivolous statements about the allegedly many tens of millions of victims of Bolshevism and the Soviet regime. In light of this, the book by Yuri L. Dyakov, Ideologiya bol’shevizma i real’nyy sotsializm—The Ideology of Bolshevism and Real Socialism (2009), in which, in the list of crimes of the CPSU, there is also mentioned “the destruction of tens of millions of its people” (p. 146), is in sharp contrast. Moreover, Dyakov considers the so-called “calculations” of Professor Ivan A. Kurganov (which in his time were accepted by Solzhenitsyn) to be quite reliable, according to which, due to the fault of Bolshevism, the population losses in Russia (USSR) in 1918-1958 amounted to more than 110 million people (p. 234). The position of Dyakov in his book rests on the complete disregard of the whole complex of available historical sources. The use of documentarily refuted statistics by Dyakov, on the basis of which he draws far-reaching conclusions and generalizations on the topic under study, cannot be called other than a pathological deviation from the mainstream in this area of historical science.

And the last issue we would like to highlight is the statistics of rehabilitation and its stages. Let us return to our basic figure—3,854,000 (more precisely—3,853,900) convicted on political grounds for all 73 years of Soviet power. This figure was used to calculate the number and proportion of those rehabilitated.

Rehabilitations took place during Stalin’s lifetime, but their scale was quite insignificant. The period of mass rehabilitation began in 1953, immediately after the famous events associated with the death of Stalin, the arrest and execution of Beria, and especially after the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956, which condemned the cult of personality of Stalin.

The rehabilitation was led by the former Stalinist entourage headed by Khrushchev, directly involved in the former Stalinist repressions. In this case, they, especially Khrushchev, showed a well-known political foresight. In the first years after Stalin’s death, the situation was such that to continue the line of the late leader without significant adjustments—was a path of deliberate political suicide. The idea of mass rehabilitation for many reasons was politically advantageous and was literally necessary. The fact that this process was initiated and led by Stalin’s former entourage, which was directly involved in the repressions, we can formulate their internal motivations as follows: “It is better that we do it, rather than someone else does it instead of us.” The instinct of political self-preservation worked here.

The rehabilitation process had its ups and downs over time. Its first stage—the mass “Khrushchev’s” rehabilitation—covers the period 1953-1961. Then rehabilitation declined, but nevertheless continued (at a slower pace). Since 1987, the mass “Gorbachev’s” rehabilitation began, which significantly surpassed the “Khrushchev’s” rehabilitation. The number and proportion of the rehabilitated (and unrehabilitated) are presented in Table 4.

Table 4: The Rehabilitation Process, from 1953 to 1999

The term “innocently convicted” does not apply to all those rehabilitated. Indeed, hundreds of thousands were victims of entirely far-fetched and fabricated charges. But there were also many who had done concrete actions (including those of an armed nature) against the existing system. They were rehabilitated on the grounds that their struggle against Bolshevism and Soviet power was allegedly “just.” In particular, in the mid-1990s, under this politically biased and legally questionable thesis, practically all participants in the numerous kulak-peasant uprisings and rebellions of the period 1918-1933 were rehabilitated (and everyone was rehabilitated, including executioners who shot and hanged communists, Komsomol members and non-party Soviet activists).

It even came to the point that in 1996, SS Gruppenführer Helmuth von Pannwitz was rehabilitated by the decision of the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office. Cossack units under the command of Pannwitz—the 1st Cossack Cavalry Division, then deployed in the 15th Cossack Cavalry Corps—participated in punitive operations in Yugoslavia. In 1947, together with other war criminals, he was hanged by sentence of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR. However, in 2001 the Military Prosecutor’s office of the Russian Federation made a different conclusion: von Pannwitz was justifiably convicted for his criminal acts and cannot be rehabilitated.

Table 4 shows that out of almost 3,854,000 convicted on political grounds (according to the personalized record available in the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) by the beginning of 2000, 2,438,000 (63.3 percent) were rehabilitated and about 1,416,000 (36.7 percent) remained unrehabilitated.

Later on, the rehabilitation process stalled, because, in fact, there was no one to rehabilitate. The bulk of the unrehabilitated were accomplices of the fascist occupiers—all those Polizei, the Karateli [death squads], Sonderkommando bosses, Vlasovites, etc., etc., who, as a rule, were held under Article 58 as political criminals. There was a provision in Soviet legislation that prohibited the rehabilitation of accomplices of the Nazi occupiers. This provision has passed into the current Russian legislation, i.e., their rehabilitation is expressly prohibited by law. In addition to accomplices of the Nazi occupiers, a number of other persons remain unrehabilitated, whose actions were of such a nature that it is simply impossible to rehabilitate them.

Such are the complex pages of national history, if we do not fantasize, but rely on the facts reflected in the documents.

To answer the question about the impact of repressions in their real scale on Soviet society, we would suggest familiarizing ourselves with the conclusions of the American historian Robert Thurston, who in the mid-1990s published a scientific monograph Life and Terror in Stalin’s Russia, 1934-1941 (1996). The main conclusions, according to Thurston, are as follows:

  • The Stalinist terror system as described by previous generations of Western researchers never existed; the impact of terror on Soviet society in the Stalin years was not significant;
  • There was no mass fear of repression in the Soviet Union in the 1930s;
  • Repression was limited and did not affect the majority of the Soviet people;
  • Soviet society supported the Stalinist regime rather than feared it;
  • The Stalinist system provided the majority of people with the opportunity to live in the Soviet Union

These conclusions of Thurston, which are almost blasphemous from the perspective of the traditions and spirit of Western Sovietology and as perceived by the majority of Sovietologists, are based on documented facts and statistics. In addition, Thurston, not being a supporter of communism and Soviet power, nevertheless in his endeavor to get to the historical truth managed to be detached from the established anti-communist and anti-Soviet stereotypes and dogmas. This is, figuratively speaking, a ray of light in a dark realm.


Featured: Still Life, by Yuri Neprintsev; painted in 1979.

Stalin’s Gamble: The Search for Allies against Hitler, 1930–1936

Michael Jabara Carley has just published Stalin’s Gamble. The Search for Allies against Hitler, 1930–1936, which is the first volume of his tour de force trilogy on Soviet-Western relations during the 1930s. This work will be an indispensible text in Russian studies.

True to form, Stalin’s Gamble is meticulously researched, lucidly written and prodigious in its many insights. The book has that rare quality in that it appeals both to the scholar and the general reader. We are pleased to bring you an excerpt, courtesy of the University of Toronto Press.

This is a book well worth spending time with., Make sure to pick up your copy.

Prologue to Crisis

On 1 January 1930, few Europeans worried about the outbreak of a Second World War. Parisian fortune tellers might have ventured such a sensational prediction on their advertising coupons. The French, of course, worried instinctively about a new war with a revanchist Germany. In fifteen years, predicted the French politician Edouard Herriot. That was in 1922, and he was not a fortune teller. The Soviet commissar, or narkom for foreign affairs, Maksim Maksimovich Litvinov, sometimes speculated about such possibilities. Marxist ideologues thought of world war as the inevitable result of capitalist and imperialist rivalries. Litvinov opined that with the possible exceptions of the Italian fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, and Jozef Piłsudski, the Polish generalissimo, no government in Europe wanted war. Sure, there was a “war scare” in the Soviet Union in 1927, but Litvinov did not make much of it. Apparently, many rank-and-file communists did not take the war scare too seriously either, considering it “a tool of social agitation,” which undoubtedly it was. Besides the Italian Duce Mussolini, another fascist leader was emerging in Germany. This was Adolf Hitler, who headed a fringe party, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) or Nazi Party, who had ideas about a German renaissance of power relying on war as a means of achieving it. He even published a long book, Mein Kampf, in 1925, where he elaborated his plans for the future domination of Europe. It was hard to read Mein Kampf to the end, but you did not have to read every page to understand the message. The Nazi Party did not win a great many votes in the Reichstag elections during the 1920s, and thus did not appear to be a threat to European peace. In January 1930, it is unlikely that Litvinov or anyone else among the Soviet leadership worried much about Hitler.

As the new decade opened, it was more or less business as usual at the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs in Moscow, or the NKID. The principal objective was normalization of relations with the Western powers and the United States. A new world war was not an agenda item. In the autumn of 1929, the British government renewed diplomatic relations with the USSR, which it had broken off more than two years before on a wave of anti-communist hysteria. This was a victory for Soviet diplomacy. The NKID remained alert for Western attempts to organize an anti-Soviet bloc. Litvinov did not consider it a likely possibility, however, since capitalist political and economic rivalries would prevent the Western powers from ganging up on the USSR.

The Soviet Union and Weimar Germany had reasonably functional relations at the beginning of the 1930s. It certainly did not look in Moscow as if they would be at war a decade later. At the beginning of the 1920s Soviet Russia and Germany were pariahs, the one a proscribed revolutionary socialist state and the other condemned to take the blame for provoking the Great War, even though a democratic Weimar Republic had been established in November 1918. The Treaty of Versailles, concluded in June 1919, was supposed to settle the problem of German power, but did not do so. The German government passed the decade attempting to loosen the constraints of Versailles; and the Soviet government, to break out of its diplomatic isolation. What could have been more natural than these two pariah states joining together to escape isolation? In April 1922 they signed an agreement at Rapallo, Italy, to renounce prewar debts and obligations and to re-establish diplomatic and economic relations. The Entente Powers, France and Britain, were furious, realizing that the two outcasts had slipped out of their control. The pressure, both political and economic, would now be on the Entente Powers to come to terms with Weimar Germany and Soviet Russia.

The pattern of relations in Europe was thus set for the decade of the 1920s with attempts at rapprochement with Britain and France more successful on the German side than on the Soviet. If the Entente Powers succeeded in defeating Wilhelmine Germany during the Great War, they failed to overthrow Soviet power after the Bolshevik Revolution. They tried though as much as they dared. The West’s bete noire in Moscow was the Communist International, or Comintern, established in 1919 not only to pursue the cause of world revolution, but also to defend Soviet Russia against foreign intervention. During the 1920s there were ups and downs in Soviet-Western relations, a crisis now and again, but no danger of another world war.

Western Europe appeared more or less stable and prosperous. It was the Roaring Twenties: the European bourgeoisie had money for leisure and conspicuous consumption. In capital cities like Paris and Berlin, men in tuxedos and women in sleek evening dresses rocked to the beat of big band music and American jazz at nightclubs and cabarets. The menus offered expensive cuisine that went down well with wine and champagne, while dancers perspired on the dance floor. Nor were the slick and well-to-do absent from the terrasses of popular cafes where they rubbed shoulders with American expats, painters, writers, and socialists. “It’s class fraternization,” a Marxist ideologue might have joked.

Politically, France and Britain were often at odds; in fact, their wartime alliance appeared to dissolve on 11 November 1918, the day the Great War ended. This allowed room for both Germany and the Soviet Union to manoeuvre. Germany had the better of the diplomacy. The Red Scare of the 1920s and lingering Soviet revolutionary ambitions hampered efforts to normalize relations in the West. After the premature death in January 1924 of Soviet leader Vladimir Il’ich Lenin, a struggle for power erupted between Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin and Lev Davidovich Trotskii. Hatred is the first word that comes to mind in describing relations between these two Soviet leaders. This conflict had its effects on both Soviet domestic and foreign policy. At the end of the decade, the struggle for power was settled. Stalin established himself as the new, indisputable Soviet leader. Trotskii was sent into exile. Stalin calmed the Bolshevik itch to pursue world revolution and launched a five-year plan for industrialization and collectivization of agricultural lands. The troubles created by these domestic policies were an additional incentive to maintain correct relations with the Western powers.

The architects of Soviet foreign policy in the 1920s were Georgii Vasilievich Chicherin, the narkom for foreign affairs, and his principal deputy, zamnarkom Litvinov.

These two were an odd couple, one descended from the Russian aristocracy, and the other from a rather peculiar middle-class Jewish family. They often differed among themselves, both because of personal rivalries and jealousies and because of differences in temperament. Historians have said they pursued conflicting policies, Chicherin being pro-German, and Litvinov, pro-British. This is untrue, they were not pro this or that Western government, they were pro-Soviet. They sought to protect what they defined as the national interests of the Soviet state. In the northwest that meant the Baltic frontiers; in the south, it meant the borders in Central Asia. On the big issues like Rapallo or better relations with other Western powers, or difficulties with the Comintern, they saw eye to eye. It was on tactics rather than on strategy that their personal rivalries played themselves out. If Chicherin argued white, Litvinov would argue black, and vice versa. This rivalry continued until 1928 when an ailing Chicherin went on leave, never to resume his duties. Litvinov became the acting and then formal narkom of the NKID.

Soviet foreign policy was a complicated business. The NKID had to cope not only with hostile Western governments but also with politics in Moscow where foreign policy was often a stake in the struggle for power between Stalin and Trotskii and then other rivals. There were many arenas where the struggle to succeed Lenin unfolded, but none more important than in the Politburo, which was in effect the cabinet of the Soviet government. In most cabinets, the minister of foreign affairs is a high-ranking member. In the Politburo, Chicherin was not a member. He and Litvinov were invited consultants when foreign policy was discussed. On the other hand, during the 1920s, the Comintern, the nemesis of the NKID as well as of the West, was represented in succession by two of Stalin’s provisional allies, Grigorii Evseievich Zinoviev and Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin. These two Bolshevik politicians not only represented the Comintern, but used it as a platform for influence and power in the Politburo where Stalin sometimes gave them leeway as he manoeuvred for power. Politburo members tended to think they knew more about foreign policy than the NKID, which exasperated Chicherin and Litvinov. Zinoviev and Bukharin, they complained, talked too much, did not think enough, and irritated Western governments for nothing. The NKID often played the unwanted roll of concierge cleaning up their messes. Litvinov let it slip from time to time with foreign diplomats that he was fed up with the Comintern. Of course Stalin could not say that.

A persistent idea survives that the Comintern conducted Soviet foreign policy during the interwar years, or that the priorities of world revolution dominated it. “National interest” was not a concept much in use in Moscow.3 Such assertions do not stand up well in a close examination of Soviet archives. After Stalin consolidated his power, the Comintern faded into the background. It still functioned, still sought to direct the business of foreign communist parties, and still annoyed the Western powers, though less than before. If there was local resistance to French or British colonialism, the Quai d’Orsay or Foreign Office blamed it on the Comintern. When Litvinov heard such complaints, his stock reply was that indigenous resistance to Western colonialism flourished without any help from the Comintern. What was the USSR supposed to do? Should it become an advocate of colonial empires? This question came up, as readers will see, when Italy invaded Abyssinia in October 1935. Even capitalists were getting used to the Comintern. It was, like a stone in your rubber boot, which you could not take off until you stepped out of the bog. Among the Western powers, the said and unsaid idea was that the Soviet Union should abandon socialism and embrace capitalism, thus behaving like every other state. Why should Stalin and his colleagues do that? Would capitalists ever abandon capitalism?

In the 1930s the Comintern, at times, played a role in support of Soviet national interests, in Spain, for example, during the civil war, although that was a point debated inside the NKID. There were sometimes residual tensions left over from the 1920s, but it was the NKID that formulated foreign policy most of the time and the Politburo (but in reality, Stalin) that approved or modified it.

Stalin sometimes told the Comintern leadership, Georgi Dimitrov, for example, to develop policy without him. I was too busy, he would say: “Decide by yourselves.” He never said that to Litvinov or his deputies in the NKID. Stalin’s involvement in foreign policymaking began after Lenin took ill in 1922–3. The narkom proposed and most of the time the vozhd’, who was Stalin, approved. Occasionally there were clashes. A pervasive Western view holds that there were two Soviet foreign policies, Litvinov’s, pro-Western, and Stalin’s, pro-German, even after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. The German orientation was Stalin’s preference, but he let Litvinov “talk him into something” in abandoning Rapallo. One often hears the argument, yes, collective security was Litvinov’s policy, but what about Stalin’s real preferences? This view is widespread among Western historians, seeking to explain away Litvinov and the policy of collective security. The fact is there were no personal policies, no duality of policies, only one policy that was Soviet and, perforce, Stalin’s.

It is widely believed in the West that Stalin was a confidence man just waiting for an opportunity to trick the Western powers and to return to the “old” Rapallo policy with Nazi Germany. In the meantime, he would string them along. Collective security and mutual assistance against Nazi Germany were a sham. Stalin was a would-be conqueror, a kind of red Genghis Khan, just waiting for opportunities to strike. The Soviet archival evidence upon which this narrative is based demonstrates that the Soviet leadership was serious about collective security and that Britain and France were not. In the case of France, one can make a partial exception for the period 1933–4. This revelation may come as a surprise to some readers, or others may simply not believe it, sticking to preconceived ideas. There is little evidence to substantiate Stalin’s clandestine pro-German policy, risible in any case because composition with Hitler during 1930s was not a sin, or if it was, everyone was being sinful. Britain and France, not to mention Poland, led the way. Some historians in the West might argue that the Western states had their “liberal scruples” about dealing with “archenemies.” The trouble was that for many European conservatives, Stalin was the arch-enemy, not Hitler.

Two could play at who loves me, who loves me not. Even the narkom Litvinov argued that a minimum of relations with Hitler, mostly economic, should be maintained in order to avoid a diplomatic rupture. Litvinov feared Soviet isolation, which could facilitate Anglo-French security arrangements with Hitler.

The view of Stalin as trickster, “Germanophile,” and “ally” of Hitler has been around for a long time and originates in the anti-communism and Sovietphobia of the interwar years and the second stage of the Cold War after 1945. A.J.P. Taylor, the great British historian of the mid-twentieth century, commented in 1981 that detached study of Soviet foreign policy was unlikely in his lifetime. “Most of my historical colleagues,” he said, “are so corrupted and blinded by their obsession with the Cold War that it is quite impossible for them to see clearly or to speak honestly about Soviet policies.” The same was true of their Soviet counterparts. Taylor was trying to be “balanced.” The Cold War ended in 1991 – at least many people hoped it had – after the dismemberment and disappearance of the Soviet Union. The immense Soviet archives began to open. It was the most extraordinary experience for historians to go to Moscow for the first time and hold in their hands freshly declassified dela, or files, that no one, apart from archivists and a few Soviet historians, had ever before read, let alone explored. Maybe we should talk about “History BC,” before the opening of the Soviet archives, and “History AD,” after the opening. I would respectfully contend that historians cannot study the origins of the Second World War without reference to the Soviet archival sources. Now that we have those files, or a great many of them, it should be possible to get to the bottom of the big questions that divided Taylor’s generation.

Yet here we are, and so far, it has not been possible. A new generation of English-language writers, seemingly disdainful of their predecessors, has resumed old habits. One evokes “memory” to justify not going to the archival records. Another goes to the files, cherry-picking evidence. He uses that part of the archival record which suits his strong ideological objectives and ignores that part which does not. It is dust in the eyes. Such modi operandi, writes one reviewer, “undermine confidence” in the author. Yet even when reviewers catch an author red-handed, it does not appear to bother either author or publisher. In the early 1980s, an untenured “Marxist historian” at Princeton University was drummed out of the profession for mistakes of documentation. Senior historians accused him “of systematically distorting evidence”; he was “called a ‘liar’ and a ‘faker.’” Now, forty years later, those very words, but not the punishment, might apply to certain academics or politicians of a new generation. As politicians go, the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, comes to mind, or delegates at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

In the flurry of such Western ideas, it goes against the grain to propose that Soviet foreign policy functioned more or less as it did in other states, I mean based on perceptions of national interest. In fact, in the Politburo there existed considerable animosity towards Germany and towards the Rapallo policy, though it continued with ups and downs throughout the 1920s and into the beginning of the 1930s. Germany was the only Western power with which the Soviet Union had tolerable relations. It was the only foothold in Europe and had to be protected lest the USSR risk dangerous isolation. All the better, Litvinov argued, if relations with other powers could be improved, but not at the risk of damaging Rapallo. Litvinov was under no illusions about the permanency of Rapallo. Eventually, Germany and the USSR would part company. Other options, therefore, had to be cultivated, but for the time being such options were “music of the future.”

Western-Soviet tensions came and went like bad weather. Trade turnover rose and fell according to Soviet economic and political needs. Moscow used trade as bait to obtain better political relations, though this strategy never really worked except in Weimar Germany, and even there, bilateral relations were often strained. It was not trade per se but political calculations of national interest on both sides, which kept Rapallo going.

By the end of the 1920s, the Soviet government managed to achieve prewar production levels. It was slow going, too slow for the Bolsheviks, for they were all industrializers and modernizers whatever the disagreements between them on how fast to proceed. The USSR was burdened with millions of peasant smallholdings, which produced only enough grain and other foodstuffs to sustain the peasant producers. Sometimes it did not, and the poorest peasants had to hire themselves out as labourers to the more prosperous so-called kulaks, to make ends meet. There was not enough agricultural surplus to feed the cities, at reasonable prices, in order to support industrialization or to sell in the West to obtain vital foreign exchange. Something had to be done. Having won the conflict to succeed Lenin, Stalin clenched his fists and smashed all the obstacles to industrialization by launching the First Five-Year Plan in 1928 and by forcing at the same time the collectivization of small peasant holdings, grouping them into large collective farms. Forced collectivization provoked a peasant “Luddite” rebellion (a turn of phrase coined by the late Isaac Deutscher), which along with drought and insect infestations, led in 1932–3 to a disastrous concatenation of circumstances, a famine in the Soviet wheat belt. These developments did not affect Soviet foreign policy or the Soviet need to trade. If anything, industrialization increased the need to buy capital goods and to sell agricultural products, lumber, oil, and manganese in the West.

In the 1930s the stakes in Soviet relations with the West changed rapidly. In October 1929, the stock market crashed in New York, setting off what became the Great Depression, which spread from the United States to Europe. The deceptive political and economic stability of the 1920s was shattered. Credit dried up, banks and businesses went broke, industrial production fell, international trade declined, commodity prices plummeted, and unemployment rose to calamitous levels.

The Roaring Twenties became a memory. One imagines that many prized tuxedos and evening gowns collected dust in the closet or ended up in secondhand shops. American expats still flocked to Paris, and jazz men still played the cabarets, but in reality, everything had changed. The music sounded the same, but people were not. The legions of unemployed worried about making ends meet. People were desperate and angry. The far-right leagues (or ligues) in France and the Nazi Brownshirts in Germany went out into the streets looking for trouble, fighting with communists and unionists. There were casualties. It was war, not all-out, but war all the same.

The Depression thus brought renewed political instability, especially in Germany, where the Nazi Party under Hitler made impressive gains in federal elections in September 1930, rising from 12 seats in the Reichstag to 107. Hitler was no longer a fringe politician. Nazi power increased rapidly until Hitler became chancellor in January 1933. This should have set off alarm bells in European capitals and in Washington, and it should have led to changes in policy. Sometimes it did and sometimes not. It certainly did in Moscow. The threat of war, which had largely been a theoretical discussion, became a real, tangible danger. As a result, major changes in foreign policy and in relations with the Western powers took place in the Soviet Union as it turned to face the menace to European peace and security posed by Hitlerite Germany. Sooner or later, Litvinov had said in 1927, Germany and the USSR were bound to go their separate ways. That time had come.

Featured: Joseph Stalin, by Viktor Mikhailovich Oreshnikov; painted in 1948.

About Dasha on “Tradition”: The Tears of our Resurrection

Dear friends! Dear participants of the Tradition Festival! Dear founders of the Daria Dugina Prize!

Unfortunately, due to circumstances, I was unable to attend the Tradition Festival this time, although I tried not to miss it before. Tradition is the main word in my life. It became the main and the last word in the life of my daughter, Dasha Dugina.

Only that for which people are ready to sacrifice their lives becomes valuable. Tradition is the highest value. It is what makes the Motherland the Motherland, the people the people, the Church the Church, and culture the culture.

I would like to say a few words about the Creative Award. This is a wonderful initiative. There is hardly a better way to honor her memory. After all, Dasha was the embodiment of creativity. She was a leap into the future. She lived in faith and hope. She was always looking forward and upward. Perhaps, she took it too steeply, as far as “up” is concerned… But her message lives on among us and is only becoming more and more distinct, focused and clear. Her message is an invitation to the Russian future. A future that has yet to come true.

Dasha always thought of herself as a project, as a burst of creative will. She was enflamed by philosophy, religion, politics, culture, and art. She lived so richly, so fully, precisely because she cared about everything. Hence such a range of her interests, her texts, her speeches, her creativity, her endeavors. She wanted very much during her lifetime that Russians would move, that our country and our culture would move from a standstill and take off.

She considered it her mission to live for Russia, and if she had to, to die for Russia. This is what she wrote in her Diaries, Topi i vysi moyego serdtsa (Drown and Rise, my Heart), which we have recently published. Dasha’s second philosophical book, Eskhatologicheskiy Optimizm (Eschatological Optimism) will be published soon—in several languages at once, because Dasha is remembered and loved in the world.

Living for Russia is her message, which should be passed on and on. Dasha’s award is more than a formal encouragement; it is a living vibrating impulse.

We have many wonderful true heroes, warriors, defenders, people of deep soul and pure heart. Some of them gave their lives for the Motherland. Some live with us now. The memory of every hero is sacred. And the memory of Dasha.

The fact is that Dasha is not just a model patriot and citizen, she is also the bearer of an incredible, though not yet fully revealed, only intended (but how intended!) spiritual potential. She sought to embody the grace of imperial Russia, the style of the Silver Age, and the deep interest in Neoplatonist philosophy with which she burned. Sincere and heartfelt Russian Orthodoxy and geopolitics. Modern avant-garde art—in music, theater, painting, film—and a tragic comprehension of the ontology of war. Sober and aristocratically restrained understanding of the fatal crisis of modernity and the fiery will to overcome it. This is eschatological optimism. To look into the eyes of misfortune and horror of modernity and to keep a luminous faith in God, His Mercy, His justice.

I wish that the memory of Dasha would not so much focus attention on the images of her lively, charming, filled-with-pure-energy girl’s life, but becomes a continuation of her ardor, the fulfillment of her plans, her far-reaching, pure imperial dreams.

Today it is clear to many that Dasha has objectively become our national hero. Poems and paintings, cantatas and songs, plays and theater productions are dedicated to her. Streets in towns and cities of Russia are named after her. A monument is being prepared for installation in Moscow, and possibly in other cities.

A young girl who had never taken part in hostilities, who had never called for violence or aggression, who was deep and smiling, naive and well-educated, was brutally murdered in front of her father’s eyes by a heartless, ruthless enemy—a Ukrainian terrorist who did it here, at the festival “Tradition,” not hesitating to involve her young daughter in the murder. She was sent to do this by the authorities in Kiev and the secret services of the Anglo-Saxon world—the staunch enemies of Tradition. A year ago, I gave a lecture here on “the Role of the Devil in History.” Dasha listened. So did the murderer. The Devil was listening to what I was saying about the Devil, preparing to do his diabolical work.

And sure enough, Dasha became immortal. Our people could not remain indifferent to this. And my tragedy, the tragedy of our family, Dasha’s friends, all those who communicated and cooperated with her, became the tragedy of all our people. And tears began to choke people—both those who knew this girl and those who heard about her for the first time.

And these are not simple tears. These are tears of our resurrection, of our purification, of our coming victory.

Dasha is becoming a symbol. She already is. But now it is important that the content of this symbol does not disappear, does not dissolve, does not fade away. It is important not only to preserve the memory of Dasha, but to continue her work. Because she had this Cause. Her Cause.

That is why this prize is so important, why it is important to work on the Daria Dugina Foundation, as suggested by my close and good friends Konstantin Malofeev, Eduard Boyakov and many others. Young philosophers, theologians, priests, musicians, politicians, scientists, poets, artists, journalists, military officers—all those who today are building the spiritual basis of the Russian World, reviving the depths and heights of our Empire. Dasha supports them, inspires them, helps them, protects them above all.

There are saints who help in certain circumstances—those in poverty, those in illness, those in wanderings, those in captivity. Even individual icons are distributed in God’s mercy in such a way that they care for people in different difficult, sometimes desperate situations. “Assuage my Sorrows” is the name of one of the images of the Mother of God. And there is one canon that is recited when it becomes impossible to live at all and everything collapses…..

Mother of God Assuage My Sorrows (a wonderworking icon, Church of St. Nikolaev Odrin Monastery, Karachev, Orlov province, ca. 1640).

And so are the protagonists. They are different, too. Some embody military valor. Others, sacrificial tenderness. Others, strength of mind. Others still, the pinnacle of political will. They are all beautiful.

Dasha embodies the Soul. The Russian Soul.

Both the prize named after her and the Foundation we are going to establish should be dedicated to the Russian Soul. This is the most important thing. If there is no Soul, there will be no Russia; there will be nothing.

Many good people have volunteered to carry the memory of Dasha. There is the People’s Institute of Daria Dugina. There are Daria Dugina’s Lessons of Courage. There is a new series in the wonderful publishing house, Vladimir Dal: “Dasha’s Books.” There are various awards and other initiatives. And let people do what their heart tells them to do. The main thing is to do it all with a soul.

Thanks be to Christ!

Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.

Eschatologies of a Multipolar World

BRICS: The Creation of Multipolarity

XV BRICS Summit: The Multipolar World is Established

The XV BRICS summit made a historic decision to admit six more countries to the organization—Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Thus, in fact, the formation of the core of the multipolar world was completed.

Although BRICS, formerly BRIC, was a conditional association of semi-peripheral (according to Wallerstein) or “second world” countries, the dialogue between these countries, which are not part of the structure of the collective West (NATO and other rigidly unipolar organizations dominated by the United States), gradually outlined the contours of an alternative world order. If the Western civilization considers itself to be the only one, and this is the essence of globalism and unipolarity, the BRICS countries represented sovereign and independent civilizations, different from the Western one, with a long history and a completely original system of traditional values.

Initially, the BRIC association, created in 2006 at the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin, included four countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China. Brazil, the largest power in South America, represented the Latin American continent. Russia, China and India are of sufficient scale on their own to be considered civilizations. But they also represent more than nation-states. Russia is the vanguard of Eurasia, the Eurasian “Greater Space.” China is responsible for a significant area of the contiguous powers of Indochina. India also extends its influence beyond its borders—at least to Bangladesh and Nepal.

When South Africa joined the BRIC countries in 2011 (hence the acronym BRICS—the “S” at the end of South Africa), the continent was symbolically represented as the largest African country.

7 Civilizations (1 vs. 6)

At the XV summit, held from August 22 to 24, 2023 in Johannesburg, the final formation of the multipolar club took place. The entry of three Islamic powers—Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia and the UAE—was fundamental. Thus, the direct participation in the multipolar world of the entire Islamic civilization, represented by both branches—Sunnism and Shiism—was secured. In addition, along with Portuguese-speaking Brazil, Spanish-speaking Argentina, another strong and independent power, joined BRICS. Back in the mid-twentieth century, theorists of South American unification into a consolidated large space—above all Argentine general Juan Perón and Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas—considered a decisive rapprochement between Brazil and Argentina to be the first step in this process. If this were achieved, the process of integration of the Latin American ecumene would be irreversible. And this is exactly what has happened now in the context of the accession of the two major powers of South America, Brazil and Argentina, to the multipolar club.

Ethiopia’s acceptance is also highly symbolic. It is the only African country that has remained independent throughout the colonial era, preserving its sovereignty, its independence and its unique culture (Ethiopians are the oldest Christian people). Combined with South Africa, Ethiopia is strengthening its presence in the multipolar club of the African continent.

In fact, in the new composition of BRICS, we get a complete model of unification of all poles—civilizations, large spaces, except for the West, which is desperate to preserve its hegemony and unipolar structure. But now it faces not disparate and fragmented countries full of internal and external contradictions, but a united force of the majority of humanity, determined to build a multipolar world.

This multipolar world consists of the following civilizations:

  1. The West (USA+EU and their vassals, which includes, alas, the once proud and distinctive Japan);
  2. China (+Taiwan) with its satellites;
  3. Russia (as an integrator of the entire Eurasian space);
  4. India and its zone of influence;
  5. Latin America (with Brazil + Argentina at its core);
  6. Africa (South Africa + Ethiopia, with Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, etc., emerging from French colonial influence).
  7. Islamic world (in both versions—Shiite Iran, and Sunni Saudi Arabia and UAE).

At the same time, one civilization—the Western one—claims hegemony, while the six others deny it this right, accepting only a multipolar system and recognizing the West only as one of the civilizations, along with others.

Thus, the rightness of Samuel Huntington, who saw the future in the return of civilizations, was confirmed in practice, while the fallacy of Fukuyama’s thesis, who believed that the global hegemony of the liberal West (the end of history) has already been achieved, became obvious. Therefore, Fukuyama can only doomedly lecture Ukrainian neo-Nazis, the last hope of globalists to stop the onset of multipolarity, for which Russia, in Ukraine, is fighting today.

August 2023 can be considered the birthday of the multipolar world.

Having outlined multipolarity, it is time to take a closer look at how the civilizational poles themselves interpret the situation in which they find themselves. And here we should take into account that virtually every sovereign civilization has its own idea of the structure of history, the nature of historical time, its direction and the end of history. Contrary to Fukuyama, who ambitiously proclaimed a single end of history (in his liberal version), each sovereign civilization operates with its own understanding, interpretation and description of the end of history. Let us briefly review this situation.

Each Civilization has its own Idea of the End of the World

Each pole of the multipolar world, that is, each civilization, has its own version of eschatology, somewhere more and somewhere less explicit.

“Eschatology” is the doctrine of the end of the world or the end of history. Eschatologies form a significant part of religious doctrines, but have secular versions as well. Any idea of the linear direction of the historical process and its supposed finale can be considered an “eschatology.”

The multipolar world consists of several civilizations or “big spaces” with a completely unique and original system of traditional values. This is the pole (not the individual state). A pole is precisely a civilization. Each civilization has its own idea of the nature of the historical process, its direction and its goal, and thus its own eschatology.

In some “large spaces” there are even several versions of eschatology, and a number of relatively small political formations, which cannot claim the pole in any way, nevertheless sometimes have a special and even developed eschatology.

Let us outline the different types in the most general terms.

Eschatologies of the West

Eschatology in Western Christianity

Western Christianity originally had the same eschatological doctrine as Eastern Christianity, being one. In Christianity—in both Catholicism and Orthodoxy (and even Protestantism)—the end of the world is considered inevitable, since the world and its history are finite and God is infinite. After the coming of Christ, the world moves toward its end, and the return of Christ itself is seen as taking place “in the last days.” The entire history of the Christian Church is a preparation for the end times, the Last Judgment, and the Second Coming of Christ. Christianity teaches that before the Second Coming there will be a general apostasy in mankind, nations will turn away from Christ and His Church, and will rely only on their own strength (humanism). Later, mankind will degenerate completely and the Antichrist, the messenger of the Devil, the “son of perdition” will seize power.

The Antichrist will rule for a short time—3.5 years, “a time, two times and half a time”), the saints and the prophets Elijah and Enoch, who will have returned to earth, will denounce him, and then the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment will take place. This is what every Christian is obliged to believe.

At the same time, Catholicism, which gradually separated from the united Orthodox trunk, believed that the stronghold of Christians should be the Catholic Church under the Pope, the “City of God,” and the retreat would affect only earthly political entities, the “City of Earth.” There is a spiritual battle between the heavenly politics of the Vatican and the earthly politics of secular monarchs. In Orthodoxy, unlike Catholicism, the main obstacle in the way of the Antichrist is the Holy Empire, eternal Rome.

Traditional Christian eschatology and exactly this—partly pessimistic—view of the vector of history prevailed in Europe until the beginning of the New Age. And this is how traditional Catholics, unaffected by the spirit of modernity, who are becoming fewer and fewer in the West, continue to think about the end of the world.

Protestant eschatologies are more bizarre. In the Anabaptists of Münster or the Czech Hussites, the Second Coming was preceded by the establishment of universal equality (eschatological communism), the abolition of class hierarchies and private property.

Recently, under the influence of modernization and political correctness, many Protestant denominations and the Anglican Church have revised their view of eschatology, finally breaking with the ancient Christian tradition.
Masonic Eschatology: The Theory of Progress

At the origins of the Western European civilization of Modernity is European Freemasonry, in the midst of which the idea of “social progress” was born. The idea of progress is a direct antithesis of the Christian understanding of history; it rejects apostasy, the Antichrist, the Last Judgment, the resurrection of the dead and the very existence of the soul.

Masons believed that humanity develops progressively: in the beginning savagery (not earthly paradise), then barbarism (not traditional society), then civilization (culminating in the European New Age and the Enlightenment, i.e., secular atheistic societies, based on a materialistic scientific worldview). Civilization in its formation passes a number of stages from traditional confessions to the humanistic cult of the Great Architect of the Universe and further to liberal democracy, where science, atheism and materialism will fully triumph. And conservative Freemasonry (Scottish Rite) stopped usually with the cult of the Great Architect of the Universe (that is, with deism—the recognition of an undefined non-denominational “god”), and the more revolutionary, the Grand Orient rite was called to go further—to the complete abolition of religion and social hierarchy. The Scottish Rite stands for classical liberalism (big capital), the Grand Orient and other revolutionary lodges stand for liberal democracy (intensive growth of the middle class and redistribution of capital from the big bourgeoisie to the middle and small bourgeoisie).

But in Freemasonry, in both versions, we see a clearly directed vector to the end of history; that is, to the construction of modern progressive global civilization. This is the ideology of globalism in two versions—conservative (gradual) and offensive (revolutionary-democratic).

England: The Fifth Monarchy

During Cromwell’s English Revolution, the theory of the Fifth Monarchy developed in Protestant circles under the influence of Jewish circles and Sabbataism (notably the Dutch Rabbi Manasseh ben-Israel). The traditional Christian doctrine of the Four World Kingdoms (Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman) was declared insufficient, and after the fall of Rome (which for Protestants meant the refusal to recognize the authority of the Pope and the overthrow of the monarchy, regicide) the Fifth Kingdom was to come. Earlier, a similar idea had arisen in Portugal in relation to the maritime Portuguese Empire and the special mission of the “vanished King” Sebastian. The Portuguese and Portuguese-centered (mystical-monarchical) version was passed on to the Portuguese Jewish converts (Marranos) and Jews exiled to Holland and Brazil. One of them was Manasseh ben-Israel, from whom this theory passed on to English Protestants and Cromwell’s inner circle (Thomas Harrison).

Proponents of this theory considered Cromwell himself to be the future world Monarch of the Fifth Monarchy. The Fifth Monarchy was to be distinguished by the abolition of Catholicism, hereditary monarchical power, estates and to represent the triumph of bourgeois democracy and capitalism.

This was continued by the current of “British Israelism,” which declared the English to be the “ten lost tribes of Israel” and spread the belief in the coming world domination of England and the Anglo-Saxon race. The world rule of the “New Israelites” (Anglo-Saxons) was seen beyond the Four Kingdoms and broke with traditional Christian eschatology, as the Fifth Monarchy meant the destruction of traditional Christian kingdoms and the rule of the “chosen people” (not Jews, but the English).

From England, extreme Protestant sects transferred these ideas to the USA, which was created as a historical embodiment of the Fifth Monarchy. Hence the American eschatology in the mythologies of William Blake (in America a Prophecy the USA is represented by the giant Orcus freeing himself from the chains of the old god), who was also an adherent of the theory of “British Israelism.” Blake embodied these ideas in his poem “Jerusalem,” which became the unofficial anthem of England.

USA: Dispensationalism

In the United States, the ideas of “British Israelism” and the Fifth Monarchy were developed in some Protestant denominations and became the basis for a special current of dispensationalism based on the ideas of the Plymouth Brethren (preacher John Darby) and the Scofield edition of the Bible, where the eschatological interpretation in a dispensationalist way is incorporated into the biblical text in such a way that to ordinary people it seems to be a single narrative.

Dispensationalism considers Anglo-Saxons and Protestants (“twice born”) to be the chosen people, and applies to them all the prophecies about the Jews. According to this doctrine, mankind lives at the end of the last “dispensation” of the cycle, and the Second Coming of Christ will soon take place, and all the faithful will be raptured into heaven (the Rapture). But this will be preceded by a final battle (Armageddon) with the “king of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal,” which from the 19th century to the present day has meant Russia. Before this Russia would invade Palestine and, there, fight with the “twice-born” (Anglo-Saxons), and then be defeated by them. After that, there would be a mass conversion of Jews to Protestantism and an ascent to heaven (by means of miracles or spacecraft).

In recent decades, this current has merged with political Zionism and has become the basis of the ideology and geopolitics of the American neocons.

France: The Great Monarch

In France, as early as the late Middle Ages and the dawn of the Modern Age, an eschatological theory of the Great Monarch developed, which claimed that a secret French king, chosen by God, would appear at the end of time and save humanity—from decadence, Protestantism, and materialism. This version of eschatology is Francocentric and conservative, and circulated in mystically oriented circles of the aristocracy. The difference from traditional Catholic eschatology is that the French king, rather than the Vatican See, is the barrier to the Antichrist.

Some researchers consider Gaullism to be a secular and simplified geopolitical version of the Great Monarch’s eschatology. General De Gaulle advocated the unification of the peoples of Europe (primarily the French, Germans and Russians) and against NATO and Anglo-Saxon hegemony. The French writer Jean Parvulesco (following Raymond Abellio) called it “the mystical dimension of Gaullism.”

But the vast majority of the French ruling class is dominated by Masonic eschatology—with the exact opposite understanding.

Italy: The Ghibellines and the Greyhound

In the Middle Ages, the confrontation between the Roman throne and imperial power—after Charlemagne proclaimed himself “Emperor”—at times became extremely acute. This led to the creation of two parties—the Guelphs, supporters of the Pope, and the Ghibellines, supporters of the Emperor. They were most widespread in Italy, the possession of which was the basis for German kings to be recognized as Emperors of the (Western) Roman Empire after coronation in Rome.

The poet Dante was a supporter of the Ghibellines and encoded in his poem, Divine Comedy, eschatological teaching of the Ghibellines that after the temporary rule of the Ghibellines and the complete degradation of the Catholic Church, a true Ghibelline monarch would come to Europe, who would revive the morals and spirituality of Western civilization. He is symbolically represented in the figure of the greyhound (veltro) and the mystical number DXV (515), which yields, after rearrangement of letters/digits the word, DVX, “leader.” Dante expounded the ideas of the World Monarchy in a separate treatise. Here again the eschatological theme is connected with monarchical power—and to a greater extent than with the Catholic Church. For Dante, the French monarchy was seen as being on the side of the Antichrist, as was the Roman throne that had risen against the Emperor.

Germany: Hegel and the End of History

The original version of eschatology is given in Hegel’s philosophy. He sees history as a dialectical process of the scattering of the Spirit through Nature, and then a new gathering of the particles of the Spirit in an enlightened society. The culmination of this process according to Hegel would be the creation of a unified German state on the basis of the Prussian monarchy (during his lifetime it did not exist). In this enlightened monarchy, the cycle of the history of the Spirit would be completed. These ideas influenced the Second Reich and Bismarck, and later in a distorted form Hitler’s Third Reich. It was Hegel who put forward the thesis of the “end of history” in a philosophical context, combining in a peculiar combination Christian eschatology (including the figure of the Christian ruler) and a special mystical-monarchical interpretation of social progress (as a preliminary stage before the creation of the world empire of philosophers).

The German philosopher (Catholic) Carl Schmitt correlated the idea of the Reich with the function of the Katechon, the restainer, which was the meaning of imperial power in Byzantium and which was usurped (according to the Orthodox) in the ninth century by the Frankish Emperor Charlemagne. This line was partly in line with the Ghibelline tradition.

The German Jew, Karl Marx, built a theory of communism (the end of history) on an inverted materialist version of Hegelianism, and the Russian philosopher Alexandre Kojève tried to identify the end of history with globalism and the planetary triumph of liberalism. But it is important that Hegel himself, unlike his sectarian interpreters, was an eschatological, Germano-centered monarchist.

Iberia: The Habsburgs and Planetary Evangelization

Eschatology in the Spanish version was linked to the colonization of the Americas and the mission of Charles V Habsburg and his dynastic successors. Since in the prophecies about the end of the world (Pseudo-Methodius of Patara), the sign of the end of the world was the spread of the Gospel to all mankind and the establishment of a worldwide Christian empire under a Catholic world king. The geographical discoveries and the establishment of vast colonies by Spain gave reason to consider the Spanish Habsburgs—above all Charles V and Philip II—as contenders for the role of world monarch. This Catholic-monarchical version, partly consonant with the French version, but in contrast focused on the Austrian Emperors, the traditional opponents of the French dynasty. Christopher Columbus was a proponent of an eschatological world empire during the reigns of the Catholic kings Isabella and Ferdinand, and reflected his eschatological views in The Book of Prophecies, compiled on the eve of his fourth voyage to the Americas and completed immediately after his return.

After the Bourbon reign in Spain, this eschatological line disappeared. Its echoes, partly, can be found in Catholic circles in Latin America and especially in the Jesuits.

The Fifth Empire in the Portuguese version and its Brazilian offshoot are generally close in type to this version of eschatology.

Israel: The Territory of Mashiach

The State of Israel was established in 1948 in Palestine, as a realization of the eschatological aspirations of the Jewish Diaspora, who had been waiting for two millennia for a return to the Promised Land. Jewish eschatology is based on the belief in the chosenness of the Jews and their special role in the end times, when the Jewish Mashiach will come and Jews will rule the world. It is the best studied. In many ways, it is Jewish eschatology that has determined the main scenarios of end-of-the-world visions in monotheistic traditions.

Modern Israel was created as a state prepared for the coming of Mashiach, and if this function is taken out of the picture, its very existence loses its meaning—first of all, in the eyes of the Jews themselves.

Geopolitically, Israel cannot claim to be an independent civilization, an empire, whose scale is necessary for full participation in global eschatological processes. However, if we take into account the rapprochement of political Zionists in the United States with neocons and Protestant dispensationalists, the role of Jews in the last century in the Masonic lodges, the influence of the Diaspora in the ruling and especially economic elites of the West, then the whole picture changes, and the basis for serious eschatological events turns out to be significant.

The Kabbalistic interpretation of the migration route of the bulk of the Jewish Diaspora describes it as following the Shekhinah (God’s Presence) in exile (according to Rabbi Alon Anava). At the beginning of the Galut (dispersion), the bulk of the Jews were concentrated in the Middle East (Mizrahi). Then the Shekhinah began to rise to the north and the Caucasus (Khazar Kaganate). From there, the path of the Shekhinah led to Western Russia, to the Baltics and to Eastern Europe (Ashkenazi). Then its movement led the Ashkenazi to go deeper into Western Europe, and made the Sephardim move from the Iberian Peninsula to Holland and the American colonies. Finally, the bulk of the Jews concentrated in the United States, where they still represent a majority compared to Jewish communities in other countries. Thus, the Shekhinah remains in the United States. The second largest community of Jews is in Israel. When the proportions shift in Israel’s favor, it will mean that the Shekhinah, after a two-thousand-year circle, has returned to Palestine.

Then we should expect the building of the Third Temple and the coming of the Mashiach. This is the logic of Jewish eschatology, clearly visible in the political processes unfolding around Israel. This idea is adhered to by the majority of religious Zionists, who make up a significant percentage of Jews both in Israel and in the Diaspora. But any Jew, wherever he or she may be and whatever ideology he or she may share, cannot fail to recognize the eschatological nature of the modern state of Israel and, consequently, the far-reaching goals of its government.

Orthodox Eschatology

Greeks: The Marble Emperor

In the Orthodox population of Greece, after the fall of Byzantium and the seizure of power by the Ottomans, an eschatological theory developed about the coming of an Orthodox liberator-king—the Marble Emperor. His figure was sometimes interpreted as the return of Constantine XII Paleologos, who, according to legend, did not die when the Turks took Constantinople, but was carried away by an angel to the Marble Gate and there awaits his hour to free the Orthodox (Greeks) from the oppression of foreigners.

In some versions of the eschatological legend this mission was entrusted to the “red-haired king of the north,” by whom in the 18th century many Athonite monks understood the Russian Emperor.

These are echoes of the classical Byzantine doctrine of the Katechon, the “restainer” who is destined to become the main obstacle in the way of the “son of perdition” (Second Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians) and of the Tsar-Savior from the book of Pseudo-Methodius of Patara. Greek political-religious thought retained this eschatological component during the Ottoman period, although after the liberation from the Turks, Greek statehood began to be built on Masonic liberal-democratic models (despite the brief period of rule by a number of European dynasties), completely breaking with the Byzantine heritage.

Russia: The King of the Third Rome, the Savior of the Sects, and Communism

In Russia, eschatology took a stable form by the end of the fifteenth century, which was reflected in the theory of Moscow as the Third Rome. It asserted that the mission of the Katechon, the restainer, after the fall of Constantinople passed to Muscovite Russia, which became the nucleus of the only Orthodox Empire—that is, Rome. The Grand Duke Moscow changed the status and became Tsar, Vasilevs, Emperor, restraining.

Henceforth, the mission of Russia and the Russian people was to slow down the coming of the “son of perdition,” the Antichrist, and to resist him in every possible way. This formed the core of Russian eschatology, and formalized the status of the Russian people as “God-bearers.”

Forgotten in the era of the Western reforms of Peter and his followers, the idea of Moscow as the Third Rome revived again in the 19th century, under the influence of the Slavophiles, and then became a central theme in the Russian Orthodox Church beyond the Frontier.

After the schism, eschatology became widespread among the Old Believers and sectarians. The Old Believers generally believed that the fall of the Third Rome had already irreversibly taken place, while the sectarians (Khlysty, Skoptsy), on the contrary, believed in the imminent coming of the “Russian Christ.”

The secular version of sectarian “optimistic” eschatology was taken up by the Bolsheviks, hiding it under the Marxist version of Hegel’s end of history. In the last period of the USSR, the eschatological belief in communism faded, and the regime and the country collapsed.

The theme of Russian eschatology became relevant again in Russia after the beginning of the Special Military Operation, when the confrontation (with the Masonic-liberal and materialistic-atheistic) civilization of the West became extremely acute. Logically, as Russia establishes itself as a separate civilization, the role of eschatology and the central importance of the function of the Katechon will only increase.

The Islamic World

Sunnism: The Sunni Mahdi

In Sunnism, the end of the world is not described in detail, and the visions of the coming leader of the Islamic community, the Mahdi, pale before the description of the Last Judgment that God (Allah) will administer at the end of time. Nevertheless, this figure is there and is described in some detail in the hadiths. It is about the emergence of a military and political leader of the Islamic world who will restore justice, order and piety, which has fallen into decay by the end of time.

The authoritative Sufi, Ibn Arabi, specifies that the Mahdi will be assisted in ruling by “viziers,” forming the basis of the eschatological government; and according to him, all the viziers of this “metaphysical government,” as assistants and projections of the unified pole (kutbah) will come from non-Arabic Islamic communities.

The Mahdi will defeat al-Dajjal (the Liar) and establish Islamic rule. A peculiar version of Islamic eschatology is also professed by supporters of the Islamic State (banned in Russia). Various figures in Islam claimed for the role of Mahdi. Most recently, the head of the Turkish PMC SADAT Adnan Tanriverdi proclaimed Erdogan as the Mahdi.

Iran: The Twelfth Imam

In Shi’ism, the Mahdi theme is much more fully developed, and eschatology underlies the very political-religious teachings of the Shi’ites. Shi’ites consider only the followers of Ali, the Imams, to be the legitimate rulers of the Islamic community. They believe that the last, Twelth, Imam did not die, but withdrew into concealment. He will appear to people again at the end of time. This will be the beginning of the rise of the Shia world.

Then there will be the appearance of Christ, who together with the Mahdi will fight with al-Dajjal and defeat him, establishing for a short period—just before the end of the world—a just, spiritual order.

Such views are espoused by the majority of Shiites, and in Iran it is the official ideology, largely determining the entire political strategy of this country.

Shiite eschatology in many respects continues the Iranian pre-Islamic tradition of Zoroastrianism, which had a developed theory of the change of cycles and their culmination in the Great Restoration (frashokart). There the image of the coming King-Savior, Saoshyant, who is destined to be born magically from a pure Virgin and defeat the army of the dark beginning (Ahriman) in the last battle, also plays an important role.

Probably, it was the ancient Iranian doctrine about the struggle of light (Ormuzd) and dark (Ahriman) began through history, as a key to its meaning and about the final victory of the warriors of light, became the basis for the eschatological part of monotheistic teachings. But in any case, the influence of Zoroastrianism on Shi’ism is obvious, and this is what gives Iranian eschatology such a sharp and vivid political expression.

Southeast Asia

India: Kalki

In Hinduism, the end of the world has little significance, although a number of sacred texts associated with the Kalachakra cycle tell of kings of the mystical land of Shambhala, where the conditions of the golden age reign. At the ultimate moment in history, one of these kings, Kalki, believed to be the tenth avatar of Vishnu, will appear in the human world and fight the demon Kali. Kalki’s victory will end the dark age and signify a new beginning (satya-yuga).

Kali-yuga (the age of darkness) is described as an era of the decline of mores, traditional values and the spiritual foundations of Indian civilization. Although Indian tradition is quite detached from history and its cycles, believing that spiritual realization can be achieved under any conditions, eschatological motifs are quite present in culture and politics.

In contemporary India, the popular conservative politician and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is recognized by some traditionalist circles as a divine avatar, either of Kalki himself or his harbinger.

Buddhism: The Buddha of Times to Come

Eschatological motifs are also developed in the Buddhist tradition. The end of time is seen in it as the coming of the future buddha, Maitreya. His mission is to renew the spiritual life of the sangha, the Buddhist community, and to turn humanity to the salvific path of awakening.

On Buddhism were based some political systems of the countries of southeast Asia—Japan, combined with the autochthonous cult of Shinto, centered on the figure of the divine Emperor, and a number of states of Indo-China. In some cases, the appeal to the figure of the coming Buddha Maitreya became the basis for political movements and popular uprisings.

Sometimes eschatological Buddhism found support in communist ideology, giving rise to syncretic forms—Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.

China: The Heavenly Mandate

Eschatology is virtually absent in Confucianism, which is the dominant political-ethical mainstream of Chinese tradition. But at the same time, it is developed in some detail in the religion of the Chinese Taoists and in Taoist-Buddhist syncretistic currents. According to Taoist ideas about cycles, the history of the world is reflected in the change of ruling dynasties in China. This change is the result of the loss of what the Taoists call the “heavenly mandate,” which every legitimate ruler of China is obliged to obtain and retain. When this mandate runs out, China is in turmoil, with civil war and unrest. The situation is saved only by obtaining a new heavenly mandate and enthronement of a new dynasty.

The Chinese Middle Empire is perceived by the Chinese themselves as an image of cosmic hierarchy, as the Universe. In the Empire, culture and nature merge to the point of indistinguishability. Therefore, dynastic cycles are cosmic cycles by which epochs are measured.

The Chinese tradition does not know the absolute end of the world, but believes that any deviation of the world order, in any direction, requires symmetrical restoration. This theory implicitly contributed to the Chinese revolution and retains its significance to the present day.

In fact, the figure of the current chairman of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping, is seen as a new appearance of a legitimate Emperor who has received a heavenly mandate.


Garvey: Black Freemasonry

One of the founders of the movement to restore dignity to African peoples was Jamaican-born Freemason, Marcus Garvey, who applied Masonic progressivism to blacks and called for rebellion against whites.

Garvey took a series of actions to bring American blacks back to the African continent, continuing a process that began in 1820 with the creation of an artificial state on the west coast of Africa, Liberia. Liberia’s government copied the U.S. and so too was composed predominantly of Freemasons.

Garvey interpreted the struggle for the rights of blacks not just as a means to gain equality, but actively promoted the theory of the chosenness of Africans as a special people, which after centuries of slavery was called to establish its dominance—at least in the space of the African continent, but also to claim and assert the rights to power in the U.S. and other colonial countries. And in the center of this world movement should stand the Masonic lodges, where only black people are allowed.

The extreme representatives of this current were the organizations Black Power, Black Panthers and later BLM.

Great Ethiopia

In Africa, among the melanodermatic (black) population, their own original versions of eschatology have developed. All of them (as in Garvey’s eschatology) regard African peoples as endowed with a special historical mission (blacks = New Israel) and foretell the rebirth of themselves and the African continent as a whole. The general scheme of African eschatology considers the era of colonization and slavery as a great spiritual trial for the black race, to be followed by a period of reward, a new golden age.

In one version of this eschatology, the core of African identity is Ethiopia. Its population (Kushites and Semites with dark skin) is seen as the paradigm of African civilization, as Ethiopia is the only African political entity in Africa that has not been colonized, either by European powers or by Muslims.

In this version, all African peoples are considered to be related to Ethiopians, and the Ethiopian monarch, the Negus, is perceived as a prototype of the ruler of the great African Empire. This line was the basis of Rastafarianism, which became popular among the blacks of Jamaica and further spread among the black population of Africa and America.

This version is prevalent among Christian and Christianized peoples. Christian eschatology of Ethiopians (Monophysites) acquires original features connected with the special mission of Ethiopia, which is considered to be the chosen country and the chosen people (hence the legend that the ancestor of Ethiopians was Melchizedek, the King of Peace). In Rastafarianism, this Ethiopian eschatology acquires additional—sometimes quite grotesque—features.

Black Islam

Another version of African eschatology is the Nation of Islam, which emerged in the United States. This doctrine claims that both Moses and Muhammad were black, and that God incarnates in black politico-religious leaders from cycle to cycle. The founder of this current, Wali Fard Muhammad, considered himself to be such an incarnation (this is consonant with the Russian Khlysty). After the death of Wali Fard Mohammed believers expect his return on a spaceship.

Parallel to this is the proclamation of the need for black struggle in the United States and around the world—and not just for their rights, but for recognition of their spiritual and racial leadership in civilization.

Under the contemporary leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, this current has achieved great influence in the United States and has had a significant impact on the ideological formation of black Muslims in Africa.

Black Egypt

Another version of African political eschatology is the KMT current (from the ancient Egyptian name of Egypt itself), which develops the ideas of the African philosopher Sheikh Anta Diop. He and his followers developed the theory that ancient Egypt was a state of black people, which is evident from its name “KMT,” in the Egyptian language meaning “Black Land” or “Land of Blacks.” Anta Diop believed that all African religious systems are echoes of Egyptian religion, which must be restored in its entirety.

His follower Kemi Seba developed the thesis of African monotheism, which is the basis of a religio-political system where power should be vested in a Metaphysical Government expressing the will of God (like the Mahdi viziers in Ibn Arabi’s version). Life should be based on the principle of closed black communities—kilombo.

At the same time, Africans should return to the traditions of their peoples, fully control the African continent, restore as dark a skin color as possible (through melano-oriented marriages) and carry out a spiritual revolution in the world.

The single, sacred Pan-African language should be the restored ancient Egyptian language (medu neter), and Swahili should be used for practical needs. According to the proponents of KMT theory, black people are the bearers of sacredness, Tradition and the people of the golden age. White civilization, on the other hand, represents perversion, pathology, and anti-civilization, where matter, money, and capital stand above spirit.

The main enemy of Africans and blacks around the world is whites, who are considered the bearers of modernization, colonialism, materialism and spiritual degeneration. Victory over whites is the guarantee of blacks’ fulfillment of their world mission and the crowning achievement of the decolonization process.

Latin America

Ethno-eschatology: Indigenism

In Latin American countries, a number of aboriginal Amerindian peoples see the logical end of colonization as the restoration of ethnic societies (indigenism). These tendencies are developed to varying degrees depending on the country.

Many consider the rebellion of Tupac Amaru II, a descendant of the last Inca ruler, who led an Indian revolt against the Spanish presence in Peru in 1780, as the symbolic beginning of Indian resistance to colonizers.

In Bolivia in 2006, Evo Morales, the first-ever representative of the Aymara Indian people, was elected president. Increasingly, voices are being heard—primarily in Peru and Bolivia—in favor of declaring the ancient Indian cult of the earth goddess Pachamama an official religion.

As a rule, the ethnic eschatology of Latin American Indians is combined with leftist socialist or anarchist currents to create syncretic teachings.

Brazilian Sebastianism

A particular version of eschatology, linked to Portuguese ideas about the Fifth Empire, developed in Brazil. After the capital of the Portuguese Empire was moved to Brazil because of a republican coup d’état in Portugal, the doctrine arose that this transfer of the capital was not accidental and that Brazil itself had a special political-religious mission. If European Portugal lost the doctrine of King Sebastian and followed the path of European bourgeois democracy, then Brazil must now assume this mission and become the territory where, in the critical conditions of the historical cycle, the missing but not dead King Sebastian would be found.

Under the banner of such a doctrine the conservative Catholic-eschatological and imperial revolts against the Masonic liberal government—Canudos, Contestado, etc.—took place in Brazil.

Eschatological Map of Civilizations

Thus, in a multipolar world, different eschatologies clash or enter into an alliance with each other.

In the West, the secular model (progressivism and liberalism) clearly prevails, with a significant addition in the form of extreme Protestant dispensationalism. This is the “end of history,” according to Fukuyama. If we take into account the liberal elite of European countries under full American control, we can speak of a special eschatology that unites almost all NATO countries. We should also add the theory of radical individualism, common to liberals, which demands to free people from all forms of collective identity—up to freedom from sex (gender politics) and even from belonging to the human species (transhumanism, AI). Thus, the new elements of Masonic progressive eschatology, along with the “open society,” are the imperatives of gender reassignment, support for LGBTQ principles, posthumanism, and deep ecology (which rejects the centrality of the human being in the world that all traditional religions and philosophical systems have insisted on).

Although Zionism is not a direct continuation of this version of eschatology, in some of its forms—primarily through its alliance with the American neocons—it partly fits into this strategy; and given the influence of Jews on the ruling elites of the West, these proportions may even be reversed.

Russia and its Katechonic function, which combines the eschatology of the Third Rome and the communist horizon as a legacy of the USSR, stands most blatantly in the way of this end of history.

In China, Western Marxism, already substantially reworked in Maoism, increasingly openly displays Confucian culture, and the head of the CCP, as traditional Emperor, is given a heavenly mandate to rule “All that is under Heaven” (tianxia—天下).

Eschatological sentiments are constantly growing in the Islamic world—both in the Sunni zone and especially in Shiism (primarily in Iran), and it is modern Western civilization—the same one that is now fighting Russia—that is almost unanimously presented as al-Dajjal for all Muslims.

In India, Hindutva-inspired sentiments (the doctrine of the independent identity of Hindus as a special and unique civilization) are gradually growing, proclaiming a return to the roots of the Hindu tradition and its values (which do not coincide at all with Western values), and hence outlining the contours of a special eschatology associated with the phenomenon of Kalka and the overcoming of the Kali-yuga.

Pan-Africanism is developing towards the strengthening of radical teachings about the return of Africans to their identity and a new round of anti-colonial struggle against the white world (understood primarily as colonial countries belonging to the civilization of the West). This describes a new vector of black eschatology.

In Latin America, the desire to strengthen its geopolitical sovereignty is based on both leftist (socialist) eschatology and the defense of Catholic identity, which is particularly evident in Brazil, where both leftists and rightists are increasingly distancing themselves from globalism and U.S. policy (hence Brazil’s participation in the BRICS bloc). The ethno-eschatologies of indigenism, though relatively weak, generally add an important additional dimension to the whole eschatological project.

At the same time, the French aristocratic eschatology (and its secular projection in Gaullism), the German version of the end of history in the form of the German Empire, as well as the Buddhist and Shinto line of the special mission of Japan and the Japanese Emperors—(for now, at least) do not play any noticeable role, being completely bought by the dominant progressive globalist elite and the strategies of the Anglo-Saxons.

Thus, we have a world map of eschatology, corresponding to the contours of a multipolar world.

From this we can now draw whatever conclusions we want.

Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.

Featured: Multipolarity I, by Roodslav.