This wide-ranging conversation with Alexander Dugin, Russian philosopher, on President Putin, on the current conflict in the Ukraine, and the future destiny of Russia provides much-needed context on what is happening now throughout Eurasia, as the world undergoes a shift in allegiances, or what Dugin would call “multipolarity.” The West, mired in Wokery, has lost its way, while the world has chosen to move on. This conversation is with Yekaterina Sazhneva, columnist at the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets (MK). It is through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica that we bring you this English-version.
Yekaterina Sazhneva (YS): Alexander Gellievich, I was rereading one of your interviews about the existence of two Putin’s. “Solar” and “Lunar.” “Solar” is Krymnash, the restoration of the Eurasian empire, messianism. “Lunar” is a rational practitioner, a realist, a supporter of capitalist economics, looking back to the collective West. At the time, you lamented that Putin would never choose the “solar” path, preferring to combine both. So how is it today – has the choice been made?
Alexander Dugin (AD): Yes, of course, the “solar” Putin won, and I’ve been saying that he would win not a year ago, but for many years in a row. I have even published a book about this, Putin vs Putin, dedicated to the main paradox of Russian politics. The book has been translated into many languages, and in it I present my theory in detail.
There is an interesting author in historical science, Ernst Kantorowicz, who wrote a study called The King’s Two Bodies. It is about the fact that any great ruler is always dual. On the one hand, physically, he is certainly a man; and on the other hand, he is an historical figure, part of a continuous historical process. As a man, he can think one way. But as a historical figure, on which the fate of nations and states depend, he acts very differently.
This duality creates the deepest tension, the drama of the ruler, and is characteristic of a variety of political regimes. It does not matter whether we are dealing with democracy, as in the case of Churchill or Roosevelt, or with monarchy, as under Ivan the Terrible or Nicholas II. It is a split that arises in the soul and in the heart, in the consciousness of the ruler; when he is truly aware of his responsibility before history; when the future of humanity depends on his actions, his decisions with reliance on himself and his destiny; on the depths of his “I.”
An ordinary, normal person acts rationally, by inertia; this is what I call the “lunar” side. He adapts to circumstances and recognizes the rules of the game; follows moral and ethical norms.
The “solar” side, on the other hand, forces him to perform a great deed. In the image of our president, this is expressed very vividly.
On the one hand, Putin is devoted to the sovereignty of Russia as a state, but on the other hand, rationally, I think he was well aware of the consequences of a persistent insistence on his position. In this respect, Putin’s “solar” beginning is extremely tragic, because it implies a struggle with the ideas and values of the West. But Russia has crossed the Rubicon, which I am personally very happy about.
YS: But what was the reason for such a radical change in course? After all, back in December, we all went together into the “digital concentration camp,” introduced almost unanimously in the regional QR-certificates, as in the West, and, in general, nothing foretold a break with the West and its agendas. The impression is that there were some events of which we are not aware…
AD: I think that for all 22 years of Russian politics, associated with the rule of our president, he has continued to strive to combine the incompatible at all costs. On the one hand, integration into the global world system and meeting all its requirements—joining the WTO, WHO, adopting a liberal economic model, digitalization, and inclusion in international human rights institutions. And on the other hand, the strengthening and reinforcement of Russia’s sovereignty.
At the same time, in the military sphere, we have remained independent and promoted our own interests. For example, we defended territorial integrity during the second Chechen campaign, strengthened the central government and countered separatism inside Russia. These two objectives, “lunar” and “solar,” were in principle incompatible with each other. Up to a certain point, both aspects were fundamentally important for our president. But the internal conflict was growing. I think the overall relative equilibrium was maintained until February 22, 2022.
YS: Wait, but the exercise “Allied Resolve 2022” on the border with Ukraine began earlier than February 22, so we can’t talk about any sudden start of a special operation in principle?
AD: In fact, the two plans—the “lunar” and the “solar” ones—were not found on the same level. Liberalization and participation in international processes was one level; while the military and strategic defense of our national interests was another. These levels did not overlap, as far as I can see. But at some point, our leadership saw that the next step would be an attack by the Ukrainian regime on Donbass and on Crimea with Western support; and the concentration of troops on our own border was completely insufficient to prevent this attack. So it was impossible to preserve Russian sovereignty, without a special military operation.
The Siege Of Kiev Is Always
YS: So was Ukraine going to attack the Donbass or Russia?
AD: The success of the operation in the Donbass, if Kiev had started it first, would have led, under the current Ukrainian regime, to an inevitable attack on Crimea and the involvement of NATO troops. First, Ukrainian regime would have attacked the Donbass, then Russia… There were such plans.
YS: But how quickly could they have come to fruition? In a day? A week? A month?
AD: I don’t know. But I have no reason not to trust our administration to talk about these plans
YS: As we can see, neither the West nor NATO has intervened directly in what is happening so far. Although in theory they had every opportunity to do so. Not only that, they had a reason—it was Russia that started the special operation. But they are in no hurry to help Ukraine with military force or to close the sky with their air defenses. How then can you be sure that they would have helped Ukraine in any other circumstance?
AD: They wanted to attack with foreign hands. They wanted to pit the Ukrainian fascist regime against us.
Why aren’t they themselves attacking right now? I think the time is not right yet. They are now watching our progress and reserving the opportunity to take the escalation of the conflict to the next level. I think they believe that those measures, those sanctions that they were able to impose against Russia, taking advantage of our preventive, independent, preemptive, warning start of a special military operation—have worked. They believe that they have a chance to defeat Russia; not literally, because it is impossible, but to crush and force it to surrender, by excluding it from their global system.
They believe that by isolating us from everything into which they previously so diligently integrated us, by throwing us out of their civilization, they will make Russia cease to exist.
Yes, there are benefits to which the Russian inhabitants have become accustomed; they’ve been made to become accustomed to; they’ve been forced into these protocols of life. I think that the West believes that steps to isolate Russia are enough. That direct military action and confrontation with NATO will not have the desired effect.
After our president crossed the Rubicon, all the contradictions that were embedded in this dual model came to light. That system carried an internal poison, which—at least in the long term—was killing our society; but it also had a healthy military-strategic component. Globalization was a tool of a unipolar world. It sought to strengthen Western hegemony and weaken all those involved in this process. Apparently, it was not obvious to the country’s leadership until the last minute that the globalists were using us.
YS: Incidentally, China somehow managed not to be used.
AD: Yes, China, up to a certain point, was perfectly able both to respect its sovereignty, particularly on the Internet, and to take advantage of the open opportunities of globalization. But we are different. What China was able to do, we are not able to do.
YS: We have a different cultural code, first of all, it seems to me. It is easy for the Chinese to submit to power. If only because Confucianism originally contained the idea of a state order, where the ruler is the father of the nation and everyone must love him simply by virtue of the fact; where the individual and his interests are not important compared to the interests of society.
AD: Yes, you’re right. They have a unified culture; and, much more importantly, a particular centralist political system, with complete control of the Communist Party. It’s not so much capitalist or socialist as it is Chinese-Communist-Confucian.
Maybe because there is no real ideology in Russia, there has not been a hard line to reject the toxic sides of globalization. But, of course, we have the prerequisites to be like China. By the way, today China, as well as Russia, is in a confrontation with the globalists. All this is quite obvious. The experience of China and Russia should be combined and combined, building a multipolar world. We should be friends with China.
YS: And why would China want to do that?
AD: Because China looks at us with deep respect, because we are not inferior to it in some respects. For example, we have the great Russian people, which has united all other peoples. We have a unified history. We have a strong identity. The “solar” world we are all now entering can be diverse.
YS: And who builds the “solar” world? Sorry, but the faces are all the same; the positions are the same as they were under the “lunar.” The people who were in power and looked up to the West are now saying the exact opposite slogans. Chubais just left for Turkey…
AD: There is no hurry. The irreversible shift in the tectonic plates of history, the return to the true Russia, happened just a month ago, everything is just beginning. And Chubais’ flight is actually a symbolic gesture. “Chubais flying away” is a symbol.
YS: He still feels good about himself. He can still take out his cash from the ATM.
AD: No need to be bloodthirsty. If he ran away, so be it. It’s important to have some kind of amnesty in society. If someone who was a liberal yesterday is no longer a liberal today, but warmly supports the special military operation and the president, then he is on our side. Let Chubais run. Let Dunya Smirnova run away with him.
All that matters to a Russian is that there should be no evil. Russian people are very kind. And if some officials continue to engage in sabotage, then they will be treated in the same way as the Nazis from the Azov battalion [recognized as terrorists in Russia and banned—MK). But every person today has the opportunity to become a Russian. And we should not deprive him of this opportunity.
YS: This is the most important question I would like to ask you. Are you the ideologist of the very Russian world that everyone is talking about?
AD: I do not deny that I am an ideologist of the Russian world. But this does not contradict Eurasianism, which I also adhere to. It is hard to imagine more supporters of the Russian world than Russian Eurasians.
It was Eurasians who rightly and correctly insisted that Russia is an independent civilization; that the Russian identity is not national, not ethnic, it is a cultural type, an open identity. It is, in a sense, an empire that has absorbed everything.
Its center is the Russian people. And it is open to those peoples who combine their destiny with the fate of the Russian people, so that they get a decent and full opportunity to participate in our destiny. I came to this back in the 1980s, studying and researching the fate of Russia. By the beginning of the 1990s my worldview had been honed and became my own truth and my life program.
YS: And you haven’t changed since then, since the early 1990s?
AD: Yes, I laid out my principles at the beginning of the 1990s in a series of works. They have been translated into a lot of languages. These are natural things before me, and a lot of the things that are happening now, I was describing in detail thirty years ago.
I have always believed that my main idea and the idea of my people is the idea of a great free and independent Russia. Russia as a civilization. And I, as a philosopher, am called to gaze into the depths of the Russian beginning, which I have been fortunate enough to carry within me. The logic of Russian destiny is transparent to me.
YS: And what is that?
AD: It is certainly the assertion of Russia as an independent civilization with its own traditional values. And it will not be complete until we unite all the eastern Slavs and all the Eurasian brothers into one big space. Everything follows from this logic of destiny—and so does the Ukraine.
YS: And if someone doesn’t want to be a part of our destiny voluntarily?
AD: Sometimes it is difficult to take the right path. At every critical stage of history, we used to lose our Western-Russian territories, then to restore our unity anew; the siege of Kiev is a constant in Russian history.
YS: Siege of Kiev—now or in the Middle Ages?
AD: The siege of Kiev—always. These are different levels of the same pattern. Do you know how long we have been fighting for Kiev with the Western Russian principalities?
YS: Seven hundred years?
AD: From our Russian Middle Ages. We had a conflict between Velikorussians and Galicians for Kiev. Western Russia was closely formed by the Catholic and Polish identity and culture; and in Eastern Russia, since its inception with Grand Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky you can see a prototype of the Great Eurasian Empire, which we have become. And so, Kiev will be ours.
We Will Win, And Then We Will Explain Everything
YS: As Patriarch Kirill recently put it, the struggle is on the metaphysical level?
AD: The metaphysical and physical levels of being are much more closely connected than we may think. For me, it doesn’t matter when or what was or will be. That’s why I am able to see events that haven’t happened yet.
So, the siege of Kiev is a struggle for the unification of the Eastern Slavs and the creation of a sovereign civilization of the Russian world, which is directed against the West. But always the West—forever—uses Western Russian collaborators, starting with the backing and sending the crown to Daniel of Galicia by the Pope in 1253. And at a critical moment, the West betrays everyone. Everyone, of course, remembers Gogol’s famous phrase: “Did your Lyakhs help you, son?”—and this phrase is repeated again and again through the ages; and today, too. You could ask Zelensky.
YS: But besides Zelensky, there are 40 million people living in Ukraine. The special operation that is going on right now is in the Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine. Russians live here. The Russian language is spoken here. Kharkov, Mariupol…
How to explain to a Russian mother who lost her home, her child, seeing all the horrors of destruction and bombing that all this was done for her own good? Not on a metaphysical plane, but on a concrete one—what is she suffering for?
AD: There are people who think and seek to comprehend the truth; and there are people who solve some technological problems on reunion. In 2014, it was clear to me what was going on and what to tell her. The streets of Kharkiv in 2014 were covered with flyers with my statements and quotes, my portraits were hanging on the building of the city administration.
YS: Yes, and Russian volunteers were going to Donbass with your ideas about the Russian world, but it’s now 2022. The homes of Russian-speaking Ukrainians were destroyed not eight years ago, but now.
AD: There is the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. He is known for his lamentation. Here I can say that the state of my soul from 2014 to 2022 is Jeremiah’s lament for the Russian world. My heart was breaking as to what we needed to do.
Of course, we are in a difficult situation now, and many opportunities for soft solutions have been lost. I don’t know who is to blame. Just as I don’t know who is to blame for the fall of Troy…
YS: So how do you explain to a Russian mother from Mariupol that everything that is happening is a good thing?
AD: The death of loved ones is a terrible grief. It is practically impossible to explain a lot of things now. We’ll explain it all later, when we liberate Ukraine. When Mariupol will be ours, then your question will become relevant. Right now, our plan is to win.
As soon as the flag of Eastern Ukraine, Russia, freedom and independence soars over Kherson and Novorossiya; as soon as the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are liberated; the Kherson, Nikolayev, Zaporozhye, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk and other republics are established—after that we immediately begin to explain.
YS: Igor Strelkov, the first Minister of Defense of the DNR, your pupil, by the way, as well as Alexander Boroday—the first head of the DNR. Where you were and them in 2014 is clear. And where have you been all these eight years?
AD: Before the decision was made about the setting of the “Russian Spring,” I was always on TV. After that, I disappeared. I was thrown into a kind of social prison, into exile. Nevertheless, I continued to do what I believed in.
I followed the logic I told you about. I had always been absolutely convinced of the arrival of such a figure as Putin, long before he came. And when there was only Yeltsin and Chubais.
But I knew that deliverance would come. And a “man of destiny” would appear who would reunite the Russian world.
My friend, the French writer, mystic, and poet Jean Parvoulesco, now deceased, wrote a terrific book, Putin and the Eurasian Empire. Jean predicted, by way of a number of signs. that Putin was the man Russia needed. Even before Putin appeared, Jean was saying that a great leader would come from the military and special services who would restore ancient Russian civilization. And will also “establish an imperial eschatological will over the land, from the Atlantic to the Pacific,” I read.
Ties with the old world are irreversibly severed. A special military operation is irreversible. I wish all this had happened in 2014. But then we wouldn’t have exhausted the full potential of “lunar light.”
YS: Have we exhausted it all now?
AD: Yes, all of it now.
He Who Is Not With Us Is With Satan
YS: And when will we win? Your disciple Strelkov complains that everything is taking too long to move forward; that an immediate mobilization, including of human resources, is required. But will the Russian people agree not just to support the president from the sofa, but to fight for the Russian idea with weapons in their hands, and maybe even die?
AD: The way Strelkov has been presenting his thoughts and views for the last eight years is, for me, categorically unacceptable. It is clear that he too is sick of the Russian world, and this is his lament. But the form in which he puts it, I cannot accept.
And in essence he is right. The military-technical side of the special military operation is not my area of expertise—how it goes, according to what plan, I do not know. But, in any case, the mobilization of the people in all senses is inevitable. We underestimate the “passionariness” of the Russian man. He breathes only when he acquires a “solar” origin.
YS: So maybe Putin should appeal to the nation to support him.
AD: In the near future, support for Putin will be total as it is. Chubais is gone; so power is now with the people. When the people are freed from the underground in which they have been driven, and the government inevitably turns to the Russian people, then the Russians will show what they are and what they can do.
YS: We are a peaceful people, but is our armored train on the reserve track?
AD: Yes, it’s worth it for Putin to say: Russian, get up, you’re really needed now. And the people will definitely respond.
The special operation should not be run by the state alone, but by the people. So far, the Russian people have not yet fully engaged. Without mobilizing the Russian people, without explaining to them their historical mission, without awakening their deepest beginning, without these words “brothers and sisters”, it is impossible to do without.
“Arise, Russian people, awaken, you are called to perform great deeds…” All your ancestors, all generations have been on their way to this moment, to this clash with our ontological enemy. Truth and God are on our side. We are fighting the absolute Evil embodied in Western civilization, its liberal-totalitarian hegemony, in Ukrainian Nazism. We were created for this mission. This is what is needed now—a call is needed.
YS: In one of your previous interviews, you talk about the inevitability of some kind of catastrophe that could destroy most of humanity. As we can see, the previously unthinkable is already being openly discussed, the possibility of using nuclear weapons – like that Chekhov gun on the wall that should go off. Aren’t you scared?
AD: We’re always on the balance of probability. Any weapon is designed to go off.
YS: And for the balance of power? I don’t shoot, you don’t shoot, nobody shoots.
AD: That’s right. It was explained to us that nuclear weapons are weapons to keep other weapons from firing; it is a method of deterrence, and it was not used in conventional wars, medium-intensity wars. But nuclear weapons, under certain circumstances, if we are talking about a clash of civilizations, can also turn into offensive weapons.
Naturally, Russia will never be the first to do this. Because our nuclear weapons bring peace, and their nuclear weapons are fraught with aggression. But I am not saying that a nuclear catastrophe is inevitable.
YS: I would very much like to avoid it.
AD: I think right now you and I can’t influence the decision as to whether or not humanity’s annihilation will begin.
YS: The point of no return – has it been passed or not yet?
AD: I think NATO going to war on the side of Ukraine will be such a point.
YS: And then that’s it?
AD: It seems to me that the people who represent Washington are balancing between manic rage and some rationality. When rage prevails, they are the ones calling for the destruction of Russia with nuclear weapons.
YS: And in my opinion, on our television we also have calls to use them. I heard it myself in a program on Solovyov.
AD: I think there are different messages that the government wants to send to other countries through TV. But I am deeply convinced that the decision to destroy humanity can only be made by the United States.
I think I understand the logic of the “solar” ruler; he really didn’t want what happened, he cares about people and keeping the peace. But I remember him saying that if Russia was put before the choice of accepting a nuclear strike, to respond or not to respond to it, he would not allow peace without Russia.
YS: “That is, we all go to heaven, and let the rest die,” to quote the “solar” ruler. You are a religious philosopher, a mystic. Doesn’t it seem to you that the struggle between the Good, which we represent, and the absolute Evil, which, from your point of view, the West embodies, can only end with one thing: the end of the world? As John’s Revelation suggests, Pestilence (coronavirus) is followed by War, followed by Famine and Death. Are the horsemen of the Apocalypse coming?
AD: We have all forgotten that Christianity is an end-time religion. Christ is coming in the Last Days, and it is impossible for a Christian waiting for the Second Coming to think otherwise. It is abnormal to believe in progress, in technical development, in the endless evolution of species. Either you are a Christian, or you belong to the modern, material world.
For a Christian, the Apocalypse is something that is always around. A return to Russian identity is a return to a deep, and only possible, Christianity, containing the book of the Apocalypse, as the last book of the New Testament. Of course, we cannot ignore the events described there. And sooner or later they will come true, literally.
AD: I didn’t say that. But it would be very right, very responsible, very Russian, to consider what is happening today in the apocalyptic dimension and to do everything possible to ensure that the inevitable consequences do not come to pass. And if it is impossible to avoid what is destined to happen, it is important to be on the right side at the moment of the End of the World. On our side.
We Are First
YS: These are challenging times for the Church as well. After all, not everyone understood and accepted Patriarch Kirill’s sermon on March 9, stating that the state has the right to coerce other states by force, to do as it sees fit, if it feels threatened by them. He soon uttered another phrase of concern to theologians, that “forgiveness without justice is surrender and weakness.” Is not the moral and ethical basis of Christianity in forgiveness?
AD: In this new apocalyptic cycle, all proportions have been changed. What in peacetime might have been considered “the rule” has now been discarded as unnecessary. But there is no “Christianity in general.” Catholics themselves consider the Orthodox Church “schismatic,” and we respond in kind. So, they can’t tell us anything.
For us, Christianity is the Russian Orthodox Church, and no one else. We are conducting an eschatological military operation, a special operation on the vertical plane between Light and Darkness, in an end-time situation.
YS: We are the party of Light, I take it?
AD: And the West is the party of Darkness by all its signs and symbols.
YS: Where do you see yourself now? In the new Russian world?
AD: I guess I’m a symbol and a mythological figure, too, in a sense. Like Chubais. Only with an “anti” prefix. If Ukraine is the anti-Russia, then I am the anti-Chubais. I can be anything I want: from a private cartridge dispenser or a mobilized reservist during special operations to any position where the state and the authorities call me. Any position necessary for our victory.
YS: One last question: Putin practically speaks in quotations from your writings. Especially before the start of the special operation. Do you think he reads you?
AD: I think that he and I read the same writings, written in golden letters on the sky of Russian history.
YS: But it’s not on the metaphysical level, but on the ordinary earthly level, you communicate?
AD: I never respond to such a question.
Featured image: A late 15th-century icon of Saint George of Novgorod slaying the dragon.