Today, just like in the 1990s, those lucky enough to have been spared the blessings of Russian domination need to learn the truth. In fact, amidst Russia’s genocidal aggression in Ukraine, the need to raise awareness about
as a bona fide colonial power is more urgent than ever
There’s a reason why the “Putin’s War” narrative promoted by Russian opposition leaders doesn’t gets much traction in Russia’s former colonies. Ukrainians, Estonians, Central Asians know that Putin is but a symptom of an old malady that Russia has yet to confront – imperialism.
We know that Russian imperial mindset survived USSR’s collapse. When Putin lamented “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century” he was skillfully capturing the zeitgeist of his people with their hatred for Gorbachev on whose watch “the great country” was lost.
More than three decades after USSR’s collapse, the view of Russia as innately superior to its former colonies and a refusal to accept that these now sovereign nations have the right to decide their own affairs continue to be prevalent in Russian society.
To fully understand the logic of Russia’s horrific actions in Ukraine, the world needs to see Russia for what it truly is – a crumbling empire desperate to reverse the flow of history by reasserting control over a former colony.
What Russia needs is a reckoning with its own history and a wholesale rejection of the imperial idea. But this process can only begin once Russia is defeated in Ukraine. Helping Ukraine achieve victory is arguably the most important task facing the world today. THE END