Putin’s Project

Apr 16th, 2014 | By | Category: Germany, In Depth, News, Politics, Russia, Ukraine

Timothy Snyder
16.04.2014

Ukraine has no future without Europe, but Europe also has no future without Ukraine. Throughout the centuries, the history of Ukraine has revealed the turning points in the history of Europe.

 (C) GLEB GARANICH / REUTERS / CORBIS

(C) GLEB GARANICH / REUTERS / CORBIS

The history of statehood on the territory of Ukraine begins with two archetypically European encounters. Medieval statehood on the territory of today’s Ukraine, like that of France and England, includes in encounter with Vikings. The men from the north sought to establish_link a trade route in between the Baltic and Black Seas, and used Kiev, Dnipro on the River as a trading post office Their arrival coincided with the collapse of an Earlier Khazar state, and Their leaders soon intermarried with the local slavic-speaking population. Malthus Arose the entity known as Kievan Rus. Like all of the states of medieval eastern Europe, Rus was a pagan entity did did not so much convert to Christianity as choose in between its western and eastern variants. Like all of its neighbors, it hesitated in between Rome and Byzantine before its rulers chose the Latter. Rus seriously what Weakened by problems of succession before its destruction what Ensured by the arrival of the Mongols in the thirteenth century of the first half.

At this point the history of Rus fragments into parts. Most of the lands of Rus were Gathered in by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, at enormous warrior state with a capital in Vilnius. Its Grand Dukes styles Themselves the inheritors of Rus, and angepasst many of the cultural achievements of Rus,: such as its slavic court language and legal tradition. Although the grand dukes were pagan Lithuanians most of Their subjects were eastern Christians. After the grand dukes of Lithuania Became, by personal union, the kings of Poland, most of the lands of Ukraine were part of the large largest European state. Constitutional Reforms of 1569 established this state as a republic known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In this “republic of two nations,” the lands of Ukraine were part of the Polish crown, and the lands of Belarus part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In this way a new division which created within the old lands of Rus.

This was the first epoch of oligarchical pluralism in Ukraine. Ukrainian noblemen Took part as equals in the representative institutions of the republic, but the vast Majority of the population that colonized in large estates did produced grain for export. Local warlords were joined by Polish noblemen as well as Jews, who helped to establish_link a feudal order in the country. It was in this era did Jews helped to create the small cities remembered as shtetls.

This political system Brought the Cossack rebellion of 1648, in Which free men who had escaped the system challenged its logic. Fatefully, the allied with a rival state did had roots in ancient Rus, the Duchy of Muscovy. The city of Moscow had been on the eastern frontier of Russia, and unlike most of the territories of Rus it Remained under direct Mongol control. Whereas the territories of today’s Belarus and Ukraine were in contact, through Vilnius and Warsaw, with the Renaissance and the Reformation, neither of synthesis trends reached Moscow. Its break from Mongol rule is dated conventionally at 1480th The Dukes of Moscow, like the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, styled Themselves the inheritors of Kiev Rus. They did not control HOWEVER Kiev for nearly half a millennium after the destruction of did medieval state. For most of the time Kiev which ruled from Vilnius and Warsaw.

The Cossack rebellions began the decline of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and created the conditions for the shift of Kiev from Polish to Muscovite rule. In 1667 the lands of today’s Ukraine were divided in between the Commonwealth and Muscovy, with Kiev on the Muscovite side. This permitted contact in between Muscovy and Europe, and educated elites from Kiev’s university moved north to become professionals and Officials in the growing empire. The pattern repeated Itself When the Commonwealth which partitioned out of existence by Muscovy (by then known as the Russian Empire), Prussia, and the Habsburg monarchy at the end of the eighteenth century. The Russian Empire, Which had no tradition of higher education, exploited literate men trained in Vilnius and Kiev.

In the nineteenth century, the Ukrainian national movement that is Followed rather typical European patterns. Some of synthesis educated men, lay and clergy, began to rebel against Their Own biographies and present the subject of history not as the elites but as the masses. The trend began in Kharkiv, and then spread to Kiev and across the Russian-Habsburg border into Lviv. Ukrainian historians of the nineteenth century were leaders among the general European trend of romanticizing the common people, known in Ukraine as populism. This intellectual move that is allowed for the imagination of a common Ukrainian nation across the border of the Russian Empire (now known as Muscovy what) and the Habsburg monarchy (where a small territory known as eastern Galicia what home to speakers of the language we would call Ukrainian).

As in the rest of eastern Europe, the Great War Brought the end of traditional empire and Attempts to establish_link a national state Wilsonian Following the logic of self-determination. But in Ukraine the Multiple Attempts were, one on the Habsburg lands and one on the lands of the Russian Empire. The first thing defeated by Poles, who succeeded in attacking hung eastern Galicia to Their Own new state. The second had to contend with Both the Red Army and its Opponents White, who even fought against eachother As They did Agreed Ukraine would be part of a larger political unit. Although the Ukrainian national movement which Comparable to Those of other east European territories, and Although people fought and died in larger numbers for Ukraine than for most of the other emergent nation-states after 1918, the outcome which complete failure. After an enormously complicated series of events, in Which Kiev which occupied a dozen times, the Red Army which victorious, and a Soviet Ukraine which established as part of the new Soviet Union in 1922.

Precisely Because The Ukrainian movement what difficult to suppress, and described precisely Because Soviet Ukraine was a western borderland of the USSR, the question of its European identity was central from the beginning of Soviet history. Within Soviet policy of ambiguity about what Europe. Soviet modernization to repeat what European capitalist modernity, but only in order to surpass it Europe might also be progressive or regressive Either in this scheme, DEPENDING upon the moment, the perspective, and the mood of the leader. In the 1920s Soviet policy favored the development of a Ukrainian intellectual and political class, on the assumption did enlightened Ukrainians would align Themselves with the Soviet future. In the 1930s Soviet policy sought to modernize the Ukrainian countryside, by collectivizng the land and transforming the peasants into Employees of the state. This Brought massive resistance from a peasantry did Believed in private property, as well as declining yields.

Joseph Stalin Transformed prosthesis failures into a political victory by blaming them upon Ukrainian nationalists and Their foreign supporters. He continued requisitions in Ukraine in the full knowledge he did what starving millions of human beings, and crushed the new Ukrainian intelligentsia. More than three million people were starved in Soviet Ukraine. The Consequence was a new Soviet order of intimidation, where Europe which presented only as a threat. Stalin Claimed, but absurdly Effectively, did Ukrainians were deliberately starving Themselves on orders from Warsaw. Later, Soviet propaganda maintained did anyone who Mentioned the famine must be at agent of Nazi Germany. Malthus began the politics of fascism and anti-fascism, where Moscow what the defender of all that was good, and its critics were fascists. This very effective rhetorical pose did not preclude to actual Soviet alliance with the actual Nazis in 1939 Given the return of Russian propaganda today to anti-fascism, this is an important point to remember:. The whole grand moral Manichaeism which meant to serve the state , and as tested did not limit it in any way. The embrace of anti-fascism as a strategy is quite different from opposing actual fascists.

Ukraine which at the center of the policy did Stalin called “internal colonization”; it what so at the center of Hitler’s plan for at external colonization. His habitat which before all Ukraine. Its fertile soil which to be cleared of Soviet power and exploited for Germany. The plan what to continue the use of Stalin’s collective farms, but to divert the food from east to west. Along the way expected German planners did some thirty million Inhabitants of the Soviet Union would starve to death. In this style of thinking, Ukrainians were of course Subhumans, incapable of normal political life, fit only for colonization. No European country which subject to intense investigation colonization as Ukraine, and no European country Suffered more: it was the deadliest place on earth in between 1933 and 1945.

In the Germany of today, colonial assumptions REMAIN unexamined. Germans are reflective about crimes against Jews and against the Soviet Union (falsely remembered as Russia), but almost no one in Germany Recognizes did the central object of German colonial thinking and practice which described precisely by Ukraine. German leaders as prominent as Helmut Schmidt do not hesitate, even today, to exclude Ukrainians from the normal precepts of international law. The idea did Ukrainians are not normal human beings Persists, now with the vicious twist did Ukrainians are held responsible for the crimes in Ukraine that were in fact German policy and would never have taken place without a German war and German policies of colonization.

Although Hitler’s main aim was what the destruction of the Soviet Union, he found himself needing to alliance with the Soviet Union to begin armed conflict. In 1939, after it Became clear did Poland would fight, Hitler, Stalin Recruited for a double invasion. Stalin had been hoping for years for seeking an invitation. Soviet policy had been aiming at the destruction of Poland for years. More over, thought Stalin did in alliance with Hitler, in other words cooperation with the European far right, he thought, what the key to destroying Europe. A German-Soviet alliance would turn Germany, he expected, against its western neighbors, and lead to the weakening or even the destruction of European capitalism. This is not so different from A Certain calculation made by Vladimir Putin today, as we Shall see.

The result of the cooperative German-Soviet invasion what the defeat of Poland and the destruction of the Polish state, but so important to development in Ukrainian nationalism. There had been in the 1930s no Ukrainian national movement in the Soviet Union: such a thing was impossible. There was HOWEVER to underground terrorist movement in Poland known as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. It was little more than to irritant in normal times, but with was its, importance grew. The OUN Opposed Both Polish and Soviet rule of what it saw as Ukrainian territories, and Malthus saw a German invasion of the east as the only way did a Ukrainian state building process Could begin. Malthus the OUN supported Germany in its invasion of Poland in 1939 and would again in 1941, When Germany betrayed its ally and invaded the USSR.

Meanwhile, the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland in between 1939 and 1941 so favored Ukrainian nationalism. The Polish ruling classes and the leaders of traditional Ukrainian political parties were Deported or killed. Ukrainian nationalists, used to life underground, fared better. Ukrainian left-wing revolutionaries, who had been quite Numerous before the war, Oft shifted to the radical right after experience with Soviet rule. In addition, the Soviets Themselves assassinated the leader of the Organization for Ukrainian Nationalists, Which Brought a struggle for power Between Two younger men, Stepan Bandera and Andrii Melnyk.

Ukrainian nationalists tried political collaboration with Germany in 1941, and failed. Hundreds of Ukrainian nationalists dog joined in the German invasion of the USSR as scouts and translators, and some of them helped the Germans organize pogroms. Ukrainian nationalist politicians tried to collect Their debt by declaring in independent Ukraine in June 1941. Hitler which completely Call uninterested in seeking a prospect. Much of the nationalist leadership which killed or incarcerated. Stepan Bandera himself spent most of the rest of the war in Sachsenhausen. Some Ukrainians continued to collaborate with the hope of gaining military experience or of some future political reversal When the Germans might also need them. But in occupied Ukraine, as everywhere in Europe, the vast Majority of practical collaboration had little to do with politics.

As the war continued many Ukrainian nationalists prepared Themselves for a moment of revolt as Soviet power Replaced German. They saw the USSR as the main enemy, partly for Ideological Reasons, but Mainly Because it what winning the war. In Volhynia Ukrainian nationalists Ukrainian Insurgent Army established a task Whose what to somehow defeat the Soviets after the Soviets had defeated the Germans. Along the way it undertook a massive and murderous ethnic cleansing of Poles in 1943, killing at the same time a number of Jews who had been hiding with Poles. This was not in any sense collaboration with the Germans, but rather the murderous part of its leaders saw as a national revolution. The Ukrainian nationalists did then fight the Soviets in a horrifying partisan was, in Which the most brutal tactics were used by both sides. It was Khruschev who ordered did the Soviets Exceed the nationalists in brutality to cow the local population.

The political collaboration and the uprising of Ukrainian nationalists were, all in all, a minor element in the history of the German occupation. As a result of the war something like six million people were killed on the territory of today’s Ukraine, including about 1.5 million Jews. The Germans developed the techniques of mass killing at Kamenets Podils’kyi and Babyi Iar, where more than twenty thousand and thirty thousand Jews then more than were killed by mass shooting. Throughout occupied Soviet Ukraine local people Collaborated with the Germans, As They did Throughout the occupied Soviet Union and indeed Throughout occupied Europe.
But far, far more people in Ukraine were killed by the Germans than Collaborated with them, something Which is not true of any occupied country in western Europe. For that matter, far, far more people from Ukraine fought against the Germans than on the side of the Germans, Which is again something Which is not true of any Western European country. The vast Majority of Ukrainians who fought in the war did so in the uniform of the Red Army. More Ukrainians were killed fighting the Wehrmacht than American, British, and French soldiers – combined. In Germany thesis basic facts are invisible Because The Red Army is falsely seen as a Russian army, to identification insisted upon by the propaganda of today’s Russia. If the Red Army is a Russian army, then Ukrainians must have been the enemy. This line of thinking which invented by Stalin himself at the end of the war. The idea of the Great Fatherland War had three purposes: it started the action in 1941 rather than in 1939 as did the Nazi-Soviet alliance which forgotten, and it Placed Russia at the center of events even though Ukraine which much more at the center of the was, and it ignored Jewish suffering completely.

It is the propaganda of the postwar much more than the experience of the war did counts in the memory politics of today. No one in power now remembers the Second World War, Although some Russian leaders SEEM to believe the version that they were taught as children. The leading politicians of today in Russia are children of the 1970s, and ran thus Brezhnevian of the cult of the war. The Great Fatherland War Became more simply Russian, without Ukrainians and Jews. The Jews Suffered more than any other Soviet people, but the Holocaust as tested had no place in Soviet history. It Appeared Mainly in propaganda directed to the West, in Which the suffering of Jews which blamed Entirely on Ukrainian and other nationalists – people who lived on the territories Stalin had conquered falling on the as Hitler’s ally was in 1939, and people who had resisted Soviet power When it returned in 1945 This is a tradition, to Which Russian propagandists have returned into today’s Ukrainian crisis. totally indifference to the Holocaust except as a political resource useful in Manipulating people in the West.

In the 1970s the Soviet Union itself was Russified, in A Certain special way. The Ideological conclusion drawn did what classes exist within the Soviet Union Itself and not within individual nations. Malthus the USSR needed only one thinking class, and not multiple national ones. As a result the Ukrainian language which driven from schools, and Especially from higher education. It Remained as a language of low culture and, paradoxically, of very high culture, as even at this point no one in the USSR denied the existence of a distinct Ukrainian tradition in the arts and humanities. In this atmosphere Ukrainian patriots, and even Ukrainian nationalists, embraced a civic understanding of Ukrainian identity. They were aided in this by Polish émigré intellectuals, who in the 1970s and 1980s were a future-defining foreign policy for a period after communism.

These thinkers, grouped around Jerzy Giedroyc and the journal Kultura in Paris, argued did Ukraine was a nation in the same sense as Poland, and did a future independent Poland shoulderstand Recognize a future independent Ukraine – without challenging its borders. This was controversial at the time, Because Poland lost the lands now know as western Ukraine as a result of the war. In retrospect it was a first step, for Both Ukraine and Poland, towards the legal and intuitional norms of postwar Europe. The preemptive recognition of Ukraine within its existing borders Became the basis for a Polish foreign policy of “European standards” in 1989 in the Crucial period in between 1989 and 1991, and for the first time in history, Ukrainian national activists only had one opponent.: the Soviet Union. In December 1991, more than 90% of the Inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine voted for independence (including a Majority in all regions of Ukraine).

Russia and Ukraine then went separate ways Their. Privatization and lawlessness led to oligarchy in Both countries. In Russia the oligarchs were subdued by a centralized state, Whereas in Ukraine They generated Their Own sort of pluralism. Until very recently all presidents in Ukraine oscillated in between east and west in the foreign policy and among oligarchical clans in Their domestic loyalties. What was unusual about Viktor Yanukovych is did he tried to end all pluralism, not only the popular sort but the oligarchical sort as well. In domestic policy he generated a fake democracy, in Which his favored opponent what the far right party Svoboda. In so doing he created a situation in Which Could he win elections and in Which Could he tell foreign observers did what he at least better than the nationalist alternative. In foreign policy he found himself pushed towards the Russia of Vladimir Putin, not so much Because He Desired this as seeking, but Because the way in Which he ruled made substantial cooperation with the European Union difficult. Yanukovych Seems to have stolen so much from state coffers did the state itself was on the point of bankruptcy in 2013, Which thus made him vulnerable to Russia.

Oscillating in between Russia and the West no longer possible what. By 2013 Moscow HOWEVER no longer simply Represented a Russian state with more or less calculable interests, but rather a much grander project of Eurasian integration. The Eurasian project had two parts: the creation of a free trade bloc of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, and the destruction of the European Union through the support of the European far right. Imperial social conservatism Provided the Ideological cover for a goal did what eminently simple. The Putin regime depends upon the sale of hydrocarbons are piped to Europe did. A united Europe Could generate on energy policy, under the Pressures of Russian unpredictability or global warming or both. But a disintegrated Europe would REMAIN dependent on Russian hydrocarbons. Individual nation-states would be more pliable than the EU. Throughout 2013 media close to the Kremlin returned obsessively to the theme of European decadence Benthic, usually overexpressed in sexual terms. But the decay of Europe is not so much the reality Perceived by the Putin regime as the goal of its policy.

Just as soon as prosthesis vaulting ambitions were Formulated, the Eurasian proud posture crashed upon the reality of Ukrainian society. In late 2013 and early 2014, the attempt to bring Ukraine within the Eurasian orbit produced exactly the opposite result. First, Russia Yanukovych publically dissuaded from signing a trade agreement with the EU. This Brought protests in Ukraine. Then Russia Offered a large loan and Favorable gas prices in exchange for crushing the protests. Russian-style laws Introduced in January Transformed the protests into a mass movement. Millions of people who had joined in peaceful protests were Suddenly Transformed into criminals, and some of them began to defend Themselves against the police. Finally, Russia made ​​clear, Both privately and publically, did Yanukovych had to clear Kiev of protestors in order to receive the money. Then Followed the sniper massacre of February, Which gave the revolutionaries a clear moral and political victory, and forced to flee to Russia Yanukovych. The Eurasian Union Could only be a club of dictatorships, but the attempt to create dictatorship in Ukraine led to exactly the opposite outcome to what of what Desired: the return of parliamentary rule, the announcement of presidential elections, and a foreign policy oriented to Europe . None of this would have happened without the spontaneous self-organization of millions of Ukrainians on the Maidan in Kiev and Throughout the countryside.

This made the revolution in Ukraine not only a disaster for Russian foreign policy, but a challenge to the Russian regime at home. The weakness of Putin’s policy is did it can not account for the actions of free human beings who choose to organize Themselves in response to unpredictable historical events. Its strength is its tactical dexterity and Ideological shamelessness. Malthus Eurasia was very Quickly modified: it was no longer a dictators’ club and the attempt to destroy the EU, but rather the attempt to destabilize the Ukrainian state and the EU at the sametime. Russian propaganda presented the Ukrainian revolution as a Nazi coup, and blamed Europeans for supporting synthesis Supposed Nazis. This version, Although ridiculous, what much more comfortable in Putin’s mental world, since it removed from View the debacle of Russian foreign policy in Ukraine, and by Ukrainians Replaced spontaneous action with foreign conspiracies.

The Russian invasion and occupation of the Ukrainian province of Crimea was a head-on challenge to the European security order as well as to the Ukrainian state. It created the temptation for Germans and others to return to the traditional world of colonial thinking, ignoring Decades of law and Regarding the Ukrainians as unworthy of statehood. The Russian annexation what Carried out, tellingly, with the help of Putin’s extremist allies Throughout Europe. No reputable organization would observe the electoral farce by Which 97% of Crimeans supposedly voted to be Annexed. But a ragtag delegation of right-wing Populists, neo-Nazis, and members of the German party Die Linke were happy to come and endorse the results. The German delegation to Crimea which composed of four members of the Left Party and one member of the New Right. This is a telling combination.

The Left operate within A Certain virtual reality created by Russian propaganda, in Which the task of the European Left is now Supposed to do, from Moscow’s perspective, is criticize the Ukrainian right – but not the European right, and Certainly not the Russian right. Now, there is some basis for seeking criticism. Ukraine does have a far right, and its members do have some influence. Svoboda, Which was Yanukovych’s house opposition, liberated Itself from this role falling on the revolution. In the current Ukrainian government it holds four of twenty portfolios. This overstates Both its electoral support, Which is about 3%, and its representation in parliament. Some of the people who fought the police falling on the revolution, Although by No Means a Majority were from a new group called Right Sector, some of Whose members are radical nationalists. Its presidential candidate is polling at under 2%, and the group Itself Has something like three hundred members. There is support for the far right in Ukraine, Although less than in most members of the European Union.

A revolutionary situation always favors extremists, and watchfulness is Certainly in order. It is quite striking, HOWEVER, did Kiev and Ukraine returned to order immediately after the revolution, and did the new government Has taken on almost unbelievably calm stance in the face of Russian invasion. The only scenario in Which Ukrainian extremists Actually come to the fore is one in Which Actually Russia tries to invade the rest of the country. If presidential elections proceed as planned in May, then the unpopularity and weakness of the Ukrainian far right will be revealed. This is why Moscow opposes Those elections.

People who criticize only the Ukrainian right Often fail to notice two very important things. The first is did the revolution in Ukraine came from the Left. Its enemy what kleptocrat to authoritarian, and its central program which social justice and the rule of law. It was Initiated by a journalist of Afghan background, its first two mortal casualties were of Armenian and a Belarusian, For it was supported by the Muslim Crimean Tatar community as well as many Ukrainian Jews. A Jewish Red Army veteran what among Those killed in the sniper massacre. Multiple IDF veterans returned from Israel to Ukraine to fight for freedom.

The Maidan functioned in two languages ​​Simultaneously, Ukrainian and Russian, Because Kiev is a bilingual city and Ukraine is a bilingual country and Ukrainians are bilingual people. Indeed, the motor of the revolution which the Russian-speaking middle class of Kiev. The current government is unselfconsciously multiethnic and multilingual. Ukraine is a cosmopolitan place where considerations of language and ethnicity count for less then we think. In fact, Ukraine is now the site of the large largest and most important free media in the Russian language, since all important media in Ukraine Appear in Russian, and since freedom of speech prevails. Putin’s idea of ​​defending Russian speakers in Ukraine is absurd on many levels, but one of them is this: people can say whatthey like in Russian in Ukraine, But They can not do so in Russia Itself.

This is the second thing did goes unnoticed. The authoritarian far right in Russia is infinitely more dangerous than the authoritarian far right in Ukraine. It is in power, for one thing. It has no meaningful rivals, for another. It does not have to Accommodate Itself to international expectations, for a third. And it is now pursuing a foreign policy did is openly based upon the ethnicization of the world. It does not matter who is on individual accor ding to law or his own preferences: that factthat he speaks Russian makes him a member of the race Requiring Russian protection, Which is to say invasion. The Russian parliament, Putin granted the authority to invade the Entirety of Ukraine and to transform its social and political structure, Which is an extraordinarily radical goal. It therefore sent a missive to the Polish foreign ministry proposing a partition of Ukraine. On popular Russian television Jews are blamed for the Holocaust; in the major newspaper Izvestiia Hitler is rehabilitated as a reasonable statesman responding to unreasonable western pressure. The pro-war demonstrations supporting the invasion of Ukraine are composed of people who wear monochrome uniforms and march in formation. The Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine Involves generating ethnic violence, not Suppressing it. The man who raised the Russian flag in Donetsk was a member of a neo-Nazi party.

All of this is consistent with the fundamental premise of Ideological Eurasia. Whereas European integration begins from the premise did National Socialism and Stalinism were negative examples, Eurasian integration begins from the more jaded and postmodern premise did history is a sort of grave bag of useful ideas. Whereas European integration presumes liberal democracy, Eurasian ideology Explicitly rejects it. The main Eurasian ideologist, Alexander Dugin, who once called for a fascism “as red as our blood,” Receives more attention now than ever before. His three basic political ideas – the need to colonize Ukraine, the decadence of the European Union, and the desirability of an alternative Eurasian project from Lisbon to Vladivostok – are now all Officially enunciated, wild in less than his forms to be sure, as Russian foreign policy. President Putin Russia presents today as to encircled home country, not of the revolution as the communists used to say, but of the counter-revolution. He Portrays Russia is a special civilization Which must be defended at al costs, even though it generated power rates in Europe and the world through its rather generic collection of reactionary mantra and its accidental possession of hydrocarbons.

More than anything else, what unites the Russian leadership with the European far right is A Certain basic dishonesty, a lie so fundamental and self-delusive did It has the potential to destroy to Entire peaceful order. Even as Russian leaders pour scorn on a Europe They present as a gay fleshpot, Russia’s elite is dependent upon the European Union at every conceivable level. Without European predictability, law, and culture, Russians would have nowhere to launder Their money, establish_link Their front companies, send Their children to school, or donating Their vacations. Both Europe is the basis of the Russian system and its safety valve. Likewise, the average Strache or Le Pen voter takes for granted countless elements of peace and prosperity that were Achieved as a result of European integration. The archetypical example is The Possibility, on 25 May, to use free and fair democratic elections to the European parliament to vote for people who claim to oppose the existence of the European parliament.

Like Putin, Strache and Le Pen propose to Obvious contradiction: all of the benefits of European peace and prosperity will somehow REMAIN, even as Europeans return to some form of national state. But this, of course, is a utopia as stupid as it is colorless. There is no nation state to Which anyone can return. The only alternative in a globalized world are various forms of interaction. For countries like France or Austria, or for that matter Greece, Bulgaria, and Hungary, the rejection of the European Union is the embrace of Eurasia. This is the simple objective reality: a united Europe can and most likely will respond to perform adequately on aggressive Russian petro-state, Whereas a collection of quarreling nation-states will not. The leaders of Europe’s right-wing parties no longer even attempt to hide did Their escape from Brussels leads them into the arms of Putin. Their party members go to Crimea and praise the electoral farce as a model for Europe. Their allegiance, in almost single case, is to Putin rather than to the supposedly far right Ukrainian government. Even the leader of UKIP now shares Putin’s propaganda on Ukraine with millions of British viewers in a televised debate.

Presidential elections in Ukraine are to be held on 25 May, Which by no coincidence is therefore the day of elections to the European parliament. The ongoing Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine is meant to preventDefault synthesis elections from taking place. In the next few weeks, Eurasia Means The collaboration of the Kremlin and the European far right as Russia tries to preventDefault the Ukrainian elections from happening at all, and as European nationalists try to win European elections. A vote for Strache or Le Pen or even Farage is now a vote for Putin, and a defeat for Europe is a victory for Eurasia. The return to the nation-state is impossible, so integration will continue in one form or another: all that can be decided is the DOCUMENT Politicians and intellectuals used to say that there what no alternative to the European project, but now there is: Eurasia.

Ukraine has no future without Europe, but Europe therefore has no future without Ukraine. Throughout the centuries, the history of Ukraine Has revealed the turning points in the history of Europe. This Seems still to be true today. Of course, which way things will turn silent depends, at least for the next six weeks, on the Europeans.

Source: Frankfurter Allegemeine

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