Isolating Russia is not in the power or interest of the West

Writer who is president of the Center for Liberal Strategy, Sofia, and permanent member at IWM Vienna

When the world reels from the shock of Russia Invades Ukraine, an unanswered question. In whose name is the war declared? Are the majority of Russians hostage to Vladimir Putin’s imperial ambitions, or is the Russian society equivalent of Putin vast?

In the early days of the invasion, most Europeans leaned toward the hostage theory and expected ordinary Russians to voice their objections. It was revealed about the unfathomable atrocities in Bucha to change public opinion, to re-recognize Putin’s war as Russia’s war.

General Kremlin media control and growing repression no longer seem enough to explain, let alone justify, the silence of Russian society. The Russians don’t know the truth about Bucha or do they not want to know? Many Europeans expressed outrage at the way the country’s citizens gulped and closed their eyes to the barbarism of their armies.

After Chernobyl nuclear disaster In 1986, an exclusion zone was created around the exploded reactor. For Europeans and for Western political minds in general, Russia has become a geopolitical Chernobyl: a site of moral disaster, a place in danger of blockade. And a lot of Europeans today are dreaming of a world without Russia.

In their imagination, the West no longer consumes Russian energy sources. Cultural contact was severed and Europe’s borders were fortified. It will be as if Russia has disappeared. Even pathologically optimistic business leaders see little opportunity to reinvest in the Russian market in the coming years. And while Putin remains in power, a significant easing of Western sanctions seems a distant prospect.

Many Western policymakers have given up hope of change in Russia. Instead, they focus on measures that limit the country’s ability to achieve its foreign policy goals.

But any attempt to blockade Russia would be very different from the West’s Cold War policy of containing the Soviet Union. As George Kennan formed it, containment was predicted on the assumption that over time the intended Soviet regime would collapse because of its internal contradictions. A Chernobyl-style isolation would assume that Russia can never change.

The Cold War arose from a discourse in which the regime was blamed but the people claimed innocence. The Soviet Union was described as a prison, and Soviet leaders were never recognized as legitimate representatives of their society.

Contrary to the idea of ​​an evil regime and a persecuted people, in which change can still be imagined, a policy that sought to create an “isolated Russian region” has unconsciously applies a discourse in which Russia as a civilization is immutable.

There are countless ethical reasons why Russia should be considered a geopolitical Chernobyl. But treating Russia as a collective Putin would be a strategic mistake. Here’s why.

First, this concept will mainly be beneficial Russian leader. It inadvertently gives him legitimacy to speak on behalf of the Russian people. Worse, it justifies his twisted narrative that the only Russia the west can endure is a weak or defeated one. If Russia is a geopolitical Chernobyl, the only sensible strategy for any freedom-loving Russian is to try to find ways out.

Second, an isolation strategy can be self-defeating because it doesn’t care what is happening in Russia. It predicted that the Russians’ failure to speak out against the war meant that the country would never change its attitude towards it. It will miss the fact that more than a few Russians They support war not because they support the regime but because they irrationally hope that war will change the regime.

Opponents hope that a defeat by the Russian military in Ukraine will disappoint Putin. Many of his supporters revel in the destruction of the despised, pro-Putin foreign elite. In the words of a famous rock singer, after the West usurped the fortunes of the oligarchs, the Russians finally became “equal as they were in 1917”.

Third, betting on a world without Russia is ultimately futile because the non-Western world may not support the Kremlin’s war, little desire to isolate Russia. Many consider modern barbarism disgusting but not exceptional. They practice valueless realism. Many states that US President Joe Biden has invited to Summit for Democracy did not impose sanctions on Russia.

Russian Army attack in Donbas only fuels the conflict between those who see the country as morally irreparable and those who see it as an inevitable fact in global politics. The attack would force European public opinion to choose between the “peaceful side” (who insist that the West’s priority is to end hostilities as soon as possible, even at the expense of political forces). major concessions from Ukraine) and “the side of justice” (who insist that the priority should be the expulsion of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory even if the war drags on).

Peace and justice are out of sync in European history. Whether you call the invasion of Ukraine a Putin war or a Russian war is not a matter of taste but a strategic choice. It signals the West’s expectations of its relationship with post-Putin Russia, whenever that comes.

Source link


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button
Immediate Peak