Author Topic: Russia, the Last Colonial Empire  (Read 1606 times)


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Re: Russia, the Last Colonial Empire
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2022, 01:52:20 pm »
'Russia is a neo-imperialist state' undefeated they will attack again | Chip Chapman

Decolonize Russia
To avoid more senseless bloodshed, the Kremlin must lose what empire it still retains.
The former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski once said that without Ukraine, Russia would cease to be an empire. It’s a pithy statement, but it’s not true. Even if Vladimir Putin fails to wrest back Ukraine, his country will remain a haphazard amalgamation of regions and nations with hugely varied histories, cultures, and languages. The Kremlin will continue ruling over colonial holdings in places including Chechnya, Tatarstan, Siberia, and the Arctic.

Russia’s history is one of almost ceaseless expansion and colonization, and Russia is the last European empire that has resisted even basic decolonization efforts, such as granting subject populations autonomy and a meaningful voice in choosing the country’s leaders. And as we’ve seen in Ukraine, Russia is willing to resort to war to reconquer regions it views as its rightful possessions.
During and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Russian empire hit its modern nadir, the United States refused to safeguard the newly won independence of multiple post-Soviet states, citing misplaced concerns about humiliating Moscow. Emboldened by the West’s reluctance, Moscow began to reclaim the lands it lost. Now Russia’s revanchism—aided by our inaction and broader ignorance of the history of Russian imperialism—has revived the possibility of nuclear conflict and instigated the worst security crisis the world has seen in decades. Once Ukraine staves off Russia’s attempt to recolonize it, the West must support full freedom for Russia’s imperial subjects.

The U.S. had an opportunity to unwind the Russian empire before. In September 1991, as the Soviet Union was falling apart, President George H. W. Bush convened his National Security Council. In the lead-up to the meeting, the White House seemed unsure how to handle the splintering superpower. Some of Bush’s closest advisers even called for trying to keep the Soviet Union together.

Defense Secretary Dick Cheney was not one of them. “We could get an authoritarian regime [in Russia] still,” he warned during the meeting. “I am concerned that a year or so from now, if it all goes sour, how we can answer that we did not do more.” His end goal was clear: as Deputy National Security Adviser Robert Gates later wrote, Cheney “wanted to see the dismantlement not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.”

Bush demurred. Rather than accelerate the Soviet disintegration, he tried to avoid antagonizing Moscow, even as President Boris Yeltsin’s administration began pushing the anti-Ukrainian animus that Putin now embodies. For years—as Russia stabilized and eventually prospered, and as Cheney masterminded some of the most disastrous American foreign-policy decisions in recent decades—many believed that Bush had selected the better strategy. Armageddon, as one historian phrased it, was averted.
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I would like to see the full dismantling of Russia also, as I'm sure many more would like to see it now too.
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